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Synge and Edwardian Ireland$
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Brian Cliff and Nicholas Grene

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199609888

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609888.001.0001

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The Price of Kelp in Connemara

The Price of Kelp in Connemara

Synge, Pearse, and the Idealization of Folk Culture

Chapter:
(p.208) 12 The Price of Kelp in Connemara
Source:
Synge and Edwardian Ireland
Author(s):

Anne Markey

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609888.003.0013

This chapter compares and contrasts Synge’s use of Irish folklore with Patrick Pearse’s approach to that same repository of communal traditions, relationships, practices and beliefs. It explores how both writers travelled to the west of Ireland with preconceptions about the traditional way of life they hoped to observe there. It is shown that while Synge’s accounts of the Aran Islands reveal an eclectic interest in Irish folklore that is reflected in his later work, Pearse’s writings initially display a reluctance to acknowledge those aspects of popular tradition that did not sit well with his visionary image of Gaelic Ireland. Finally, it is argued that Synge’s influence on Pearse is reflected in the latter’s increasingly disturbing recourse to folklore in Irish-language stories published after the playwright’s death.

Keywords:   Pearse, folklore, Gaelic League, Connemara, Aran Islands, An Claidheamh Soluis, Herder, spirituality, celticism

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