John Synge - The Aran Islands, & The Well of the Saints


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The foremost playwright of the Irish Renaissance — a movement inspired by strong political Nationalism and a revival of Celtic traditions — Synge was co-founder of the Abbey , also known as the National Theatre of Ireland.

All six of his plays are either set in or heavily influenced by his time in Aran. It was the poet William Butler Yeats who suggested that Synge come to these islands. These days things are slightly easier, with a daily ferry schedule as well as light aircraft service. Part of the considerable allure of Aran lies in what it lacks. There are no movie theaters and few cars; electricity only arrived in the s. A Maine native, she married a local man and has lived on Inishmore for 10 years.

Gillian was one of only a handful of outsiders I met over the months, all are married to locals; her sentiment was one I heard often, on all three islands. Most visitors stay only a few hours, travel a well-worn circuit and hustle back onto the boats for the comparative metropolis of Galway or the pubs of Doolin.

The Saint of Outcasts

The initial walls of this ring fort — one of seven to be found on the islands — date back to B. An visit at daybreak was rewarded by absolute solitude as the wind whistled over the stones. Birds caught thermals below the cliffs.

J. M. Synge

Clouds raced across the sun. Time stretched.


  • J.M. Synge;
  • Tagged in this Story;
  • Ancestors and Elites: Emergent Complexity and Ritual Practices in the Casas Grandes Polity (Archaeology of Religion).

As I was leaving, the buses began to arrive. I sat on a wall eating a Nutella crepe and watched coach after coach deposit people with fanny packs and unneeded sunhats.

1871 - 1909

Though watching the human drama of group tourism from a slight remove has its own rewards, I had a date with a magic well. A Sligo woman, it seems, had a dream that her blind son might be made to see if she traveled to a particular well out on the Aran Islands. Finally I caught sight of an old sign that directed me over one stone fence and then another, through several fields, until I came upon the ruin of a tiny building, the Church of the Four Beautiful Persons.

No one I met on the island could explain the origins of the name. I stepped over cow pies and entered. The sun emerged and the gray stones brightened. Synge is best known for his play, The Playboy of the Western World , which caused riots in the streets of Dublin after its opening performance at the Theatre. Considered one of the foremost English-language dramatists, Synge was the most highly esteemed playwright at the turn of the twentieth century Poetry Foundation. Born the last of five children, Synge and his siblings were raised by their deeply Protestant mother after their father died in Poetry Foundation.

He was a part of a well-off, upper class family and his mother was able to afford to send all five children to private school. Synge attended school beginning at age ten for four years, but he soon developed health problems that prevented regular attendance.

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He spent most of his childhood outside, observing nature and watching birds, while his mother hired a tutor to teach him from home Stair Na Heireann. In , Synge earned his degree from Trinity College in Dublin in music.

At this time in his life, J. Synge was an ambitious musician with a focus in violin, theory, and composition. It was also around this time that Synge began writing poetry. In , Synge moved out of his mothers home and traveled to Germany to study music. He soon found he was too nervous to perform, and moved to Paris in to study language and literature instead. It was here that Synge met his good friend and mentor, W.

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John Synge - The Aran Islands, & The Well of the Saints John Synge - The Aran Islands, & The Well of the Saints
John Synge - The Aran Islands, & The Well of the Saints John Synge - The Aran Islands, & The Well of the Saints
John Synge - The Aran Islands, & The Well of the Saints John Synge - The Aran Islands, & The Well of the Saints
John Synge - The Aran Islands, & The Well of the Saints John Synge - The Aran Islands, & The Well of the Saints
John Synge - The Aran Islands, & The Well of the Saints John Synge - The Aran Islands, & The Well of the Saints
John Synge - The Aran Islands, & The Well of the Saints John Synge - The Aran Islands, & The Well of the Saints
John Synge - The Aran Islands, & The Well of the Saints John Synge - The Aran Islands, & The Well of the Saints

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