Since this week is all about Irish literature, I went back through our archives to read old Irish articles. Joyce, Yeats, Beckett, and of course, John Millington Synge. Originally, I wanted to write a blog post that focused solely on J.M. Synge, but then I started reading John Millington Synge and the Aran Isles by Gary Lehmann. And my focus completely shifted.
I found myself reading crazy tidbits about the Aran Isles and how the islanders firmly believe in old world thoughts and traditions. For a modern person, these beliefs are downright strange and at times, a bit dangerous. I won’t spoil the danger for you; you should read the article to see what I’m talking about. But I’ll give you a hint: never fall out of a boat in front of an Aran islander!
Then there are the islands themselves. The Aran Isles are unspoiled, Irish beauty. They have everything you could imagine: the sea breaking over rocks, small cliff faces, lush greenery and stone cottages. But what they don’t have is electricity, running water or vehicles of any kind on the roads.
J.M. Synge went to the islands in 1904 to seek inspiration to write. W.B. Yeats suggested that Synge would find inspiration there. He certainly did. And he also found a pattern of strange behavior–at least to us outsiders–and people who did not encourage tourism by any means. Writer Gary Lehmann reports the same types of findings as Synge, nearly a century later. This shows that time, literally, stands still in the Aran Isles.
Please continue reading this quirky and strange article entitled John Millington Synge and the Aran Isles.