Saturday, July 2, 2011

Synge-Lovers Unite!

Field near Rathdrum, Wicklow, Ireland
A brief recap of the goings-on at the 20th Annual Synge Summer School, to be expanded upon later.

Discussions of:

  • Irish drama in times of crisis 
  • The distinction between "space" and "place"
  • The impact Synge has had on modern Irish dramatists
  • The "fact/fiction" book Ghost Light by Joseph O'Connor, and the implications of the blurred boundaries between fiction and nonfiction and what this says about our culture
  • Religious themes in Synge's works
  • The strong women of Synge's works
  • An outing to a "performance piece" by Una McKevitt at the Mermaid Arts Center in Bray, which has sparked so much discussion at the school
  • Ezra Pound's view of the Irish as informed by his views on Synge
  • a walk through Avondale Forest Park
  • a fantastic talk by author Colm Toibin on Irish theatre of the 1980s
Avondale House Forest Park, County Wicklow, Ireland
Tomorrow is the final day of the school, and I wish we had more time. I've met so many great people here who are passionate about theatre, literature, Synge, and learning, and I hope to keep in touch with many of them.

And I mustn't forget to mention that Wicklow - "the Garden of Ireland" - is absolutely gorgeous! Trees trees trees! And mountains! And green! And it's so different from Aran - no wonder the islands were so strange and foreign to Synge.

My time at the school has given me much to think about in terms of my own writing, my journey to Aran, and my thinking about Synge. No doubt it will take me some time to sort it all out, and I look forward to sharing my thinking about it here as it develops.

Tomorrow - touring Glenmalure and Laragh! Then on to Dublin, then home before I know it.

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