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One of the things we are experiencing at the moment is a gulf of comprehension between large parts of the English establishment (the Brexity parts) and Ireland.

It has many facets, but one of them has to do with a difference in cultural genealogy. Most of the great works of modern English literature and art were created in England or, at very least, within the empire. But on the other hand, it is very hard to think of modern Irish literature and art without thinking of continental Europe.

While Ireland and England are much more alike than we Irish like to admit, there is a gulf between us when it comes to attitudes to Europe

John Synge and WB Yeats, the great collaborators (with Augusta Gregory) in the creation of the Abbey, didn't meet in Sligo or on the Aran Islands - they met in Paris. So did Joyce and Samuel Beckett. Most of Eileen Grey's great design work was done in France. Kate O'Brien really became a writer in Spain, as did Colm Toibín. And so on.

When Joyce and Nora Barnacle left Dublin in 1904, they didn't go to London or New York. They made their way to Trieste, where on their very first night, Joyce got himself arrested after being caught up in a brawl with English sailors.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jun 25th, 2019 at 05:09:55 PM EST
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Only Literature graduates think literature defines a culture.

Almost nobody involved in brexit talks about Shakespeare, let alone any other writer.

However they o talk about the inherited national mythologies of Trafalgar, Brunel, Empire and the Industrial revolution, the Battle of Britain, winston churchill, D-Day; all fed into their psyches almost from mothers milk and daily by tabloids and the political knaves who parrot this drivel Two world wars and one world cup, it's coming home.

An aggressive militaristic history of free-booting trade and gunboat diplomacy interpreted as stand-alone triumph against all the odds.

That's what you're argung with, not poetry

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 25th, 2019 at 05:23:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only Literature graduates think literature defines a culture.

Yes, but perhaps the culture helped to define the writers and their choice of destination...

O'Toole:

Perhaps, being obviously small, Ireland could find in the expansiveness of the Continent a relief from claustrophobia. And paradoxically, in that release lay the possibility of looking back on Ireland itself, as Joyce did so wonderfully, without rancour but with a good-humoured forgiveness.

What he did in the early years of the 20th century, his country men and women did after EU membership in 1973 - being European gave us relief and release from being too much enclosed in our own company and thus allowed us to get over ourselves.

While part of the English identity was moulded against French, Spanish and German identities, ours was moulded against the English. The EU allowed us to reach out and find ourselves in a much larger and cosmopolitan social setting, so much so that being anti-English is now no longer a necessary part of Irish identity.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jun 25th, 2019 at 05:31:18 PM EST
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