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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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