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The swan in the desolate heaven : the literary image of place and the ideology of Irish nationalism Wolfe, Colin 1981

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THE SWAN IN THE DESOLATE HEAVEN THE LITERARY IMAGE OF PLACE AND THE IDEOLOGY OF IRISH NATIONALISM B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f D u b l i n , 1978 THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES De p a r t m e n t o f Geography We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g by COLIN WOLFE t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A u g u s t 19 81 c C o l i n W o l f e , 1981 I n p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by t h e head o f my department o r by h i s o r h e r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f Geography The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e V ancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date 2nd August, 19 81. DE-6 (2/79) ABSTRACT Place i s not simply the physical r e a l i t y of the topo-graphical and human geographical features located at a p a r t i c u l a r p o s i t i o n in space. I t i s also the experience of the associations, images, and memories incorporated i n the landscape, with a large input from the observer. Our personal and c u l t u r a l h i s t o r i e s are important i n t h i s experience of place, which i s therefore both subjective and intersubjective. The sense of place i n l i t e r a t u r e i s often p a r t i c u l a r l y expressive of t h i s power of association and imagery — perhaps, because of i t s concentrated form, es p e c i a l l y i n poetry. Li t e r a t u r e , however, i n choosing i t s imagery, i s not only r e f l e c t i v e of the h i s t o r i c a l , c u l t u r a l and personal associations of place, but i s also creative i n shaping these associations of place. L i t e r a t u r e , because i t i s s e l e c t i v e and imaginative, has the power to a l t e r our experience of place. Many of the works of the I r i s h l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l possess an unusually strong sense of place — i t was a l i t e r a r y move-ment which sought to emphasise Ireland and I r i s h themes. The s e l e c t i v i t y and imagination of the writers, p a r t i c u l a r l y because of the romantic and mythological heritages stressed i n the r e v i v a l , resulted i n a representation of the I r i s h landscape -- indeed a v i s i o n of Ireland -- which i s r i c h i n symbol, association, and image. This Ireland of the imagination was also a t t r a c t i v e and powerful enough to become part of I r i s h n a t i o n a l i s t ideology. i v A romantic v i s i o n of the I r i s h landscape and i t s people developed by W.B. Yeats, A.E., J.M. Synge and others became part of the nationalism of m i l i t a n t revolutionaries such as Patrick Pearse, leader of the I r i s h insurrection of Easter 1916 — important i n I r i s h history because i t s h i f t e d the dominant expression of nationalism from constitutionalism to militancy. I t was through the use of force rather than through co n s t i t u t i o n a l methods that a separate I r i s h nation was established i n 19 22. This thesis, therefore, has three main themes. F i r s t l y , place i s an experience of the imagination -- of association, of memory, and of image. Secondly, l i t e r a t u r e i s important i n shaping that imagination because of i t s symbolism and i t s power i n creating imagery. F i n a l l y , and perhaps most import-antly, the ideas of a movement of the imagination such as the I r i s h l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l can have a large e f f e c t on the ideas, and therefore the ultimate actions, of a movement of action such as, that of the I r i s h m i l i t a n t n a t i o n a l i s t s . V TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS V ACKNOWLEDGEMENT v i MAP OF IRELAND v i i CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER 2 BACKGROUNDS 19 I r i s h H i s t o r y 19 The L i t e r a r y Movement 29 CHAPTER 3 THE WRITERS AND PLACE 36 The C e l e b r a t i o n and P e r s o n a l i t y o f P l a c e 37 P l a c e and I d e a l s 49 P l a c e and M y t h o l o g y 56 C o n c l u s i o n 60 CHAPTER 4 LITERATURE AND NATIONALISM 72 Common O r i g i n s 73 N a t i o n a l i s t S y m p a t h i e s 7 8 C o n t a c t s 85 I n f l u e n c e s 92 A f t e r m a t h 10 7 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION 123 BIBLIOGRAPHY 132 v i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I w o u l d l i k e t o e x p r e s s my warmest t h a n k s t o a l l t h e p e o p l e who made t h i s t h e s i s p o s s i b l e . D a v i d L e y was my a d v i s o r , and h i s e n c o u r a g e m e n t and c o n s t r u c t i v e c r i t i c i s m were i n v a l u a b l e . J o h n W i l s o n F o s t e r was a l s o u n f a i l i n g i n h i s e n t h u s i a s m and g u i d a n c e a t a l l t i m e s . Nancy P a l m e r p e r f o r m e d t h e d i f f i c u l t t a s k o f b e i n g an e f f i c i e n t y e t p a t i e n t t y p i s t . T h r o u g h my t i m e i n V a n c o u v e r my f e l l o w s t u d e n t s were i n v a r i a b l y f r i e n d l y and s t i m u l a t i n g — t h e p r e c i s e b l e n d b e i n g a f u n c t i o n o f t h e h o u r and t h e g e o g r a p h i c a l l o c a t i o n . F o r me, i n t h e b e s t s t y l e o f t h i s t h e s i s , V a n c o u v e r i s a p l a c e w h i c h has become a t r e m e n d o u s s t o r e h o u s e o f good memories and a s s o c i -a t i o n s . P h i l o s o p h i c a l d i s c u s s i o n may a t t i m e s h a v e e x t e n d e d o v e r i n t o t h e s m a l l h o u r s , b u t t h e u l t i m a t e b e n e f i c i a r y was a l w a y s t r u t h . Many o t h e r p e o p l e made my y e a r s i n V a n c o u v e r more t h a n w o r t h w h i l e , b u t p e r h a p s e s p e c i a l l y I w o u l d l i k e t o m e n t i o n Hugh and A n n e t t e C a m p b e l l , who were r e a l l y m a r v e l l o u s i n a l l t h e h e l p and f r i e n d s h i p t h e y g a v e me. To y o u a l l , my g r a t i t u d e . ( v i i ) B a l l i n a f a d Ben Rulben (Death o f Diarmuid) Colooney Dooney Dromahair f ( Y e a t s « D r u m c l i f f e { r a v e ) Glencar Inishmurray I n n i s f r e e . Knocknarea \ L i s s ade11 The__Rosses (Maeve's c a i r n ) i l i g o Town ^ K i l l a l a ' x SLIGO (Yeats) "4 Cathleen n i Houlihan ) MAYO (Synge) TThe Playboy of the We s t e r n Wor1d) « M o o r e H a l l E x p l o i t s of Cuchulain Twelve Pins CONNEMARA Rosmuc The Aran Islands (Riders toj the Sea. (Pe arse and Synge) T u l i r a Coole • e n i o o r B a l l y l e e (Yeats , Martyn and Lady Gregory) DUBLIN Glencree WICKLQW * Glenmacnas (In the Shadow of the Glen) 1916 R i s i n g . Abbey Theatre St. Enda's. B i r t h p l a c e of Joyce, Pearse P l u n k e t t , Shaw, Synge, Yeats. Home 'of A.E ., Pearse , Yeats P l u n k e t t , ySynge. (Synge) A LITERARY MAP OF IRELAND 5 0 mile s i 1 Source: the author. (viii) The swan has leaped i n t o the d e s o l a t e heaven: That image can b r i n g w i l d n e s s , b r i n g a rage To end a l l t h i n g s . . . - W.B. Yeats 'Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen 1 1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION When the reader encounters the I r i s h w r i t e r , George Moore, i n H a i l and F a r e w e l l , e x t o l l i n g "the p u r p l e beauty of a l i n e of h i l l s over a g a i n s t the rocky p l a i n s f r e c k l e d with the thatched c o t t a g e s of the peasantry",^ he or she may w e l l pause and r e f l e c t . I t i s a r a r e moment amongst a l l the g o s s i p of t h i s a n e c d o t a l novel about the I r i s h l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l . But even i f the reader suspects t h a t Moore, a s a t i r i s t i n the company of dreamers, was impressed l e s s by the beauty i t s e l f than by the f a c t t h a t I r i s h i n t e l l e c t u a l s , gathered i n D u b l i n a t the begin-n i n g of the c e n t u r y , were t a l k i n g about i t , i t i s an i n t e r e s t i n g upward glance unto the h i l l s . Even Moore, walking along l o o k i n g a t "the golden bracken through which the path t w i s t e d , a crimson breech at the end of i t , " had been s e i z e d by the i n c r e a s i n g enthusiasm of h i s f e l l o w w r i t e r s f o r the I r i s h landscape. Moore and h i s c o l l e a g u e s formed the c h i e f surge of the I r i s h l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l or r e n a i s s a n c e , a golden p e r i o d of I r i s h w r i t i n g i n E n g l i s h which l a s t e d ( i f such movements can be dated) from around 1880 u n t i l the Second World War. A stream o f w r i t e r s of t a l e n t and even genius appeared, where few had been i n evidence b e f o r e , t o g i v e I r i s h w r i t i n g an impetus i t never p r e v i o u s l y enjoyed — f i g u r e s such as W.B. Yeats, S t a n d i s h James 0'Grady, George R u s s e l l (who wrote under the pen-name A.E.), Lady Augusta Gregory, and J.M. Synge. To these w r i t e r s , I r i s h s u b j e c t s were of prime importance, and t h i s n a t i o n a l i s t i c emphasis, combined with many of the v a l u e s of romanticism, r e s u l t e d i n c o n s i d e r a b l e 2 enthusiasm f o r I r i s h p l a c e . Place was c e l e b r a t e d f o r i t s own sake; i t was used to evoke moods and emotions; i t was used t o symbolise i d e a l s ; i t was used t o r e v i v e h i s t o r y and legend. In many ways, indeed, a r e v i v a l I r i s h landscape — a r e v i v a l v i s i o n of I r e l a n d -- came t o be c r e a t e d . The r o l e o f p l a c e , as such an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f the l i t e r a t u r e , i s worthy of c l o s e a t t e n t i o n . The n a t i o n a l i s t i c emphasis, too, meant t h a t the w r i t i n g aroused more than j u s t l i t e r a r y i n t e r e s t i n an I r e l a n d which was becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y n a t i o n a l i s t i c as i t moved towards indepen-dence from B r i t a i n i n 1922. The w r i t e r s were v o c a l and e n e r g e t i c as w e l l as g i f t e d w i t h the pen, and t h e i r ideas helped p l a y a p a r t i n the shaping o f n a t i o n a l i s t i d e o l o g y , e s p e c i a l l y the id e o l o g y espoused by the i n s u r r e c t i o n i s t s of E a s t e r 1916. Pl a c e , 2 e s p e c i a l l y i n the sense of t e r r i t o r y or motherland, i s a t the hea r t of a l l n a t i o n a l i s m , and the w r i t e r s expanded t h i s t r u i s m of n a t i o n a l i t y by i n t e r t w i n i n g p l a c e w i t h i d e a l s of G a e l i c I r e l a n d and with a sense of I r i s h h i s t o r y and mythology, both p a r t i c u l a r l y important i n the imaginations o f the l e a d e r s of 1916. Thus p l a c e i s not onl y an important p a r t o f the w r i t i n g of the I r i s h l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l , but i s a l s o a c o n t r i b u t i o n of the im a g i n a t i o n o f the r e v i v a l t o I r i s h n a t i o n a l i s t t h i n k i n g , and t h e r e f o r e t o I r i s h n a t i o n a l i s t a c t i o n . Not a l l the i n f l u e n c e of the l i t e r a r y movement on the n a t i o n a l i s t movement was due to the l i t e r a r y sense of p l a c e , nor by any means was the l i t e r a r y move-ment the o n l y i n f l u e n c e on the n a t i o n a l i s t movement — i t was merely one of a s u b s t a n t i a l number — but the connections between p l a c e , I r i s h w r i t i n g and I r i s h n a t i o n a l i s m bear f u r t h e r s c r u t i n y than they have y e t r e c e i v e d . T h i s t h e s i s seeks t o expl o r e these co n n e c t i o n s : t o see how the l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l renewed and enlarged, 3 indeed transformed, ideas of I r e l a n d the p l a c e ; and to see how these ideas formed a p o r t i o n of the i n f l u e n c e which f a s h i o n e d the complex i d e o l o g y of I r i s h n a t i o n a l i s m . In i n v e s t i g a t i n g these l i n k s between p l a c e , l i t e r a t u r e and n a t i o n a l i t y , comment from a number of sources i s important. The l i t e r a t u r e of the I r i s h r e v i v a l has been f e r t i l e ground f o r l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , and a number of commentators have sought to e l u c i d a t e what i t i s which makes modern A n g l o - I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e r e c o g n i s a b l y I r i s h . Perhaps s u r p r i s i n g l y few have shown much concern with p l a c e — as J e f f a r e s notes: "we have p a i d too 3 l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n to the importance of p l a c e " — but i n c r e a s e d i n t e r e s t has been r e c e n t l y apparent, p o s s i b l y because of the acknowledgement of the worth of Synge's t r a v e l essays not o n l y as groundwork f o r h i s p l a y s but as v a l u a b l e p i e c e s i n t h e i r own r i g h t , p o s s i b l y i n p a r t because the c o n t r i b u t i o n of the S l i g o s e t t i n g to the success of the Yeats' summer sc h o o l has prompted awareness of the r o l e of p l a c e i n Yeats' poetr y . Amongst what has been w r i t t e n , there seems t o be agreement t h a t i t i s not o n l y the use of I r i s h place-names or the d e s c r i p t i o n of I r i s h topography which imparts the I r i s h n e s s ; r a t h e r t h e r e i s a r e a l i s a t i o n of the tendency of the w r i t e r s to form a p a r t i c u l a r l y p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n -s h i p with the landscape, and of t h e i r d e s i r e to i n v e s t the l a n d -scape w i t h emotion and i d e a l i s m , to view i t as symbol and image. T h i s p r o v i d e s a key to the p e r v a s i v e n e s s of a f e e l of p l a c e i n I r i s h w r i t i n g , and i n d i c a t e s the reasons why I r i s h w r i t e r s seem to experience p l a c e so i n t e n s e l y . Although, as mentioned, com-mentary i s meagre, c e r t a i n a r t i c l e s p r o v i d e p a r t i c u l a r l y worth-w h i l e i n s i g h t s : Saddlemyer p r o v i d e s a v a l u a b l e look a t Synge's 4 c e l e b r a t i o n of p l a c e and of h i s c l o s e involvement w i t h p l a c e ; O ' D r i s c o l l i n v e s t i g a t e s the i d e a l s of the r e v i v a l i n terms of the need to r e t u r n to the h e a r t h s t o n e ; 5 F o s t e r p o i n t s out the r o l e of the I r i s h western i s l e s as s a n c t u a r i e s p r o v i d i n g s p i r i t u a l and c u l t u r a l renewal. The I r i s h sense of h i s t o r y , a l s o , i s i n v o l v e d with the landscape. "Places [are] the o n l y h i e r o g l y p h s 7 which cannot be f o r g o t t e n " , Yeats notes, and F o s t e r u n d e r l i n e s t h i s w i t h h i s comment t h a t the I r i s h past " i s c o n s t a n t l y made contemporary through an o b s e s s i o n with remembered p l a c e . " Through the landscape there i s a c o n n e c t i o n w i t h events otherwise vague and d i s t a n t ; the p a s t — i n the case of the r e v i v a l mostly the m y t h o l o g i c a l p a s t — becomes a v a i l a b l e through p l a c e . In g e n e r a l , t h e r e f o r e , the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s have i n c r e a s i n g l y i n d i -c a t e d t h a t the importance of p l a c e i n the r e v i v a l i s not merely as p h y s i c a l f e a t u r e , but as symbol and image of p a s t , p r e s e n t , and f u t u r e . T h e i r e x p l o r a t i o n s emphasise, so f a r but b r i e f l y , t h a t the many a s s o c i a t i o n s p l a c e evokes ensure i t i s more than j u s t background, a l l o w i n g i t i n s t e a d t o o f t e n become a prominent theme. Approaching the f i e l d o f i n t e r e s t from an o p p o s i t e d i r e c -t i o n , from a concern w i t h the landscape and the human r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h landscape r a t h e r than with l i t e r a r y a n a l y s i s , geographers too have i n s t i g a t e d e f f o r t s t o i n v e s t i g a t e p l a c e i n l i t e r a t u r e . For long o c c a s i o n a l , t h e i r i n t e r e s t , l i k e t h a t of the l i t e r a r y commen-t a t o r s , has l a t e l y begun to quicken a l s o — though as y e t they have l e f t I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e untouched. Although such d i s t i n c t i o n s are n e c e s s a r i l y a r b i t r a r y , t h e i r a t t e n t i o n can perhaps be u s e f u l l y separated i n t o three c a t e g o r i e s : an emphasis on the p l a c e or landscape i t s e l f ; an emphasis on the human r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h p l a c e 5 and an emphasis on the c r e a t i v e p o t e n t i a l of l i t e r a t u r e i n moulding our p e r c e p t i o n s and thoughts. An a p p r e c i a t i o n of l i t e r a t u r e ' s value as a source of i n f o r m a t i o n about the landscape i t s e l f i s the most e s t a b l i s h e d of the p o i n t s of c o n t a c t between l i t e r a t u r e and geography. In 1910, M i l l , i n h i s Guide to G e o g r a p h i c a l Books and A p p l i a n c e s , entered a c l a i m f o r the g e o g r a p h i c a l novel as a worthy equal t o 9 the h i s t o r i c a l n o v e l ; and Wright, i n a b r i e f a r t i c l e i n the G e o g r a p h i c a l Review of 1924 c i t i n g Wharton's Short L i s t of Novels  and L i t e r a r y Works of Geographic I n t e r e s t as w e l l as M i l l ' s c l a i m , made a f u r t h e r p l e a t h a t geographers r e c o g n i s e the " h i g h l y developed g e o g r a p h i c a l i n s t i n c t " of "some men of l e t t e r s " . " ^ Although i n t e r e s t remained dormant f o r more than twenty y e a r s , i t was i n t h i s s p i r i t t h a t Darby i n d i c a t e d the g e o g r a p h i c a l im-portance of Hardy's novels i n h i s 194 8 a r t i c l e , 'The Regional Geography of Thomas Hardy's Wessex';^ and the u s e f u l n e s s of l i t e r a t u r e i n g e o g r a p h i c a l landscape d e s c r i p t i o n has become more wi d e l y acknowledged s i n c e . S h i n , f o r example, i n h i s 'Geographical Knowledge i n Three Southwestern N o v e l s 1 , attempts to examine the 12 United S t a t e s i n p i o n e e r times; L l o y d r e c o n s t r u c t s the geography of l a t e n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y Boston through the eyes of the w r i t e r s 13 who l o c a t e d t h e r e ; and Jay i n h i s a r t i c l e , 'The Black Country of F r a n c i s B r e t t Young', hopes to "convey the p e r s o n a l i t y of the p l a c e , and complement geographers' s t u d i e s of the demographic and economic developments which f i r s t produced and subsequently modi-14 f i e d the c h a r a c t e r ' of t h i s area of the E n g l i s h Midlands. Over-r e l i a n c e , however, on the value of l i t e r a t u r e i n complementing o b j e c t i v e g e o g r a p h i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n p r o v i d e s d i f f i c u l t i e s . One 6 t e n d e n c y o f a c o n c e n t r a t i o n on t h e f a c t u a l c o n t e n t o f l i t e r a t u r e , as Tuan p o i n t s o u t , i s t h a t i t " r e d u c e s [ the l i t e r a r y work] t o 15 t h e humble s t a t u s o f r a t h e r u n r e l i a b l e d a t a " : i f t h e l i t e r a -t u r e i s m e r e l y t r e a t e d as a t o p o g r a p h i c a l o r g e o g r a p h i c a l c a t a -l o g u e , t h e r e s u l t c a n a l l t o o e a s i l y be t r i v i a l i s a t i o n . More s e r i o u s l y , t h e h e i g h t e n e d i m a g i n a t i o n o f many w r i t e r s poses m e t h o d o l o g i c a l p r o b l e m s i f l i t e r a t u r e i s t o be used as an o b j e c -t i v e f a c t u a l s o u r c e . ^ B u t g e o g r a p h e r s a r e i n c r e a s i n g l y b e g i n n i n g t o r e a l i s e t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f . . i m a g i n a t i v e a c c o u n t s i n p o r t r a y i n g t h e t r u e c h a r a c t e r o f p l a c e : s e l e c t i v i t y and i n a c c u r a c y o f d e t a i l a r e t o l e r a t e d i n a new e n t h u s i a s m f o r t h e w o r t h o f p e r s o n a l i m p r e s s i o n s i n c a p t u r i n g and a r t i c u l a t i n g t h e e s s e n t i a l s p i r i t o f p l a c e . A n d r e w s , f o r e x a m p l e , i n ' N i n e t e e n t h - C e n t u r y S t . P e t e r s b u r g : W o r k p o i n t s f o r an E x p l o r a t i o n o f Image and P l a c e ' , q u o t e s Grossman w i t h a p p r o v a l as s t a t i n g t h a t t h e c i t y a t t h e t i m e , " ' i n s p i t e o f a l l t h e f a n t a s t i c c o l o u r i n g D o s t o e v s k y i m p a r t e d t o i t s d e s c r i p t i o n s , has n o t been d e p i c t e d by any one 17 more e x a c t l y , more s h a r p l y , more p a l p a b l y o r more t r u l y . ' " Even C o o k , e v e r - s t r e s s f u l o f t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f s o c i e t y i n m o u l d -i n g p e r c e p t i o n s i n h i s e s s a y ' C o n s c i o u s n e s s and t h e N o v e l : F a c t o r F i c t i o n i n t h e Works o f D . H . L a w r e n c e ' , a cknowledges t h e i m p o r t a n c e ( .quoting A l d i n g t o n ) " ' o f t h a t p a s s i o n a t e s e n s i b i l i t y w h i c h made Lawrence supreme i n h i s t i m e as a p o e t o f t h e l i v i n g w o r l d ' " — a " ' p a s s i o n a t e s e n s i b i l i t y 1 " , Cook a d d s , w h i c h " i s 18 p r o b a b l y t h e e s s e n c e o f L a w r e n c e ' s g e n i u s . " S e v e r a l g e o g r a p h e r s , i n c i d e n t a l l y , a l s o m e n t i o n i n p a s s i n g t h e works o f James J o y c e , i n w h i c h a r e t o be f o u n d h i g h l y i n d i v i d u a l y e t a u t h e n t i c e v o c a t i o n s o f D u b l i n a t t h e t i m e o f t h e I r i s h l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l , most 19 e s p e c i a l l y i n t h e pages o f U l y s s e s . 7 In such s t u d i e s as those of Darby, L l o y d or Jay above, which emphasise landscape as o b j e c t , the p o s i t i v i s t i c t r a d i t i o n i n geography i s e v i d e n t t o a g r e a t e r or l e s s e r degree. But an i n c r e a s i n g d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h p o s i t i v i s m w i t h i n the d i s c i p l i n e , as w e l l as r e s u l t i n g i n the i n t e r e s t shown i n the p e r s o n a l i s e d e v o c a t i o n s of p l a c e i n Dostoevsky or Lawrence, has a l s o d i r e c t e d a t t e n t i o n t o the observer i n the landscape, and to the observer's r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h p l a c e and landscape. The concern w i t h o b j e c t i s supplemented by a concern w i t h s u b j e c t and r e l a t i o n s h i p , and a p o s i t i v i s t i c p h i l o s o p h y i s p l a c e d by the humanistic p h i l o s o p h i e s of phenomenology and e x i s t e n t i a l i s m : t h e r e i s an emphasis on how the observer imbues the landscape w i t h meaning, and, i n estab-l i s h i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p , d e f i n e s i n p a r t him or h e r s e l f . Lowenthal and Tuan, e s p e c i a l l y , have focused on t h i s concept of man-in-the-landscape. L i t e r a t u r e , as Tuan p o i n t s out i n h i s 2 0 essay ' L i t e r a t u r e , Experience, and Environmental Knowing', i s an i n v a l u a b l e a l l y i n an e x p l o r a t i o n of the meaning of p l a c e : among the reasons, of course, a Lawrence or a Dostoevsky capture p l a c e so s u c c e s s f u l l y i s because they sense and p o r t r a y the a s s o c i a t i o n s t h e i r landscapes h o l d . L i t e r a t u r e , too, o f t e n b r i n g s out p a r t i c u l a r l y the strength, these a s s o c i a t i o n s can have, as Middleton i n d i c a t e s i n her essay, 'Roots and R o o t l e s s n e s s : /An E x p l o r a t i o n of the Concept i n the L i f e and Novels of George E l l i o t ' . I n t r i g u i n g l y , she a l s o d i s c o v e r s a p a r a l l e l between the t rootedness of E l i o t ' s w r i t i n g and the rootedness of E l i o t ' s l i f e , s h i f t i n g a t t e n t i o n from the author's p o r t r a y a l of the r e l a t i o n s h i p 2 1 with, landscape t o the author h e r s e l f . Tuan, again f o c u s i n g on the observer, comments f u r t h e r on the human s i g n i f i c a n c e of the 8 r e l a t i o n s h i p when he makes the i n t e r e s t i n g statement t h a t "humanistic geography r e f l e c t s upon g e o g r a p h i c a l phenomena wit h the u l t i m a t e purpose of a c h i e v i n g a b e t t e r understanding of man 22 and h i s c o n d i t i o n . " T h i s p o s i t i o n i s taken to an unusual g e o g r a p h i c a l extreme by Olsson i n h i s essay 'On Yearning f o r Home: An E p i s t e m o l o g i c a l View of O n t o l o g i c a l T r a n s f o r m a t i o n s ' , where the concern w i t h p l a c e i s as an anchor to d i s c u s s i o n o f , among other 23 t h i n g s , the paradoxes of e x i s t e n c e . I n t e r e s t i n the a b i l i t y of l i t e r a t u r e to capture the a s s o c i a t i o n s of p l a c e e v e n t u a l l y leads to i n t e r e s t i n the r o l e of l i t e r a t u r e i n c r e a t i n g images of p l a c e . Commentators i n g e n e r a l , however, are o f t e n wary of a c t u a l l y c h a r t i n g the i n f l u e n c e of l i t e r a t u r e -- the l e a s t c a u t i o u s are o f t e n the w r i t e r s them-24 s e l v e s — and i n s t u d i e s of p l a c e the c r e a t i v e p o t e n t i a l of l i t e r a t u r e has o n l y r e c e n t l y been c o n s i d e r e d . Tuan was among the f i r s t t o make the p o i n t : From one viewpoint l i t e r a t u r e i s a d i a g n o s t i c index of evidence o f c u l t u r e ; from another i t i s a c r e a t i v e f o r c e d i r e c t i n g c u l t u r e , e n a b l i n g people to see t h e i r world i n new ways.25 In one of the b e s t a r t i c l e s demonstrating t h i s , Z a r i n g , i n 'The Romantic Face of Wales', c l e a r l y t r a c e s the change i n a t t i t u d e s towards the Welsh landscape as the Romantic movement superseded c l a s s i c a l r a t i o n a l i s m : under the o r i g i n a l i n f l u e n c e l a r g e l y of Wordsworth, a r t i s t s and w r i t e r s turned from an image of Wales as harsh, m i s e r a b l e and dangerous t o view i t as n a t u r a l , dramatic and b e a u t i f u l — a view of C e l t i c landscape, which, i n t e r e s t i n g l y , spread b a r e l y at a l l across the I r i s h Sea u n t i l the time of the l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l . F u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the i n f l u e n c e of Wordsworth on a t t i t u d e s towards landscape i s to be found i n the 9 essay ' L i t e r a t u r e and the F a s h i o n i n g o f T o u r i s t T a s t e 1 , i n which Newby extends the argument a stage f u r t h e r i n l o o k i n g a t Words-worth 's e f f e c t i n a t t r a c t i n g people t o the Lake D i s t r i c t , and perhaps l e s s p l a u s i b l y , a l s o s p e c u l a t e s as t o the i n f l u e n c e of S c o t t F i t z g e r a l d i n the development of the summer t o u r i s t t r a de 27 of the Mediterranean. A more c o n v i n c i n g case i n favour of an ex t e n s i o n o f the i n f l u e n c e of l i t e r a t u r e beyond a t t i t u d e s t o the sphere of a c t i o n i s made i n Olwig's ' L i t e r a t u r e and " R e a l i t y " : The T r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the J u t l a n d Heath', i n which i t i s proposed t h a t the ni n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y l i t e r a r y p o r t r a y a l o f the then i n f e r -t i l e Danish heath as f o r m e r l y a f e r t i l e and p r o d u c t i v e area p l a y e d an important p a r t i n developing the s t a t e o f mind which l e d to 2 8 i t s t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y r e c l a m a t i o n . Returning t o the p a r t i c u l a r case o f I r e l a n d from t h i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f the i n t e r a c t i o n o f geography and l i t e r a t u r e i n g e n e r a l , i t i s e v i d e n t t h a t the i n c r e a s i n g d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n i n geography wi t h p o s i t i v i s t examinations of space, and the r e a l i s a -t i o n t h a t p l a c e must be i n v e s t i g a t e d at a l l l e v e l s of experience w i t h a f u l l r e c o g n i t i o n of the im a g i n a t i v e powers of the observers and a c t o r s i n the landscape, are developments e s p e c i a l l y h e l p f u l i n understanding the I r i s h involvement w i t h p l a c e , which i s o f t e n u n u s u a l l y symbolic and i n t e n s e : "The I r i s h " , as F o s t e r s t a t e s , 29 "are possessed w i t h place". Yet few I r i s h geographers have p a i d any a t t e n t i o n t o t h i s i m a g i n a t i v e aspect of the r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h 30 the l a n d . I f i t i s noted at a l l , i t i s accorded a t most a p a s s i n g r e f e r e n c e : T.W. Freeman, f o r example, i n h i s d e f i n i t i v e I r e l a n d : A General and Regional Geography, i n s t a n c e s "the aura of romance" Synge c a s t over the l i f e of the Aran I s l a n d s i n the 10 31 A t l a n t i c o f f the west coa s t of I r e l a n d ; or J.B. Whittow, i n h i s Geology and Scenery i n I r e l a n d , mentions the i n f l u e n c e of the landscape on Yeats and Synge, remarking how much Yeats l e f t h i s 32 i m p r i n t over the country around S l i g o . But these are b r i e f a l l u s i o n s , and do not pursue the r e l a t i o n s h i p f u r t h e r . In ex-p l o r i n g such concepts as The P e r s o n a l i t y of I r e l a n d i t i s probably E. E s t y n Evans, a man who i s a remarkable combination of geographer, f o l k - l o r i s t , and a r c h a e o l o g i s t , who i s c l o s e s t t o a view of man i n the landscape encompassing a l l aspects of h i s 33 h e r i t a g e and o f h i s f e e l f o r p l a c e . H is d e s c r i p t i o n , i n p a r t i c -u l a r , of the importance and s t r e n g t h o f f o l k b e l i e f s and super-s t i t i o n s about the environment which were widespread l e s s than a century ago, and s t i l l p e r s i s t , p o i n t s t o one reason why the I r i s h i n t e r a c t i o n with p l a c e i s o f t e n as m y s t i c a l as i t i s p r a c t i c a l , and i n d i c a t e s why the romanticism of the r e v i v a l 34 found I r e l a n d so a t t r a c t i v e . Evans' i n t e r e s t , however, i s more i n the manner t r a d i t i o n s and h e r i t a g e a f f e c t I r i s h l i f e on the land, and so f a r no f u l l i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f the I r i s h sense o f pl a c e i n the i m a g i n a t i v e way with which we are concerned has been achieved. Yet many of the more prominent f a c t o r s which imbue p l a c e w i t h meaning are e v i d e n t i n I r e l a n d : h i s t o r y , which l i v e s on i n 35 p l a c e , i s o f t e n very much a l i v e , so t h a t events o f g r e a t emotional s i g n i f i c a n c e are captured i n p l a c e ; p l a c e o f t e n has r e l i g i o u s or s u p e r n a t u r a l c o n n o t a t i o n s ; and I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e , as we w i l l examine here, i s f u l l of a sense of landscape and e n v i r o n -ment. A humanistic approach t o an e x p l o r a t i o n of the I r i s h l i t e r a r y sense of p l a c e , t h e r e f o r e , promises t o be f r u i t f u l . The 11 creative p o t e n t i a l of I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e i s also p a r t i c u l a r l y responsive to investigation: Sligo i s d i f f e r e n t i n our eyes after we read Yeats, and i n many ways the whole of Ireland i s d i f f e r e n t i n our eyes aft e r we read the works of the l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l . Perhaps a certa i n reluctance to discuss the role of l i t e r a t u r e i n shaping the imagination i s because i t i s often d i f f i c u l t to i s o l a t e i t s contribution among a l l the other influences which shape our attitudes and perceptions, but the comparative unity of purpose of the writers of the I r i s h r e v i v a l provided a reasonably concerted impact on I r i s h thinking. Not a l l the writers had the same v i s i o n of Ireland, but they had enough important features i n common — t h e i r romanticism (even though Synge was much more harshly visionary than, for example, A.E.), t h e i r sense of mythology, t h e i r emphasis on things I r i s h — to make a s i g n i f i c a n t contribution to I r i s h opinion. Their concentration on Ireland was e s p e c i a l l y important i n the circumstances of increasingly stronger feelings of I r i s h nationalism, which they themselves were helping to create: t h e i r writings found a p a r t i c u l a r l y receptive audience, at least u n t i l 3 6 the disputes over Synge's plays. This provided the opportunity for t h e i r influence to pass beyond the shaping of attitudes to play a part i n the realm of ideas which resulted i n I r i s h nation-a l i s t action, because the images and ideas of the writers of the r e v i v a l had an unusually potent outlet i n the romantic v i s i o n of some of the m i l i t a n t revolutionaries who staged the Easter Rising of 1916, es p e c i a l l y i n the i n s p i r a t i o n of i t s leader, Patrick Pearse, and of Thomas MacDonagh and Joseph Plunkett. Perhaps the role of r e v i v a l i n shaping the romantic c u l t u r a l imagination 12 which prompted the events of 1916 i s sometimes overlooked: the o n l y major acknowledgement i s W.I. Thompson's The Imagination of  an I n s u r r e c t i o n . But v a l u e s and a t t i t u d e s o r i g i n a t i n g w i t h the w r i t e r s can be c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e d i n the n a t i o n a l i s t i d e o l o g y which r e s u l t e d i n the R i s i n g , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the i m a g i n a t i o n of Pearse, However, although a sense of p l a c e i s very much presen t i n the l i t e r a t u r e and emerges as important to Pearse's v i s i o n , i t i s a theme which Thompson n e g l e c t s . Yet i t i s c l e a r t h a t an 41 attachment t o p l a c e i s very important t o a sense of n a t i o n a l i s m , and the experience of p l a c e expressed by the w r i t e r s appears as p a r t of the i d e o l o g y which motivated the i n s u r r e c t i o n . T h i s t h e s i s , t h e r e f o r e , seeks t o d i s c u s s both the r e f l e c -t i v e and the c r e a t i v e p o s s i b i l i t i e s of p l a c e i n l i t e r a t u r e , u s i n g as case study the I r i s h l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l and the i n f l u e n c e of the I r i s h r e v i v a l on the course of I r i s h n a t i o n a l i s m . Using a humanistic p e r s p e c t i v e t o concentrate more on the people them-s e l v e s and t h e i r images of p l a c e than on the landscape, i t seeks t o emphasise the importance of image, symbol, and a s s o c i a t i o n i n the experience of p l a c e , which i s f a c i l i t a t e d by the romantic i m a g i n a t i o n of the I r i s h r e v i v a l . As some of the geographers c i t e d above note, l i t e r a t u r e can e n l a r g e the experience of p l a c e and f o s t e r new a t t i t u d e s and v a l u e s . The p a r t i c u l a r c i r -cumstances of the I r i s h r e v i v a l allowed the I r i s h w r i t e r s an unusual degree of i n f l u e n c e , and, most i n t e r e s t i n g l y of a l l , the images and i d e a s of the w r i t e r s p l a y e d a p a r t i n shaping the events of I r i s h nationalism... T h i s t h e s i s hopes to demonstrate, perhaps t o a g r e a t e r extent than geographers so f a r have attempted, t h a t imagery can f i n d e x p r e s s i o n i n concrete a c t i o n . I t seeks to 13 e l u c i d a t e the imagery of p l a c e as an i n t e r e s t i n g t h r e a d i n the w h i r l of ideas which p r o v i d e d the t h r u s t to the events of the years p r e c e d i n g and l e a d i n g to I r i s h self-government. 14 FOOTNOTES 1 George Moore, H a i l and F a r e w e l l , ed. R i c h a r d Cave, (Toronto, Macmillan of Canada, 1976), p.208. 2 For a f u l l e r d i s c u s s i o n of the l i n k s between p l a c e and n a t i o n a l i s m p l e a s e see f o o t n o t e 38. 3 A. Norman J e f f a r e s , 'Place, Space and P e r s o n a l i t y and the I r i s h W r i t e r * i n P l a c e , P e r s o n a l i t y and the I r i s h W r i t e r , ed. Andrew Carpenter, (New York, Harper and Row, 19 77), p.11. 4 Ann Saddlemyer, 'Synge and the Doors of P e r c e p t i o n ' i n Carpenter, op. c i t . , pp.97-120. 5 Robert O ' D r i s c o l l , 'Return to the Hearthstone: I d e a l s of the C e l t i c R e v i v a l ' i n Carpenter, op. c i t . , pp.41-6 8. John Wilson F o s t e r , ' C e r t a i n Set Apart: The Western I s l a n d i n the I r i s h Renaissance 1 i n S t u d i e s , Winter 1977, pp.261-274. 7 W i l l i a m B u t l e r Yeats, U n c o l l e c t e d Prose, V o l . 2, c o l l e c t e d and e d i t e d by John P. Frayne and C o l t o n Johnson, (New York, Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1976), p.195. p F o s t e r , 'The Geography of I r i s h F i c t i o n ' i n The I r i s h  Novel i n our Time, ed. P a t r i c k R a f r o i d i and Maurice Harmon, ( P u b l i c a t i o n s de 1 ' u n i v e r s i t e * de L i l l e I I I , 1975-1976), p.90. q H.R. M i l l , Guide to Geographical Books and A p p l i a n c e s (London, 1910). T h i s unsigned p i e c e , 'Geography i n L i t e r a t u r e ' , i n G e o g r a p h i c a l Review, v o l . 14, 1924, pp.659-660, i s a t t r i b u t e d t o J.K. Wright i n Geographies of the Mind, ed. David Lowenthal and Martyn J . Bowden, (New York, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1976) p.229. Miss D. Wharton's Short L i s t of Novels and L i t e r a r y  Works of Geographic I n t e r e s t was e d i t e d f o r the Leeds Branch of the B r i t i s h G e o g r a p h i c a l A s s o c i a t i o n i n 1920. ^ H.C. Darby, 'The Regional Geography of Thomas Hardy's Wessex' i n Geographical Review, V o l . XXXVIII, 1948, pp.426-443. 12 Myongsup Shin, 'Geographical Knowledge i n Three South-western Novels' i n Environmental Knowing, ed. Gary T. Moore and Reginald G. Golledge, (Stoudsburg, Pa., Dowden, Hutchinson and Ross, 1976), pp.273-278. 15 13 W i l l i a m J . L l o y d , 'Landscape Imagery i n t h e Urban N o v e l : A Source o f Geographic E v i d e n c e 1 i n Moore and G o l l e d g e , op. c i t . , pp.279-285; o r 'A S o c i a l - l i t e r a r y Geography of L a t e - N i n e t e e n t h -C e n t u r y B o s t o n ' i n H u m a n i s t i c Geography and L i t e r a t u r e , ed. Douglas C D . Pocock, (London, Croom Helm, 1981) pp.159-172. 14 L . J . J a y , 'The B l a c k C o u n t r y of F r a n c i s B r e t t Young 1 i n T r a n s a c t i o n s o f t h e I n s t i t u t e o f B r i t i s h Geographers, v o l . 66, 1975, pp.57-72. 15 Y i - F u Tuan, ' L i t e r a t u r e , E x p e r i e n c e , and E n v i r o n m e n t a l Knowing 1 i n Moore and G o l l e d g e , op. c i t . , p.261. 16 See, f o r example, d i s c u s s i o n i n C h r i s t o p h e r L. S a l t e r and W i l l i a m J . L l o y d , 'Landscape i n L i t e r a t u r e 1 , Resource Papers f o r  C o l l e g e Geography. ( A s s o c i a t i o n o f American Geographers, Washing-t o n , D.C. no. 76-3, 1977) pp.3-6; o r Tuan, ' L i t e r a t u r e ' . Tuan a l s o d i s c u s s e s t h e problem i n ' L i t e r a t u r e and Geography: I m p l i c a -t i o n s f o r G e o g r a p h i c a l Research' i n H u m a n i s t i c Geography: P r o s p e c t s  and Problems ed. D a v i d Ley and Marwyn S. Samuels ( C h i c a g o , Maaroufa P r e s s , 1978), pp.199-200. 17 Howard F. Andrews, ' N i n e t e e n t h - C e n t u r y S t . P e t e r s b u r g : W o r k p o i n t s f o r an E x p l o r a t i o n o f Image and P l a c e 1 i n Pocock, H u m a n i s t i c Geography p.180. 18 I a n G. Cook, 'Consciousness and t h e N o v e l : F a c t o r F i c t i o n i n t h e Works o f D.H. Lawrence 1 i n Pocock, H u m a n i s t i c Geography, p. 80 . 19 See, f o r example, Pocock, H u m a n i s t i c Geography, pp.16, 122 and 179. A number o f r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e r e v i v a l o c c u r i n U l y s s e s , e s p e c i a l l y i n t h e S c y l l a and C h a r y b d i s e p i s o d e , pp.184-218 i n t h e V i n t a g e Books e d i t i o n , (New York, 1961). 20 Tuan, ' L i t e r a t u r e ' . 21 C a t h e r i n e A. M i d d l e t o n , 'Roots and R o o t l e s s n e s s : An E x p l o r a t i o n o f t h e Concept i n t h e L i f e and N o v e l s o f George E l i o t 1 i n Pocock, H u m a n i s t i c Geography, pp.101-120. 22 Tuan, 'Humanistic Geography' i n A n n a l s o f t h e A s s o c i a t i o n  o f American Geographers, V o l . 66, 1976, p.266. 23 Gunnar O l s s o n , 'On Y e a r n i n g f o r Home: An E p i s t e m o l o g i c a l View o f O n t o l o g i c a l T r a n s f o r m a t i o n s ' i n Pocock, H u m a n i s t i c Geog-raphy , pp.121-129. 16 24 Percy Bysshe S h e l l e y , quoted i n W.I. Thompson, The Imagina-t i o n of an I n s u r r e c t i o n : D u b l i n , E a s t e r 1916 (New York, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1967) p.113: "Poets are the unacknowledged l e g i s l a t o r s of the world." D i s r a e l i , quoted i n Pocock, 'The N o v e l i s t ' s Image of the North' i n T r a n s a c t i o n s of the I n s t i t u t e  of B r i t i s h Geographers New S e r i e s , V o l . 4, 1979, p.63, wrote a t r i o l o g y of p o l i t i c a l n ovels because he c o n s i d e r e d t h a t f i c t i o n " o f f e r e d the b e s t chance of i n f l u e n c i n g o p i n i o n . " Aldous Huxley made a comment p a r t i c u l a r l y p e r t i n e n t t o t h i s t h e s i s i n Texts and  P r e t e x t s , (New York, Harper, 1933), p.51, where he wrote t h a t "nations are to a l a r g e extent i n v e n t e d by t h e i r poets and n o v e l i s t s . " 2 5 Tuan, ' L i t e r a t u r e 1 p.260. 2 6 Jane Z a r i n g , 'The Romantic Face of Wales' i n Annals of  the A s s o c i a t i o n of American Geographers, v o l . 67, 1977, pp.397-418. 27 P e t e r T. Newby, ' L i t e r a t u r e and the F a s h i o n i n g o f T o u r i s t T a s t e ' i n Pocock, Humanistic Geography, pp.130-141. 2 8 Kenneth Robert Olwig, ' L i t e r a t u r e and " R e a l i t y " : The Tr a n s f o r m a t i o n of the J u t l a n d Heath' i n Pocock, Humanistic  Geography, pp.47-65. 2 9 F o s t e r , 'The Geography', p.89. 30 A s t r o n g t r a d i t i o n i n both human and p h y s i c a l geography i s apparent i n I r i s h u n i v e r s i t i e s and s c h o o l s . I r i s h human geography i s , however, l a r g e l y concerned w i t h the m a t e r i a l l a n d -scape. The j o u r n a l , I r i s h Geography, p r o v i d e s the main forum f o r the interchange of i d e a s . 31 T.W. Freeman, I r e l a n d : A General and Regional Geography (London, Methuen, 1950), p.424. 32 J.B. Whittow, Geology and Scenery i n I r e l a n d , (Harmonds-worth, Penguin, 1974) pp.145 and 154. 33 E. E s t y n Evans, The P e r s o n a l i t y of I r e l a n d ; h a b i t a t ,  h e r i t a g e and h i s t o r y (Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1973); I r i s h  H e r i t a g e ; the landscape, the people and t h e i r work, (Dundalk, I r e l a n d , Dundalgan P r e s s , 1942); I r i s h F o l k Ways, (London, Routledge and Kegan Pa u l , 195 7). 34 Evans, 'Peasant B e l i e f s i n Nineteenth-Century I r e l a n d ' i n Views of the I r i s h Peasantry 1800-1916, ed. D a n i e l J . Casey and Robert E. Rhodes, (Hamden, Conn., Archon Books, 1977), pp.37-56. 17 35 See e s p e c i a l l y David Lowenthal, 'Past Time, Present P l a c e : Landscape and Memory* i n G e o g r a p h i c a l Review, V o l . LXV, 19 75, pp.1-36. These d i s p u t e s , over In The Shadow of the Glen i n 190 3 and the Playboy of the Western World i n 190 7, are d e a l t w i t h more f u l l y i n Chapter 4. The arguments i n 190 3 were v e r b a l , but a t the f i r s t performances of The Playboy, r i o t s took p l a c e w i t h i n the t h e a t r e and i n the s t r e e t s o u t s i d e . For a d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n see Robert Hogan and James K i l r o y , The Abbey Theatre: The Years  of Synge 1905-1909, (Dublin, Dolmen, 1978), which a l s o i n c l u d e s an account of the d i f f e r e n c e s over The Shadow. J l Thompson, op. c i t . Other commentators who t r a c e the i n f l u e n c e of the w r i t e r s on I r i s h n a t i o n a l i s m are much l e s s s a t i s f a c t o r y . P e t e r C o s t e l l o , i n The Heart Grown B r u t a l , (Dublin, G i l l and Macmillan, 1977), t r a c e s the e f f e c t the w r i t e r s had on n a t i o n a l i s t f e e l i n g i n h i s I n t r o d u c t i o n (pp.1-8), but i n the book as a whole he i s more concerned w i t h the r e v e r s e i n f l u e n c e , t h a t of n a t i o n a l i s m on the works of the w r i t e r s . G.J. Watson i n I r i s h I d e n t i t y and the L i t e r a r y R e v i v a l , (London, Croom Helm, 1979) seems to be p r o p osing the w r i t e r s ' i n f l u e n c e as an impor-t a n t f o r c e a t many p o i n t s i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n , but r e f u s e s t o pursue h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n t o i t s l o g i c a l c o n c l u s i o n at the c r i t i c a l j u n c t u r e (see p.88). C o s t e l l o i s u s e f u l i n an e x p l o r a -t i o n of I r i s h n a t i o n a l i s m i n r e v i v a l l i t e r a t u r e , as are a l s o Malcolm Brown, The P o l i t i c s of I r i s h L i t e r a t u r e , ( S e a t t l e , U n i v e r s i t y of Washington Pr e s s , 1972), Robert O ' D r i s c o l l , ed., Theatre and N a t i o n a l i s m i n Twentieth Century I r e l a n d , ( U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto P r e s s , 1971), and e s p e c i a l l y , R i c h a r d J . L o f t u s , N a t i o n a l i s m i n Modern A n g l o - I r i s h Poetry, (Madison and Milwaukee, U n i v e r s i t y of Wisconsin P r e s s , 1964). 3 8 In d i s c u s s i n g n a t i o n a l i s m , Hans Kohn i n The Idea of  N a t i o n a l i s m (New York, C o l l i e r , 1944), notes the tendency i n man "to l o v e h i s b i r t h p l a c e or the p l a c e of h i s c h i l d h o o d s o j o u r n , i t s surroundings, i t s c l i m a t e , the contours of h i l l s and v a l l e y s , of r i v e r s and t r e e s , " and sees t h i s as important i n d e v e l o p i n g the more a b s t r a c t attachment to p l a c e i n the sense of the t e r r i t o r y of the s t a t e or proposed s t a t e (pp.4-5). Tuan i n 'Humanistic Geography', as elsewhere, s t r e s s e s t h a t "a l a r g e r e g i o n much as the n a t i o n - s t a t e i s beyond most people's d i r e c t e x p e r i e n c e . " But he a l s o adds, i m p o r t a n t l y f o r t h i s t h e s i s , t h a t " i t can be transformed i n t o p l a c e — a focus of p a s s i o n a t e l o y a l t y — through the symbolic means of a r t , educa-t i o n , and p o l i t i c s . " (p.269). I r e l a n d , however, i s not a l a r g e r e g i o n , and an important p o i n t i n t h i s t h e s i s i s t h a t the w r i t e r s of the r e v i v a l succeeded i n c r e a t i n g an i d e a l i s e d I r i s h landscape, r e l y i n g f o r i t s f e a t u r e s h e a v i l y on the remoter mountain and c o a s t a l areas of the country, t o which n a t i o n a l i s t s became s t r o n g l y a t t a c h e d . Tuan, i n T o p o p h i l i a , (Englewood C l i f f s , N.J., P r e n t i c e - H a l l , 1974), makes the comment t h a t "people can more r e a d i l y i d e n t i f y w i t h an area i f i t happens to be a n a t u r a l u n i t . " (p.101). As an i s l a n d , I r e l a n d i s o f t e n 18 p e r c e i v e d as such a u n i t , which i s one reason f o r the n a t i o n a l -i s t d e s i r e t o r e - w r i t e the country p o l i t i c a l l y a f t e r i t s d i v i s i o n . Most geographers seem to regard the i s l a n d as a u n i t , s i n c e they c o n s i d e r the whole i s l a n d i f they s p e c i f y ' I r e l a n d ' as t h e i r concern (e.g. Freeman and Whittow), but an important d i s s e n t i n g v o i c e i s M.W. H e s l i n g a , The I r i s h Border as a C u l t u r a l D i v i d e , (Assen, Van Gorcum, 1971). 19 CHAPTER 2 BACKGROUNDS IRISH HISTORY I r i s h h i s t o r y and I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e i n the f o r t y years p r i o r t o I r i s h independence i n 1922 are each s u b s t a n t i a l l y i n f l u e n c e d by the other. I t was a d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t w i t h the b i c k e r i n g of p a r t y p o l i t i c i a n s i n the e a r l y e i g h t e e n - n i n e t i e s which allowed the f l e d g l i n g l i t e r a r y movement some b r e a t h i n g -space i n which t o expand. W r i t e r s , as w e l l as c a r e e r p o l i t i c i -ans, took i t upon themselves t o express p o l i t i c a l o p i n i o n s , and found p u b l i s h i n g space i n j o u r n a l s a l o n g s i d e p o l i t i c a l , economic and s o c i a l commentaries. Contemporary events a l s o p r o v i d e d important themes f o r the r e v i v a l w r i t e r s , e s p e c i a l l y , f o r example, i n Yeats' p o e t r y from The Green Helmet c o l l e c t i o n onwards; and some w r i t e r s , l i k e A.E. i n the a g r i c u l t u r a l c o - o p e r a t i v e movement, found themselves i n v o l v e d i n important contemporary p r o j e c t s . A l l t h i s makes a sense of I r i s h h i s t o r y important i n r e a d i n g the r e v i v a l l i t e r a t u r e . But i t i s a l s o p a r t i c u l a r l y important t o pl a c e the r e v i v a l i n i t s h i s t o r i c a l context because of whatever i n f l u e n c e i t had on m i l i t a n t n a t i o n a l i s t i d e o l o g y and, t h e r e -f o r e , on the development o f the course o f events. A b r i e f h i s t o r i c a l o u t l i n e i s necessary t o help understand the w r i t i n g of the r e v i v a l , and t o understand i t s p o s s i b l e impact. Much of I r e l a n d ' s h i s t o r y , e s p e c i a l l y t h a t which i s of rel e v a n c e t o the years b e f o r e I r i s h independence, i s the h i s t o r y of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between I r e l a n d and B r i t a i n . There has been an E n g l i s h presence i n I r e l a n d ever s i n c e the Anglo-Norman 20 i n v a s i o n of 1169, although i t was not u n t i l the Tudors t h a t the p a t t e r n s which have had an e f f e c t on modern h i s t o r y began t o be e s t a b l i s h e d , because f o r almost f o u r c e n t u r i e s e f f e c t i v e E n g l i s h c o n t r o l remained l i m i t e d t o a f l u c t u a t i n g but small area around D u b l i n , most of the country s t a y i n g under the c o n t r o l of the o l d G a e l i c c h i e f t a i n s w h i l e the Anglo-Norman barons themselves p a i d l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n t o t h e i r f e u d a l masters i n London. Henry V I I I of England, however, began t o p o i n t E n g l i s h p o l i c y i n a d i f f e r ^ -ent d i r e c t i o n i n 1536 by abandoning the pr e v i o u s t i t l e of Lord of I r e l a n d , assuming i n s t e a d the t i t l e of King; and h i s daughter, E l i z a b e t h I, pursued the i m p l i c a t i o n s of the change of nomencla-t u r e i n a s u c c e s s f u l campaign i n the l a s t q u a r t e r of the s i x t e e n t h century t o subdue r e b e l l i o u s G a e l i c c h i e f t a i n s . Her success r e s u l t e d i n the A n g l o - S c o t t i s h p l a n t a t i o n of U l s t e r -- an i n f l u x of s e t t l e r s who are the anc e s t o r s of many of the U l s t e r P r o t e s -t a n t s of today — i n the f i r s t decade of the seventeenth century. With n a t i v e r e s i s t a n c e d i s o r g a n i s e d and l e a d e r l e s s , the Crom-w e l l i a n campaign some f o r t y years l a t e r r a d i c a l l y a l t e r e d ownership of l a n d , most o f the b e s t a g r i c u l t u r a l areas coming under E n g l i s h control."'' The l a s t I r i s h - b a s e d episodes of the James I I / W i l l i a m of Orange s t r u g g l e f o r the B r i t i s h throne r e s u l t e d i n the l a s t demonstrations of C a t h o l i c Old I r i s h r e s i s -tance, and the de f e a t of James ushered i n a powerful and comprehensive E n g l i s h and P r o t e s t a n t dominance. A s e r i e s of harsh d i s c r i m i n a t o r y laws, the Penal Laws, marked the ei g h t e e n t h century, p r o v i d i n g a s o l i d base f o r E n g l i s h power by e n t r e n c h i n g the p o s i t i o n of the A n g l i c a n Church. Roman C a t h o l i c s and other ' D i s s e n t e r s ' ( i n e f f e c t the n a t i v e I r i s h and the poorer s e t t l e r s of S c o t t i s h o r i g i n ) were f r u s t r a t e d i n t h e i r attempts t o worship, t o h o l d l a n d or wealth, to be educated, to vote or t o become Members of Pa r l i a m e n t . The r e s u l t was t h a t I r i s h s o c i e t y l o s t i t s n a t i v e educated c l a s s e s , being reduced t o a l a r g e l y i l l i t e r -ate peasantry f o r the most p a r t subdued by the E n g l i s h ascendancy. Only towards the end of the e i g h t e e n t h century were these r e p r e s -s i v e c o n d i t i o n s improved. I t was o n l y then t h a t o p p o s i t i o n to E n g l i s h r u l e , c l a n n i s h and l a c k i n g i n cohesion u n t i l i t s almost complete sup p r e s s i o n e a r l i e r at the J a c o b i t e b a t t l e s of the Boyne and of Aughrim i n 1690, s u r f a c e d again, t h i s time i n the form of a modern n a t i o n a l i s m . T h i s resurgent n a t i o n a l i s m expressed i t s e l f i n two forms which have a l t e r n a t e d i n importance i n I r e l a n d ever s i n c e : c o n s t i t u t i o n a l n a t i o n a l i s m working through the p a r l i a m e n t a r y system; and m i l i t a n t n a t i o n a l i s m advocating the use of f o r c e . Armed r e v o l t s were staged i n 179 8, 180 3, 1848 and 1867 (with o t h e r i n c i d e n t s i n 1849 and 1882) and, though they were a l l m i l i t a r y f a i l u r e s , they p r o v i d e d a c o n t i n u i t y of armed r e s i s -tance and a supply of martyrs who were important to the t r a d i t i o n of the m i l i t a n t n a t i o n a l i s t cause. However, f o r the l a s t t h i r t y years of the n i n e t e e n t h century and up u n t i l the F i r s t World War, i t was not m i l i t a n t n a t i o n a l i s m , but i n s t e a d the I r i s h Home Rule p a r t y , working through Westminster, which c a r r i e d I r i s h n a t i o n a l i s t hope. I t s l e a d e r , C h a r l e s Stewart P a r n e l l , combined impetus from a g r a r i a n d i s p u t e s over la n d tenure w i t h shrewd m a n i p u l a t i o n of the balance of power between the two main B r i t i s h p a r l i a m e n t a r y a l l i a n c e s , t o b u i l d a w e l l - o r g a n i s e d and powerful base i n the c o n s t i t u e n c i e s , and an important degree of i n f l u e n c e 22 i n the House of Commons. He a l s o succeeded i n c o n v e r t i n g Glad-stone t o the cause o f I r i s h Home Rule, r e s u l t i n g i n two Home Rule b i l l s b eing put to Parliament, the f i r s t r e j e c t e d by the Commons i n 18 86, the second passed by the Commons but r e j e c t e d by the Lords i n 1893. Although P a r n e l l d i e d amidst the scandal of a d i v o r c e case i n 1891, aged o n l y f o r t y - f i v e and l e a v i n g the p a r t y i n d i s a r r a y through much of the e i g h t e e n - n i n e t i e s , the Home Rule p a r l i a m e n t a r i a n s regrouped under John Redmond i n 1900, e v e n t u a l l y succeeding i n p u t t i n g a t h i r d Home Rule B i l l through the Commons i n 1912. T h i s b i l l , the powers of the Lords having been reduced i n the i n t e r i m t o d e l a y o f two y e a r s , was scheduled to become e f f e c t i v e as the Government of I r e l a n d A c t i n 1914. However, much t o the dismay of the Home R u l e r s , two f a c t o r s com-bi n e d t o d i s r u p t i t s implementation: the o p p o s i t i o n of I r i s h U n i o n i s t s c o n c e n t r a t e d i n the n o r t h - e a s t e r n c o u n t i e s o f I r e l a n d moved t o the b r i n k o f armed r e s i s t a n c e ; and the World War broke out at the beginning of August. Though the Act was p l a c e d on the statute-book i n September 1914, the r e were two important p r o v i s o s : i t s o p e r a t i o n was to be suspended u n t i l the end of the War; and U l s t e r was to be the s u b j e c t o f amending l e g i s l a t i o n . To r e t u r n b r i e f l y , however, t o the demise of P a r n e l l and the d i s r u p t i o n i n the Home Rule p a r t y through the e i g h t e e n -n i n e t i e s i s u s e f u l , because i t has a b e a r i n g on the next develop-ments i n pro g r e s s towards I r i s h independence: the R i s i n g of E a s t e r 1916. Although the Home Rule p a r t y was the predominant f o r c e i n I r i s h n a t i o n a l i s m f o r the f o r t y or more years p r i o r t o 1914, i t r e c e i v e d a c o n s i d e r a b l e setback w i t h the f a l l o f P a r n e l l , and the b i t t e r i n - f i g h t i n g between p a r t y members afterwards 23 s e v e r e l y dented the f a i t h of many I r i s h n a t i o n a l i s t s i n the c o n s t i t u t i o n a l p o l i t i c i a n s . In a d d i t i o n , even though the p a r t y r e - e s t a b l i s h e d i t s e l f as a more coherent f o r c e i n 1900 and r e -mained v i r t u a l l y unchallenged as the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e body of p o l i t i c a l n a t i o n a l i s m u n t i l the War, i t s l e a d e r , Redmond, l a c k e d the charisma of P a r n e l l , and the p a r t y had a r a t h e r more pedes-t r i a n image than had been t r u e i n the s p e c t a c u l a r and r o u s i n g days of the e i g h t e e n - e i g h t i e s . As a r e s u l t of P a r n e l l ' s tragedy and the f e u d i n g which f o l l o w e d , many people were l e f t d i s i l l u -s i o n e d w i t h p o l i t i c s , and i t appears t h a t the young e s p e c i a l l y 3 began to seek other o u t l e t s f o r t h e i r n a t i o n a l i s t a s p i r a t i o n s . Hence, d u r i n g the e i g h t e e n - n i n e t i e s a c u l t u r a l sense of n a t i o n a l -ism had the o p p o r t u n i t y to f l o u r i s h i n a way not perhaps p o s s i b l e b e f o r e , s t a r t i n g from a modest base of c u l t u r a l i n t e r e s t t h a t had been e v i d e n t only i n t e r m i t t e n t l y s i n c e the e i g h t e e n - f o r t i e s and the movement known as Young I r e l a n d . Whereas c o n s t i t u t i o n a l n a t i o n a l i s m drew i t s support mostly from pragmatic d i s s a t i s -f a c t i o n w i t h B r i t i s h r u l e , e s p e c i a l l y over the economic q u e s t i o n of l a n d tenure, and embodied a l l the d i s l i k e of the B r i t i s h accumulated through years of r e l i g i o u s , s o c i a l , e d u c a t i o n a l , and p o l i t i c a l d i s p u t e s , c u l t u r a l n a t i o n a l i s m sought t o be more p o s i t i v e : i t looked to d e f i n e an I r e l a n d which would be d i s -t i n c t l y I r i s h r a t h e r than b e i n g merely not B r i t i s h . I t s m a n i f e s t a t i o n s i n c l u d e d the e f f o r t s t o r e v i v e the G a e l i c language and c u l t u r e by the G a e l i c League founded i n 1893, the resurgence of G a e l i c games f o s t e r e d by the G a e l i c A t h l e t i c A s s o c i a t i o n (G.A.A.) founded i n 1884, and the attempt — of p a r t i c u l a r importance here -- t o c r e a t e a t r u l y I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e 24 marked by the founding of the I r i s h L i t e r a r y Society i n London i n 1891, the National L i t e r a r y Society i n Dublin i n 1892, and the I r i s h L i t e r a r y Theatre (later the Abbey Theatre) i n Dublin i n 1899. The importance of t h i s c u l t u r a l nationalism i s that i t emerged as an important ingredient i n the m i l i t a n t national-ism which broke the l u l l i n parliamentary n a t i o n a l i s t a c t i v i t y evident since the middle or late middle of 1914. I r i s h m i l i t a n t nationalism, ever since the republicanism of Wolfe Tone in the seventeen-nineties, has always had a strong i d e a l i s t i c content — much more so than c o n s t i t u t i o n a l nationalism. The m i l i t a n t s of 1916 were no exception: t h e i r ideology emphasised the same ideas of c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y which the c u l t u r a l a c t i v i s t s of the eighteen-nineties were proposing or developing. This emphasis on c u l t u r a l idealism i s important i n that i t makes the m i l i t a n t nationalism of 1916 q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t from c o n s t i t u t i o n a l nationalism i n i t s motives. Expression of d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the pragmatic aspects of B r i t i s h r u le, as already mentioned, largely had been i n the c o n s t i t u t i o n a l mode. F u l l Catholic emancipation a f t e r the eighteenth-century Penal Laws had been achieved i n 1829 by the e l e c t i o n of Daniel O'Connell to West-minster, and O'Connell's popular brand of nationalism always remained eminently p r a c t i c a l , even to the extent of discourag-ing the I r i s h language i n favour of the English of commerce. At the end of the eighteen-seventies, Parnell's championing of the rights of tenant farmers had aided him substantially i n his successful attempts to weld the Home Rule party into a united and powerful force: i n association with the Land League, the p a r t y came t o embody the hopes of those people i n r u r a l areas who saw c o n t r o l of t h e i r own l a n d as the only escape from the misery o f po v e r t y , e v i c t i o n , and famine which had c h a r a c t e r i s e d so much of I r e l a n d d u r i n g the n i n e t e e n t h century. But land r e -form and a g r i c u l t u r a l and marine improvement schemes i n the f i r s t decade o f the t w e n t i e t h century — the p o l i c y o f " k i l l i n g Home Rule by kindness" — robbed the Home Rule p a r t y of some of i t s impetus; and these developments, i n a d d i t i o n t o perhaps somewhat unimaginative p a r t y l e a d e r s h i p , allowed an important degree o f n a t i o n a l i s t i n i t i a t i v e t o s h i f t from those p r e - o c c u p i e d with m a t e r i a l d i s c o n t e n t t o those p r e - o c c u p i e d with the more nebulous i d e a s of c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y . T h i s c u l t u r a l n a t i o n a l i s m found an o u t l e t i n the m i l i t a n t n a t i o n a l i s m o f 1916, and although an o l d e r sense o f n a t i o n a l i s m born out of a very r e a l sense of m a t e r i a l h a r d s h i p i s c e r t a i n l y an i n g r e d i e n t i n 1916 (perhaps e s p e c i a l l y 4 i n the case of men l i k e Thomas C l a r k e ) i t i s t o a l a r g e e x t e n t the i n s u r r e c t i o n i s t s ' s t r e s s of c u l t u r a l matters which, apa r t from t h e i r m i l i t a n c y , separates t h e i r n a t i o n a l i s m from t h a t of the c o n s t i t u t i o n a l i s t s . The c u l t u r a l n a t i o n a l i s t v i s i o n i n t e r a c t e d w i t h a number of o t h e r f e a t u r e s of the gene r a l s i t u a t i o n at the time to move the i n s u r r e c t i o n i s t s on t h e i r m i l i t a n t path. A sense of f r u s t r a -t i o n had been b u i l d i n g up i n n a t i o n a l i s t c i r c l e s because Home Rule had so n e a r l y been achieved, o n l y f o r i t s implementation to be postponed because o f the War. T h i s a l s o l e f t the a l r e a d y sometimes u n i n s p i r e d Home Rule p a r t y without a programme -- i t s o b e j c t i v e s achieved but delayed -- and t h e r e f o r e i n a weaker p o s i t i o n t o remain as the focus of the s t i l l u n s a t i s f i e d 2 6 n a t i o n a l i s t cause. The added time t o r e f l e c t s i n c e the A c t ' s postponement had made i t i n c r e a s i n g l y c l e a r t h a t the r e l u c t a n c e of the U l s t e r U n i o n i s t s t o accept government from D u b l i n — the s u b j e c t of the second p r o v i s o — would prove an extremely l a r g e h u r d l e t o surmount when the proposed implementation was attempted; and the U l s t e r r e l u c t a n c e which had expressed i t s e l f i n the gun-running o p e r a t i o n s of the U l s t e r V o l u n t e e r s , f o l l o w e d by the ( r a t h e r l e s s s u c c e s s f u l ) e f f o r t s of the I r i s h V o l u n t e e r s i n the south, i n d i c a t e d i n any case a new and unhealthy w i l l i n g -ness t o t a c k l e d i f f e r e n c e s with f o r c e r a t h e r than debate. Meanwhile, i n D u b l i n i t s e l f , a deep r e s i d u e o f b i t t e r n e s s among the working c l a s s a f t e r the f a i l u r e of a six-month g e n e r a l s t r i k e i n 1913-14 had l e d t o the formation of a smal l but determined group c a l l i n g i t s e l f the I r i s h C i t i z e n Army, which agreed at the p r o s p e c t of m i l i t a r y a c t i o n t o j o i n w i t h the l a r g e r n a t i o n -a l i s t f o r c e s . And the m i l i t a r y arguments f o r r e b e l l i o n gained much weight from the involvement of the B r i t i s h Army on the European mainland: an o l d I r i s h r e v o l u t i o n a r y proverb c o u n s e l l e d t h a t England's t r o u b l e was I r e l a n d ' s o p p o r t u n i t y . But the c u l t u r a l n a t i o n a l i s t v i s i o n , along w i t h the economic and s o c i a l 7 I r i s h - I r e l a n d ideas of Sinn F e i n , p r o v i d e d a c e n t r a l p l a t f o r m f o r the a c t i o n s of 1916: the v i s i o n was an e s s e n t i a l i n c e n t i v e . P a r t of t h a t v i s i o n , as we w i l l d i s c o v e r , c o n t a i n e d romantic i d e a l s , a sense of m y t h o l o g i c a l h e r i t a g e , and a l o v e of I r i s h p l a c e owing much t o the I r i s h l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l . The E a s t e r I n s u r r e c t i o n o c c u r r e d on E a s t e r Monday, A p r i l 24th 1916, and l a s t e d u n t i l the f o l l o w i n g Saturday. A f o r c e of n a t i o n a l i s t s , e s s e n t i a l l y from the s e c r e t o r g a n i s a t i o n 2 7 of the I r i s h Republican Brotherhood, combined w i t h about t h r e e hundred s o c i a l i s t s from the C i t i z e n Army t o form a makeshift army of somewhat over one thousand which s e i z e d a number of s t r a t e g i c p o i n t s throughout the c i t y of D u b l i n , and one or two i s o l a t e d p o i n t s i n the p r o v i n c e s . An independent R e p u b l i c of I r e l a n d was proclai m e d from the headquarters i n the D u b l i n General Post O f f i c e , an imposing b u i l d i n g chosen f o r i t s impre-s i v e s t a t u r e i n an exposed p o s i t i o n along Dublin's widest t h o r o u g h f a r e , O'Connell S t r e e t . Although c o n s i d e r a b l e d i s -o r g a n i s a t i o n marked the f i n a l hours b e f o r e the r e b e l a c t i o n (a German arms shipment was captured, and n a t i o n a l i s t f o r c e s i n r u r a l areas and p r o v i n c i a l towns f a i l e d t o t u r n out amidst a co n f u s i o n of commands and counter-commands from a d i v i d e d l e a d e r s h i p ) , the a c t u a l event caught the B r i t i s h a u t h o r i t i e s e n t i r e l y by s u r p r i s e . The r e s u l t was t h a t i t took the B r i t i s h Army an unexpectedly long time, i n v o l v i n g a dramatic amount of urban d e s t r u c t i o n , t o d e f e a t an i l l - e q u i p p e d assortment of amateur s o l d i e r s of a l l ages and shades of f i t n e s s . D u b l i n e r s ' i n i t i a l r e a c t i o n t o the d e m o l i t i o n of p o r t i o n s of t h e i r n a t i v e c i t y was mixed, i n many i n s t a n c e s even h o s t i l e t o the r e b e l s , but the i m p o s i t i o n of m a r t i a l law and the executions over the f o l l o w i n g weeks of f i f t e e n of the l e a d e r s a l i g n e d many people's o p i n i o n s a g a i n s t the a u t h o r i t i e s ; and the impact of the event, f o r c e f u l i n I r i s h i f perhaps not European terms, began a l s o t o be f e l t i n the r e s t o f the country. Two years l a t e r , i n the General E l e c t i o n of December 1918, the o l d Home Rule p a r t y was whitewashed at the p o l l s by the more extreme Sinn F e i n p a r t y : b e f o r e the e l e c t i o n the Home Rulers 28 ( i n c l u d i n g pro-Home Rule independents) h e l d 78 s e a t s , while the U n i o n i s t s h e l d 18 and Sinn F e i n h e l d 7; but a f t e r the e l e c t i o n S i n n F e i n h e l d 73 s e a t s , w h i l e the U n i o n i s t s h e l d 26 and the g p r e v i o u s l y dominant Home Ru l e r s h e l d o n l y 6. The r e s u l t was p a r t l y due t o d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h the p a r t y f o r f a i l i n g t o be vehemently enough opposed t o b e l a t e d attempts to i n t r o d u c e c o n s c r i p t i o n i n I r e l a n d i n the s p r i n g of 1918 (never a c t u a l l y implemented), p a r t l y due to the p a r t y ' s l o s s of d i r e c t i o n a f t e r the 1914 Government of I r e l a n d A c t , but a l s o owing much to r e a c t i o n a g a i n s t B r i t i s h heavy-handedness i n responding t o the R i s i n g and the p e r c e p t i o n of Sinn F e i n as the guardians of the 9 a s p i r a t i o n s of the E a s t e r m i l i t a n t s . Sinn F e i n promptly f o l l o w e d i t s v i c t o r y w i t h i t s d e c l a r e d p o l i c y of withdrawing from Westminster, and u n i l a t e r a l l y s e t up i t s own assembly i n D u b l i n i n e a r l y 1919, r e a s s e r t i n g the D e c l a r a t i o n of Independence made i n 1916. By the summer g u e r r i l l a warfare had broken out between the n a t i o n a l i s t s and the B r i t i s h f o r c e s , c o n t i n u i n g u n t i l the A n g l o - I r i s h T r e a t y of December 1921 brought the I r i s h Free S t a t e i n t o e x i s t e n c e , l e a v i n g the new e n t i t y of Northern I r e l a n d (the s i x n o r t h - e a s t e r n c o u n t i e s of the t h i r t y -two county i s l a n d ) s t i l l w i t h i n the U n i t e d Kingdom i n an attempt t o s o l v e the p e r e n n i a l d i s p u t e between the U n i o n i s t s and the n a t i o n a l i s t s by accommodating the wishes of the U n i o n i s t s where they were most populous. The only change i n the s t a t u s of the t e r r i t o r i e s i n I r e l a n d s i n c e 1921 i s t h a t i n 1949 the I r i s h Free S t a t e f u r t h e r cut i t s l i n k s with B r i t a i n by l e a v i n g the B r i t i s h Commonwealth t o become the R e p u b l i c of I r e l a n d . 29 THE LITERARY MOVEMENT As we have mentioned, the ideas of the l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l made a c o n t r i b u t i o n to the i d e o l o g y of the m i l i t a n t s of 1916, and t h e r e f o r e had a p a r t to p l a y i n prompting the c h a i n of events which e v e n t u a l l y l e d to the c r e a t i o n of the I r i s h Free S t a t e . The r e v i v a l i t s e l f had i t s o r i g i n s i n s e v e r a l events d u r i n g the e i g h t e e n - e i g h t i e s and e i g h t e e n - n i n e t i e s , a major i n d i c a t i o n of the p o s s i b l e shape and d i r e c t i o n of the new move-ment coming wi t h the p u b l i c a t i o n i n 18 7 8 and 1880 of S t a n d i s h James 0'Grady's two-volume H i s t o r y of I r e l a n d . ^ The t i t l e of t h i s book i s a c t u a l l y r a t h e r m i s l e a d i n g , f o r i t i s not an academic h i s t o r y i n any sense, but i n s t e a d a h i g h l y i m a g i n a t i v e expan-s i o n of I r i s h legends which e a r l i e r , i n the middle of the n i n e t e e n t h century,had been t r a n s l a t e d f a i t h f u l l y , and conse-q u e n t l y somewhat d i s j o i n t e d l y , from o l d G a e l i c manuscripts. 0 1Grady f a s h i o n e d t h i s raw m a t e r i a l i n t o a c o l o u r f u l and coherent saga, and i t was the success of h i s expressed " d e s i r e t o make t h i s h e r o i c p e r i o d once again a p o r t i o n of the i m a g i n a t i o n of the country" 1-'" t h a t l a t e r prompted Yeats to comment t h a t the book d i d "more than anything e l s e t o c r e a t e t h a t p r e - o c c u p a t i o n w i t h I r i s h f o l k - l o r e and legend and e p i c which i s c a l l e d the 12 I r i s h l i t e r a r y movement." 0'Grady was not however emphasis-i n g these legends without precedent. Besides the t r a n s l a t i o n s he used, t h e r e had been s p o r a d i c i n t e r e s t i n the a n c i e n t G a e l i c e p i c s from the time of James MacPherson's Lays of Ossian, pub-l i s h e d i n 1763 and which, though o s t e n s i b l y S c o t t i s h , drew 13 h e a v i l y on I r i s h sources; and from the i n v e s t i g a t i o n s of S y l v e s t e r O'Halloran, the L i m e r i c k d o c t o r who r e a c t e d to the 30 O s s i a n i c c u l t by h e l p i n g to found the Royal I r i s h Academy i n 14 1785 to i n v e s t i g a t e a n c i e n t I r i s h c i v i l i s a t i o n s e r i o u s l y . Contemporary wi t h O 1Grady, t h e r e was the p o e t r y of S i r Samel Ferguson and the w r i t i n g s of P.W. Joyce, whose Old C e l t i c 15 Romances p u b l i s h e d i n 1879, though not i n as accomplished a s t y l e , very n e a r l y a n t i c i p a t e d the H i s t o r y . In a d d i t i o n to academic sources of the legends, f o l k - t a l e s s t i l l e x t a n t i n the c o u n t r y s i d e p r o v i d e d m a t e r i a l r anging from a l t e r n a t i v e v e r s i o n s of the legends t o f a i r y - t a l e s , the pioneer work of 16 Douglas Hyde i n c l u d i n g the b i - l i n g u a l Love-songs o f Connacht which Yeats h a i l e d as "the coming of a new power i n t o l i t e r a -17 t u r e " . In f a c t , 0'Grady's achievement i s perhaps most e v i d e n t i n r e t r o s p e c t , and although h i s s t y l i s h accounts of the legends were something of a f l a s h of l i g h t i n an I r e l a n d l a c k i n g know-ledge of i t s p a s t because o f an e d u c a t i o n a l system which emphasised t h i n g s E n g l i s h , one of h i s most important c o n t r i b u -t i o n s was t h a t . i t was he, and to a l e s s e r extent Ferguson, who convinced Yeats t h a t I r e l a n d was worthy of a t t e n t i o n and t h a t i t s mythology was a f e r t i l e source of symbols and images. For i t was Yeats, more than any other i n d i v i d u a l , who gave the new movement i t s shape. The f i r s t l a r g e expansion i n t h i s new l i t e r a r y a c t i v i t y took p l a c e i n the c o n f u s i o n and experimenta-t i o n f o l l o w i n g the death of P a r n e l l , and Yeats was i n s t r u m e n t a l i n founding the l i t e r a r y s o c i e t i e s , i n London i n 1918 and i n D u b l i n i n 1892, which p r o v i d e d bases f o r i n t e r e s t and d i s c u s s i o n . Through the e i g h t e e n - n i n e t i e s , Yeats continued t o be an o r g a n i s e r w i t h i n the movement and a l s o produced important m a t e r i a l ; but i n 1899 he, i n the company of Edward Martyn and 31 Lady Augusta Gregory, founded the I r i s h L i t e r a r y Theatre, which i n 1904 gained a permanent home t o become the Abbey Theatre, perhaps the s i n g l e most important and i n f l u e n t i a l i n s t i t u t i o n i n I r i s h w r i t i n g and i t s promulgation ever s i n c e . C e r t a i n l y d u r i n g the f i r s t decade of the century i t p r o v i d e d a focus f o r a f e r v o u r of c r e a t i v e w r i t i n g , l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , p e r i o d i c a l p r o d u c t i o n and t h e a t r e - g o i n g , remarkable by any standards, and p a r t i c u l a r l y i n a p r o v i n c i a l c i t y of b a r e l y over t h r e e hundred thousand people. I t p r o v i d e d a no t a b l e and o f t e n c o n t r o v e r s i a l o u t l e t f o r the ideas of a l i v e l y l i t e r a r y movement which had i t s own thoughts about I r e l a n d and was not shy of making them known. The L i t e r a r y Theatre and the Abbey Theatre succeeded s e v e r a l times i n c r e a t i n g q u i t e a s t i r i n n a t i o n a l i s t c i r c l e s , both by example and by r e a c t i o n . But another reason f o r the i n f l u e n c e o f w r i t i n g on p o l i t i c s came from a t r a d i t i o n e s t a b l i s h e d i n the e i g h t e e n - f o r t i e s by the group known as Young I r e l a n d , whose a c t i v i t i e s had culminated i n the aborted r e v o l u t i o n of 1848. They had sought t o develop a s p i r i t of n a t i o n a l i t y through l i t e r a t u r e , and e s p e c i a l l y b a l l a d p o e t r y , l e a v i n g a f t e r them a widespread assumption t h a t I r i s h w r i t i n g should always have a n a t i o n a l i s t p r o s e l y t i s i n g purpose. Although t h i s was a t the r o o t of the d i s p u t e s which arose between the w r i t e r s and the 20 n a t i o n a l i s t s , e s p e c i a l l y over Synge's p l a y s , i t was a n o t i o n which a l s o helped the l i t e r a r y movement and allowed i t to be-come an i n f l u e n c e i n n a t i o n a l i s t a f f a i r s . In the ei g h t e e n -n i n e t i e s , the l i t e r a r y movement b e n e f i t e d from the support of many people who were e s s e n t i a l l y p o l i t i c a l n a t i o n a l i s t s , and 32 the w r i t e r s commanded an audience which expanded w e l l beyond 21 merely i n t e l l e c t u a l c i r c l e s . T h i s encouraged a c o n s i d e r a b l e spread of the ideas o f the movement, and r e s u l t e d i n the more c o n t r o v e r s i a l themes r e c e i v i n g widespread p u b l i c i t y . In a sense, the hopes of Young I r e l a n d were r e a l i s e d t o some exten t , and i n a roundabout way which they never would have e n v i s i o n e d , when c e r t a i n of the romantic and m y t h o l o g i c a l emphases of the l i t e r a r y movement emerged i n the i d e o l o g y of 1916. I t i s important t o s t r e s s the impact of 1916 on subse-quent I r i s h h i s t o r y , because i t had the e f f e c t of changing the c h a r a c t e r o f the n a t i o n a l i s m which e v e n t u a l l y achieved I r i s h independence from a broad democratic n a t i o n a l i s t movement f u e l l e d s u b s t a n t i a l l y by down-to-earth p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l , and economic concerns as expressed by the Home Rule p a r t y and those who voted f o r i t , t o a sm a l l and in t e n s e m i l i t a n t movement with no democratic base i n f l u e n c e d s t r o n g l y by c u l t u r a l i d e a l i s m . A number of n a t i o n a l i s t themes, e s p e c i a l l y the romantic v i s i o n of the l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l i s t s , which would have a n e g l i g i b l e e f f e c t on the pragmatic and predominantly r u r a l -based Home Rule p a r t y , had t h e r e f o r e the o p p o r t u n i t y t o become important i n the m o t i v a t i o n o f n a t i o n a l i s t a c t i v i t y because they were espoused by a h a n d f u l of m i l i t a n t n a t i o n a l i s t l e a d e r s . E a s t e r 1916 was a sudden and i n t e n s e d e v i a t i o n from the t r a d i -t i o n a l mainstream o f n a t i o n a l i s m which allowed i d e a l i s t n a t i o n -a l i s m t o achieve an unexpected prominence and, although the i d e a l i s t i c content l a t e r waned, m i l i t a n t n a t i o n a l i s m subsequently captured much of the emotional f o r c e of the o l d e r p a r l i a m e n t a r y 33 n a t i o n a l i s m . The m i l i t a n t n a t i o n a l i s m w h i c h e v e n t u a l l y u s h e r e d i n I r i s h i n d e p e n d e n c e came d i r e c t l y o u t o f a r e b e l l i o n s t r o n g l y i n f l u e n c e d by an i d e o l o g y w h i c h s t r e s s e d a c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y w h i c h t h e l i t e r a r y movement h a d h e l p e d t o s h a p e . A s t u d y o f t h e s e n s e o f I r i s h p l a c e i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e t h e r e f o r e f i t s i n t o a b r o a d e r f ramework o f a l i t e r a r y movement w h i c h h a d an a p p r e c i a b l e e f f e c t on an i m p o r t a n t n a t i o n a l i s t i d e o l o g y . 34 FOOTNOTES 1 J.C. B e c k e t t , The Making of Modern I r e l a n d 1603-1923 (London, Faber and Faber, 1966) pp.105-109, and Edmund C u r t i s , A H i s t o r y of I r e l a n d , (London, Methuen, 1936) , pp.252-254. See a l s o Colm.1 Regan, 'Economic Development i n I r e l a n d : The H i s t o r i c a l Dimension' i n Antipode, V o l . 12, No. 1, Summer 19 80, pp.1-14. 2 T h i s s o c i a l , e d u c a t i o n a l , p o l i t i c a l and economic d i s -c r i m i n a t i o n because of r e l i g i o u s a f f i l i a t i o n c o n t r i b u t e s to an e x p l a n a t i o n of why " r e l i g i o u s " i s s u e s s t i l l so p a s s i o n a t e l y d i v i d e the people of I r e l a n d today. In the e i g h t e e n t h century, a person's r e l i g i o n was a key t o h i s p o s i t i o n i n s o c i e t y and to h i s r i g h t s , and the power s t r u c t u r e s c o n s t r u c t e d then have never been f u l l y dismantled. 3 The importance of the vacuum l e f t i n p a r l i a m e n t a r y p o l i t i c s a f t e r the death of P a r n e l l i n r e l a t i o n t o the sudden upsurge of i n t e r e s t i n c u l t u r a l matters, i s sometimes ques-t i o n e d . Yeats h i m s e l f b e l i e v e d i t was; and i t i s p a r t of Brown's t h e s i s (see f o o t n o t e 37 to the I n t r o d u c t i o n above), e s p e c i a l l y Chapter 23, 'Poetry defends the Gap: Yeats and Hyde 1, pp.34 8-370. But see e s p e c i a l l y F.S.L. Lyons, I r e l a n d Since the Famine (Fontana, 1973), p.236. I t seems to be c l e a r t h a t P a r n e l l ' s d o w n f a l l r e s u l t e d i n an unusual o p p o r t u n i t y , which a i d e d the e f f o r t s of men of t a l e n t as a p a r t i c u l a r l y f a v o u r a b l e f a c t o r . In g e n e r a l , I am indebted to P r o f e s s o r Lyons' remarkable account of the h i s t o r y of I r e l a n d i n t h i s e r a throughout t h i s chapter. 4 Thomas C l a r k e , a t 58, was the o l d e s t of the seven l e a d e r s of the R i s i n g who signed the D e c l a r a t i o n of Independence. He had served f i f t e e n years i n B r i t i s h g a o ls f o r h i s p a r t i n the dynamite campaign, and had spent a f u r t h e r nine years i n e x i l e , from 1883-1907. J David F i t z p a t r i c k i n P o l i t i c s and I r i s h L i f e 1913-1921 (Dublin, G i l l and Macmillan, 1977) s t r e s s e s p a r t i c u l a r l y t h i s p o i n t t h a t the I r i s h Home Rule p a r t y had l i t t l e reason f o r e x i s t e n c e with Home Rule on the statute-book, but t h a t the p o l i t i c a l emotion i t had harnessed remained pent up because Home Rule was not i n o p e r a t i o n . The U l s t e r V o l u n t e e r s landed approximately 20,0 00 guns and 3,000,000 rounds of ammunition. The I r i s h V o l u n t e e r s landed approximately 1,500 guns and 45,000 rounds. See Lyons, op. c i t . , pp.30 6 and 325. 7 The G a e l i c "Sinn F e i n " t r a n s l a t e s as "Ourselves". I t s p h i l o s o p h y emphasised economic and c u l t u r a l independence from B r i t a i n , hence the common use o f the a d j e c t i v e " I r i s h - I r e l a n d " t o d e s c r i b e i t s i d e o l o g y . 35 g Lyons, o p . c i t . , p.39 8. 9 Another f a c t o r i n the huge swing t o Sinn F e i n was the enfranchisement of an a d d i t i o n a l 1.3 m i l l i o n people between 1910 and 1918, to r a i s e the 1918 e l e c t o r a t e t o j u s t under 2 m i l l i o n . T h i s almost c e r t a i n l y worked i n favour of Sinn F e i n and a g a i n s t the o l d Home Rule p a r t y : although newly e n f r a n c h i s e d women presumably d i d not opt f o r Sinn F e i n a t a greater r a t e than v o t e r s a t l a r g e , the young and the economic-a l l y d e p r i v e d presumably d i d . Debate on the matter c o n t i n u e s . See Lyons, op. c i t . , p.399, and a l s o David F i t z p a t r i c k , 'The Geography o f I r i s h N a t i o n a l i s m 1910-1921' i n Past and Present, No. 78, Feb. 1978, p.125. Sta n d i s h James O 1 Grady, H i s t o r y of I r e l a n d : H e r o i c  P e r i o d , 2 v o l s . , (London, 1878 and 1880). Often r e f e r r e d to as the B a r d i c H i s t o r y . 1 1 I b i d . I n t r o d u c t i o n t o V o l . I I , p.17. 12 W i l l i a m B u t l e r Yeats, U n c o l l e c t e d Prose 1, ed. John P. Frayne, (New York, Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1970), p.368. 13 James MacPherson, Temora: an An c i e n t E p i c Poem, (Du b l i n , 1763) . 14 see W.I. Thompson, The i m a g i n a t i o n o f an I n s u r r e c t i o n , (New York, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1967), p.6. 15 P a t r i c k Weston Joyce, Old C e l t i c Romances, (Dublin, The T a l b o t P r e s s , 1961). 16 Douglas Hyde, The Love-Songs o f Connacht, (Dublin, The Dun Emer P r e s s , 1904). 17 quoted i n Lyons, op. c i t . , p.235. 36 CHAPTER 3 THE WRITERS AND PLACE John Synge, I and Augusta Gregory, thought A l l t h a t we d i d , a l l t h a t we s a i d or sang Must come from c o n t a c t with the s o i l , from t h a t Contact e v e r y t h i n g A n t a e u s - l i k e grew s t r o n g . - W.B. Yeats, 'The M u n i c i p a l G a l l e r y R e v i s i t e d ' The theme of p l a c e i n the works of the I r i s h l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l t h e r e f o r e f i t s i n t o the g e n e r a l o u t l i n e of a l i t e r a r y movement which was an i n f l u e n c e i n the moulding of a n a t i o n a l i s t i d e o l o g y which i n s p i r e d the m i l i t a n t s of 1916. Place i s i t s e l f o f t e n a n a t i o n a l i s t theme; but p l a c e was a l s o used to embody many of the romantic v i r t u e s which found t h e i r way i n t o the i d e a l s of men l i k e P a t r i c k Pearse, the l e a d e r of the R i s i n g , and p l a c e f u r t h e r became a key t o the h e r i t a g e of mythology which a l s o emerged as important i n the events o f 1916. Not a l l the use of p l a c e i n the l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l has n a t i o n a l i s t i c overtones by any means, but the p o r t r a y a l of p l a c e o f t e n d i d a l l o w the l i t e r a r y movement to be of n a t i o n a l i s t r e l e v a n c e . Although the l i t e r a r y movement developed an impetus which c a r r i e d i t s a c t i v i t i e s , as a l r e a d y mentioned, up u n t i l at l e a s t the Second World War, because of our i n t e r e s t here i n the n a t i o n a l i s t i m p l i c a t i o n s of the w r i t i n g , our concern i s w i t h those w r i t e r s o p e r a t i n g b e f o r e I r i s h independence — e s p e c i a l l y those w r i t e r s emphasising I r i s h themes: Yeats, O'Grady, A.E., Synge and Lady Gregory. James Joyce, tempera-me n t a l l y opposed to the romanticism of the r e v i v a l , c oncentrated 37 almost exclusively on Dublin; and of his major works, only Dubliners dates from before 1916. George Bernard Shaw, based i n London, rarely wrote about Ireland, and Sean 0'Casey wrote af t e r I r i s h independence. A r t i s t s such as Yeats, 0'Grady and Synge c e r t a i n l y d i f f e r i n many respects, but they have i n common th e i r emphasis of Ireland and things I r i s h : t h e i r themes are bound up with I r i s h l i f e , I r i s h legend, I r i s h f o l k - l o r e , and I r i s h ideals; and I r i s h place, landscape and environment form an important part of t h e i r works. "We should make poems on the f a m i l i a r landscapes we love, not the strange and rare and g l i t t e r i n g scenes we wonder at","*" writes Yeats; "one's verses should hold, as i n a mirror, the colour of one's own climate 2 and scenery i n t h e i r right proportion". Amongst a l l the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of the use of place which t h i s implies, perhaps three categories may, however, be us e f u l l y i s o l a t e d : place as celebrated for the aesthetic joy i t engenders, and as used to express other moods and emotions; place as expressive of id e a l s ; and place as a key to history and legend. These categories should help us to explore the use of place i n t h i s I r i s h writing, and allow us to see how the sense of place was important i n the way writing helped foster an I r i s h sense of i d e n t i t y . THE CELEBRATION AND THE PERSONALITY OF PLACE Although a sense of the beauty of place i s present i n many of the works of the r e v i v a l , i t i s Synge who expends the most time i n the celebration of place for i t s own aesthetic sake. Synge, personally very much the loner among the writers of the 38 l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l , spent a great deal of time around the turn of the century wandering by himself i n the more remote parts of Ireland, and wrote a considerable amount simply describing the landscapes through which he t r a v e l l e d and his reactions to them. The essays on these wanderings, gathered together o r i g i n a l l y as 3 In Wicklow, In West Kerry, and The Aran Islands, provide many landscape descriptions remarkable for t h e i r i n t e n s i t y and fresh-ness. Certain phrases are p a r t i c u l a r l y memorable — for example, "a r i o t of w a t e r f a l l s " -- and there are numerous passages which stand out because they bring the landscape very v i v i d l y to l i f e , such as the following which describes the Wicklow va l l e y of Glenmacnas which i s where the waterfalls are: A l l up the glen one can see as a background curving h i l l s of bracken and mountain grass [with] wonderful l i g h t s and shadows from the clouds while at the very end of what one i s able to see a blue mountain — blue with a luminous l i v i n g blue l i k e that of a precious stone — stands across the glen half covered up by a soft streamer of cloud. A l i t t l e farther on one comes i n sight of a r i v e r leaping over the l e f t side of the glen and we are i n Waterfall Land. 4 These moments of revelation ("Waterfall Land"), the landscape a l i v e , the observer entranced, occur time and again i n these 5 essays. Saddlemyer, i n 'Synge and the Doors of Perception 1, talks of "heightened awareness" and uses one of Synge's own phrases — the "so sudden gust b e a u t i f u l " of the Aran notes to emphasise the vividness of elements and landscape. The casually d i r e c t introduction of these descriptions into the narrative, the "so sudden gust b e a u t i f u l " of the unfold-ing of Synge's writing, p a r a l l e l s one of Synge's favourite momemnts, the l i g h t after the storm, the sun aft e r the r a i n . "I t has cleared", he writes of Aran, "and the sun i s shining with 39 a luminous warmth t h a t makes the whole i s l a n d g l i s t e n with the splendour of a gem, and f i l l s the sea and sky with a r a d i a n c e of 7 b l u e l i g h t . " I t i s the c e l e b r a t i o n o f a moment and a p l a c e to be experienced as f u l l y as p o s s i b l e i n i t s s w i f t p a s s i n g . " I r e l a n d as a whole", w r i t e s Lorna Reynolds of the t r a n s i t o r y nature of I r i s h landscape e x p e r i e n c e , " i s a land of winds and of clouds i n constant movement across the sky, t h i n n i n g , d i s s o l v -i n g , r e - f o r m i n g and t h i c k e n i n g , p l a y i n g w i t h the l i g h t , i n combination with i t p u t t i n g on sudden d i s p l a y s of a e r i a l splendour, or i n o p p o s i t i o n c a s t i n g sudden shadows and glooms g on the e a r t h . " Which i s perhaps why the warmth of the sun a f t e r the downpour, "the strange splendour t h a t comes a f t e r wet 9 weather i n I r e l a n d " , i s so t r e a s u r e d : i t w i l l not l a s t f o r long. We can a p p r e c i a t e a l l the more the luxury of Synge's d e l i g h t i n a moment i n an Aran curagh b e f o r e n i g h t f a l l : A superb e v e r n i n g l i g h t was l y i n g over the i s l a n d , which made me r e j o i c e at our delay. Looking back t h e r e was a golden haze behind the sharp edges of the rock, and a long wake from the sun, which was making jewels of the b u b b l i n g l e f t by the oars. 10 Such moments are f l e e t i n g enough t o be r e a l l y v a l u e d . I n t e r e s t i n g l y , one aspect of Synge's a b i l i t y as a w r i t e r i s the manner i n which h i s d e s c r i p t i o n s almost d r i f t on t o the page, o f t e n seemingly i n no p a r t i c u l a r order. H i s s t y l e , b e s i d e s r e f l e c t i n g a p e r c e p t i o n of the d r i f t of l i f e of these remote areas, a l s o r e f l e c t s the d r i f t of the weather i n a seemingly meaningless sequence of sun and r a i n , l i g h t and shadow. The w r i t i n g and the p l a c e o f t e n are p a r t i c u l a r l y one; the s t y l e and the p l a c e are q u i n t e s s e n t i a l l y I r i s h . Perhaps t h i s i s what T.R. Henn means by what he c a l l s Synge's "i n t e n s e apprehension 40 of p l a c e " : the reader i s always aware of a f e e l i n g of the a u t h e n t i c i t y of the d e s c r i p t i o n , of the r e a l i n t i m a c y and p a s s i o n of Synge's involvement w i t h the landscape. On o c c a s i o n , Synge makes h i s involvement very e x p l i c i t : another Aran n i g h t f a l l l e a ves him f e e l i n g as w i l d as the weather: About the sunset the clouds broke and the storm turned to a h u r r i c a n e . Bars of p u r p l e c l o u d s t r e t c h e d across the sound where immense waves were r o l l i n g from the west, wreathed w i t h snowy phantasies of spray. Then t h e r e was the bay f u l l of green d e l i r i u m , and the Twelve P i n s touched w i t h mauve and s c a r l e t i n the e a s t . The s u g g e s t i o n from t h i s world of i n a r t i c u l a t e power was immense, and now at midnight, when the wind i s a b a t i n g , I am s t i l l t r e m b l i n g and f l u s h e d w i t h e x u l t a t i o n . 1 2 T h i s involvement i s a l s o e v i d e n t i n the sense of p e r s o n a l i s o l a t i o n which an i s o l a t e d landscape evokes, an i s o l a t i o n which the pecu-l i a r emptiness of c e r t a i n I r i s h landscapes can arouse i n each one 13 of us. For him, "a s o l i t a r y , undemonstrative man", l o n e l y landscapes expressed h i s own aloneness. Out i n the Wicklow mountains near Glencree, the moment of r e v e l a t i o n a p p l i e s t o h i s i n n e r s e l f as much as to the p l a c e : The fog has come down i n p l a c e s ; I am meeting m u l t i -tudes of hares t h a t run around me a t a l i t t l e d i s t a n c e -- l o o k i n g enormous i n the m i s t s -- or s i t up on t h e i r ends a g a i n s t the s k y l i n e t o watch me going by. When I s i t down f o r a moment the sense of l o n e l i n e s s has no e q u a l . I can hear nothing but the slow running of water and the grouse crowing and c h u c k l i n g underneath the band of c l o u d . Then the fog l i f t s and shows the white empty roads winding everywhere, with the added sense of d e s o l a t i o n one gets p a s s i n g an empty house on the s i d e of the road. 14 The sense of d e s o l a t i o n comes to him again on the Aran i s l a n d s , where at the end of the passage he s t a t e s the extent to which he f e e l s t h a t he and the p l a c e have become one: 41 I have been down s i t t i n g on the p i e r t i l l i t was q u i t e dark. I am o n l y beginning t o understand the n i g h t s of Inishmaan and the i n f l u e n c e they have had i n g i v i n g d i s t i n c t i o n to these men who do most of t h e i r work a f t e r n i g h t f a l l . I c o u l d hear nothing but a few curlews and other w i l d f o w l w h i s t l i n g and s h r i e k i n g i n the seaweed, and the low r u s t l i n g o f the waves. I t was one of the dark s u l t r y n i g h t s p e c u l i a r t o September, wi t h no l i g h t anywhere except the phosphorescence of the sea, and an o c c a s i o n a l r i f t i n the clouds t h a t showed the s t a r s behind them. The sense of s o l i t u d e was immense. I c o u l d not see or r e a l i s e my own body, and I seemed t o e x i s t merely i n my p e r c e p t i o n of the waves and of the c r y i n g b i r d s , and of the s m e l l of seaweed. 15 His comment, too, about how the n i g h t s g i v e shape to the men and the work they perform i s worth remembering, f o r i t i s a p a r t of h i s b e l i e f s , as we s h a l l see p r e s e n t l y , t h a t people are very much i n f l u e n c e d by the environment i n which they l i v e . But h i s own p e r s o n a l sympathy with the landscape became i n the end an e s s e n t i a l p a r t of h i s c h a r a c t e r . Yeats, who g r e a t l y admired Synge's work, made a r e v e a l i n g remark i n a commentary w r i t t e n a year a f t e r Synge 1s death i n 1909 at the age of o n l y t h i r t y - s e v e n : He was a d r i f t i n g s i l e n t man f u l l of hidden p a s s i o n , and l o v e d w i l d i s l a n d s , because t h e r e , s e t out i n the l i g h t of day, he saw what l a y hidden i n h i m s e l f ... I t i s so constant [he noted of Synge's s t y l e ] , i t i s a l l se t out so simply, so n a t u r a l l y , t h a t i t suggests a correspondence between a l a s t i n g mood of the s o u l and t h i s l i f e t h a t shares the harshness of rocks and wind.16 Yeats h i m s e l f , a l s o , developed the connections between the landscape and the emotions and p e r s o n a l i t y . Synge g e n e r a l l y r e a c t e d d i r e c t l y and p e r s o n a l l y t o the landscape, but to Yeats the landscape was more o f t e n symbolic, a way t o express moods, to express c h a r a c t e r , or even t o express the s p i r i t u a l . Yeats d i d not c e l e b r a t e p l a c e f o r i t s own sake; r a t h e r i t s c h a r a c t e r -i s t i c s were i n d i c a t i v e of something f u r t h e r w i t h which he a l s o f e l t i n v o l v e d . " A l l sounds, a l l c o l o u r s , a l l forms," he w r i t e s , 42 " e i t h e r because o f t h e i r p r e - o r d a i n e d e n e r g i e s o r because o f l o n g a s s o c i a t i o n , evoke i n d e f i n a b l e and y e t p r e c i s e e m o t i o n s , o r , as I p r e f e r t o t h i n k , c a l l down among us c e r t a i n d i s e m b o d i e d p o w e r s , 17 whose f o o t s t e p s o v e r o u r h e a r t s we c a l l e m o t i o n s " . B u t m a d i f f e r e n t way t h e same j o y a t b e i n g i n a b e a u t i f u l p l a c e i s p r e s e n t i n Y e a t s ' w r i t i n g as i t i s i n S y n g e ' s ; and a l o v e o f t h e l a n d s c a p e was an i m p o r t a n t r e a s o n t o e x p l a i n why l a n d s c a p e c o u l d be so i n t i m a t e l y l i n k e d t o e m o t i o n : " l i b e r a t e a l a n d s c a p e f rom t h e bonds o f m o t i v e s and t h e i r a c t i o n s , c ause s and t h e i r e f f e c t s , and f rom a l l bonds b u t t h e bonds o f y o u r l o v e , [and] i t w i l l change under y o u r e y e s , and become a symbol o f an i n f i n i t e e m o t i o n , a 18 p e r f e c t e d e m o t i o n , a p a r t o f t h e D i v i n e E s s e n c e . " T h i s passage i n i t s e l f h e l p s e x p l a i n many o f t h e d i f f e r e n c e s between Y e a t s and Synge , b u t t h e t h e o r i s i n g does u n d e r l i n e t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e l i n k s between p l a c e , human e m o t i o n s and s p i r i t u a l f e e l i n g s i n Y e a t s ' w o r k ; and h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e power o f t h o s e c o n n e c t i o n s . I n e x a m i n i n g h i s use o f p l a c e t o e x p r e s s e m o t i o n , p e r h a p s i t i s u s e f u l t o move upwards a l o n g a s c a l e o f i n t e n s i t y , f r o m a s i m p l e sympathy o f mood, t o h i s a t t e m p t s t o evoke t h e s p i r i t u a l and t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l . O f t e n mood i s a l l t h a t i s b e i n g e m p h a s i s e d : 'The F i d d l e r o f Dooney ' makes F o l k dance l i k e a wave o f t h e s e a . ^ A t o t h e r t i m e s , t h o s e e v e r - c h a n g i n g I r i s h c l o u d s c o u l d g i v e t h e sea a r a t h e r d i f f e r e n t s t r e s s : 'The Three H e r m i t s ' . . . t o o k t h e a i r By a c o l d and d e s o l a t e s e a . 2 0 And Y e a t s makes t h e l i n k between mood and p l a c e q u i t e c l e a r when 43 i n Coole Park he f e e l s the need to h a l t and stand For Nature's p u l l e d her t r a g i c b u s k i n on And a l l the r a n t ' s a m i r r o r of my mood. 21 Mood i s mostly a s u g g e s t i o n from the landscape: f u r t h e r along the s c a l e , p l a c e emphasising a t t r i b u t e s or emotional s t a t e s i s more s p e c i f i c , more d e f i n i t e : Our courage breaks l i k e an o l d t r e e i n a b l a c k wind and d i e s 2 2 Angers t h a t are l i k e n o i s y clouds have s e t out h e a r t s abeat 2 3 and t h a t m a g n i f i c e n t d e s i r e I would be — f o r no knowledge i s worth a straw — Ignorant and wanton as the dawn. 24 Perhaps I r e l a n d , as Synge was d i s c o v e r i n g a l s o , i s p a r t i c u l a r l y s u i t e d t o t h i s e x p r e s s i o n of the many f a c e t s of human f e e l i n g : i t i s a country w i t h a reasonably wide v a r i e t y of landscapes i n a s m a l l area; more i m p o r t a n t l y the p e r p e t u a l l y changing weather, which Lorna Reynolds commented upon, r e f l e c t s the dynamism of human p e r s o n a l i t y . C e r t a i n l y Yeats f u r t h e r extends h i s use of p l a c e beyond i n f e r e n c e s of mood and emotion t o the d e p i c t i o n , i n b r i e f but s u r p r i s i n g l y e f f e c t i v e i n s i g h t s , of c h a r a c t e r . His i d e a l man — 'The Fisherman', s e t up i n d e f i a n c e of the "craven" and the " i n s o l e n t " , those who r i o t e d a t the Abbey and who r e j e c t e d the Lane p i c t u r e s — i s suggested simply by h i s s e t t i n g : ... a man And h i s s u n - f r e c k l e d f a c e , And gray Connemara c l o t h , Climbing up t o a p l a c e Where stone i s dark under f r o t h , And the down-turn of h i s w r i s t When the f l i e s drop i n the stream; A man who does not e x i s t , A man who i s but a dream. 25 4 4 And Yeats' e x t r a o r d i n a r y image of the r e s o l v e , the single-minded-ness, of the m i l i t a n t r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s of 1916 amidst the p o s s i b i l i t i e s and c o m p l e x i t i e s of l i f e i s i n terms of Nature, i n terms of stone i n a stream: Hearts w i t h one purpose alone Through summer and w i n t e r seem Enchanted t o a stone To t r o u b l e the l i v i n g stream. The horse t h a t comes from the road, The r i d e r , the b i r d s t h a t range From c l o u d to tumbling c l o u d , Minute by minute they change; A shadow of c l o u d on the stream Changes minute by minute; A horse-hoof s l i d e s on the brim, And a horse plashes w i t h i n i t ; The long-legged moor-hens c a l l ; Minute by minute they l i v e : The stones' i n the midst of a l l . Too long a s a c r i f i c e Can make a stone of the h e a r t . 26 At the most profound end of t h i s s c a l e of i n t e n s i t y , i f indeed these probes i n t o the h e a r t s of men are not e q u a l l y i n t e n s e , i s Yeats' use of Nature t o p o r t r a y h i s s p i r i t u a l i m a g i n a t i o n , t o get at t h a t " D i vine Essence". "At the head of h i s h i e r a r c h y of per-f e c t images", notes Robert O ' D r i s c o l l , "... i s 'a c e r t a i n n i g h t scene long ago, when [he] heard the wind blowing i n a bed of reeds by the border o f a l i t t l e l a k e . * He a s s o c i a t e s the scene w i t h the 'inmost v o i c e of C e l t i c sadness, and of C e l t i c l o n g i n g 27 f o r i n f i n i t e thxngs the world has never seen.'" I t was an o l d f o l k i d e a t h a t the wind was a s i g n of the p a s s i n g of the Sidhe, the s u p e r n a t u r a l beings; and i t became an important p a r t of Yeats' imagery. The c o l l e c t i o n of poems, 'The Wind among the Reeds', i s haunted by these g h o s t l y presences: ... you c a l l i n b i r d s , i n wind on the h i l l , In shaken boughs, i n t i d e on the shore? 0 sweet e v e r l a s t i n g v o i c e s , be s t i l l . 28 45 The murmur of the wind i n the reeds gives way to something more awe-inspiring as the winds r i s e , and the supernatural seems to mock at mere mortals: I kiss my wailing c h i l d and press i t to my breast, And hear the narrow graves c a l l i n g my c h i l d and me. Desolate winds that cry over the wandering sea; Desolate winds that hover i n the flaming West; Desolate winds that beat the doors of Heaven, and beat The doors of H e l l and blow there many a whimpering ghost. 9 But the s p i r i t u a l need not always consists of other-worldly beings, and e s p e c i a l l y as he pares down his imagery a f t e r the turn of the century Yeats begins to drive towards an inner s p i r i t u a l i t y which increasingly fascinated him as he grew older: Suddenly I saw the cold and rook-delighting heaven That seemed as though ice burned and was but the more i c e , And thereupon imagination and heart were driven So wild that every casual thought of that and t h i s Vanished ... 30 And again i n 'The Wild Swans at Coole 1 he uses the image of the swans s t i l l around the same lake as he remembers them from years ago to symbolise the eternal, the perfect: Unwearied s t i l l , lover by lover, They paddle i n the cold Companionable streams or climb the a i r ; Their hearts have not grown old; Passion or conquest, wander where they w i l l , Attend upon them s t i l l . 31 His poetry exemplifies a very e f f i c a c i o u s use of space and land-scape to express concepts and truths r a r e l y communicated coherently. This bond which Yeats was forging between place and a l l these aspects of human f e e l i n g and b e l i e f can actually be placed i n a context of ideas of some sort of environmental determinism more common around 1900 than today. Such a connection between crude theories and Yeats' impressive imagery may seem at f i r s t 4 6 sight u n l i k e l y , but determinist ideas were much more a part of the Z e i t g e i s t then than now. Certainly other I r i s h writers were putting forward such notions, and i t i s in t e r e s t i n g to note t h e i r attempts to analyse the connections that they i n s t i n c t i v e l y f e l t existed between person and place. "Strange that Ireland should have produced so l i t t l e l i t e r a t u r e , " wrote George Moore, rather overlooking i n actual fact the e a r l i e r work of many of his colleagues, "for there i s a pathos i n Ireland, i n i t s people, 32 in i t s landscape, and i n i t s rums." Moore's musings, semi-serious though they probably were, were being elaborated on somewhat more by others. George Bernard Shaw may or may not have had his tongue i n his cheek when the e x i l e d Irishman Doyle i n John B u l l ' s Other Island i s s t i r r e d to f l i g h t s of fancy about his homeland: Here, i f your l i f e i s d u l l , you can be d u l l too, and no great harm done. But your wits cant thicken i n that soft moist a i r , on those white springy roads, i n those misty rushes and brown bogs, on those h i l l s i d e s of granite rocks and magenta heather. Youve no such colours i n the sky, no such lure in the distances, no such sadness i n the evenings. Oh, the dreaming! the dreaming! the to r t u r i n g , heart-scalding, never s a t i s -fying dreaming, dreaming, dreaming, dreaming!!! 33 — which, besides being among the most poetic of statements made li n k i n g people and t h e i r environment, also demonstrates that famed I r i s h love of the old land. Synge, however, does seem to have subscribed more seriously to these ideas, and comments ind i c a t i n g his b e l i e f s occur regularly through the t r a v e l essays. He was convinced enough to write a piece for the Manchester Guardian e n t i t l e d 'The Oppression of the H i l l s ' , which i s worth quoting at some length: 4 7 /Among the cottages that are scattered through the h i l l s of County Wicklow I have met with many people who show i n a singular way the influence of a p a r t i c u l a r l o c a l i t y . These people l i v e for the most part beside old roads and pathways where hardly one man passes i n the day, and look out a l l the year on unbroken b a r r i e r s of heath. At every season heavy rains f a l l often for a week at a time, t i l l the thatch drips with water stained to a d u l l chestnut and the f l o o r i n the cottages seems to be going back to the condition of the bogs near i t . Then the clouds break, and there i s a night of t e r r i f i c storm from the south-west --a l l the larches that survive i n these places are bowed and twisted towards the point where the sun ri s e s i n June — when the winds come down through the narrow glens with the congested whirl and roar of a torrent, breaking at times for sudden moments of silence that keep up the tension of the mind. At such times the people crouch a l l night over a few sods of turf and the dogs howl i n the lanes. When the sun r i s e s there i s a morning of almost supernatural radiance, and even the oldest men and women come out i n the a i r with the joy of children who have recovered from a fever. In the evening i t i s raining again. This peculiar climate, acting on a population that i s already lonely and dwindling, has caused or increased a tendency to nervous depression among the people, and every degree of sadness, from that of the man who i s merely mournful to that of the man who has spent half his l i f e i n the mad-house, i s common among these h i l l s . 3 4 Synge, however, was not always so melancholy about the effects of the I r i s h climate: he i s rather more po s i t i v e about Aran, where the climate i s i n fact not much d i f f e r e n t to that of Wicklow: The continual passing i n t h i s i s l a n d between the misery of l a s t night and the splendour of today, seems to create an a f f i n i t y between the moods of these people and the moods of varying rapture and dismay that are frequent i n a r t i s t s ... 3 5 — a passage which not alone proposes a connection between environ-ment and mood, but also implies that b e l i e f common among the writers of the r e v i v a l that the I r i s h peasant l i v i n g so close to Nature was i n touch with the same es s e n t i a l s p i r i t u a l truths which the a r t i s t sought. But for Synge, with more than a trace of the natural s c i e n t i s t i n his make-up, i t was the man/environment 4 8 r e l a t i o n s h i p which was r e a l l y i n t r i g u i n g . He r e i t e r a t e d the p o i n t many times: I cannot say i t too o f t e n , the supreme i n t e r e s t of the i s l a n d i s the strange concord t h a t e x i s t s between the people and the impersonal l i m i t e d but powerful impulses of the nature t h a t i s round them. 36 T h i s s p e c u l a t i o n i n d i c a t e s the extent to which a bond was f e l t t o e x i s t between people and p l a c e : indeed, t h i s d e s i r e t o see people as p a r t of t h e i r p l a c e was becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y widespread a t the time i n I r e l a n d — a new popular newspaper, The D a i l y Nation, proclaimed i t s aim was to " c r e a t e and f o s t e r p u b l i c o p i n i o n i n I r e l a n d and make i t r a c y of the s o i l " . Bonds of sympathy and i d e a s of c a u s a l i t y between man and the landscape t h r i v e i n an atmosphere of i n c r e a s i n g n a t i o n a l i s t f e e l i n g : I r i s h p l a c e can be more e a s i l y subsumed i n t o the d e f i n i t i o n s of I r i s h i d e n t i t y b e i n g proposed. Synge's comments and Yeats' imagery, and the p a s s i n g r e f e r e n c e s of the other w r i t e r s , t h e r e f o r e come out o f g e n e r a l . o p i n i o n s of the time, but a l s o c o n t r i b u t e to o p i n i o n by being a b l e to feed back t h e i r ideas and imagery t o an audience which i s r e c e p t i v e t o ideas of I r i s h p l a c e being p a r t of I r i s h i d e n t i t y . Imagery, although l e s s than concrete and with an i n f l u e n c e which i s d i f f i c u l t t o t r a c e , c r e a t e s a f e e l i n g f o r what i s used as image; and the use of p l a c e to evoke mood, emotion, and s p i r i t u a l b e l i e f c r e a t e s v a r i o u s a s s o c i a t i o n s which produce a c e r t a i n f e e l f o r p l a c e . C e r t a i n l y , the use of p l a c e as image allows a g r e a t e r i n t i m a c y with p l a c e , as indeed does i m a g i n a t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n of p l a c e , and c r e a t e s a greate awareness of p l a c e and i t s c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the l i v e s of the people. 49 PLACE AND IDEALS The writers of the r e v i v a l d i f f e r from each other i n quite a few ways, but a romantic i d e a l i s a t i o n of the countryside --evident i n the landscape descriptions of Synge and the imagery and symbolism of Yeats c i t e d above -- i s present to some degree i n a l l of them. This romanticism, i n fact, i s one of the most important features to give shape to the style of the r e v i v a l ; and one of i t s most important manifestations i s i n the romantic treatment of place. Synge reveals his sympathy for Nature i n his obvious enthusiasm for the wilder landscape of Ireland, and 37 he remarks on "the seedy l i f e most of us are condemned to" i n one of his references to urban l i v i n g . Yeats, too, had l i t t l e time for the c i t y . "Nobody but an impressionist painter, who hides i t i n l i g h t and mist," he states, "even pretends to love 3 8 a street for i t s own sake"; and he followed up against the qual i t y of thought he f e l t was t y p i c a l of the c i t y , dismissing "audiences, who have learned ... from the l i f e of crowded c i t i e s 39 to l i v e upon the surface of l i f e " . For arrogance and hatred are the wares Peddled i n the thoroughfares. 40 Even Moore, e s s e n t i a l l y an urban man, i s p a r t i c u l a r l y taken by 41 his ramble into the h i l l s at the beginning of H a i l and Farewell. Yeats' comments, though, indicate that the romantic con-ception of Nature i s only part of a comprehensive romantic philosophy of the world i n general. Although writing close to a century l a t e r , and extending the concept of romanticism i n t h e i r own ways, the I r i s h r e v i v a l i s t s are indebted to such writers as Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats and Blake who established 50 42 the English romantic t r a d i t i o n . Wordsworth's ideas that Nature through her beauty can restore the s p i r i t of man, or that the natural language of simple people i s suitable for poetic pleasure, or that the l i f e of man and of nature are i n e x t r i c a b l y entangled, can a l l c l e a r l y be i d e n t i f i e d , for example, i n the work of Synge. Yeats may have preferred the more apocalyptic visions of Shelley and Blake, but he also subscribed to the romantic view of the countryside as an escape from the squalor and drudgery of the c i t y , and i n l i n e with the romantic t r a d i t i o n , he too per-ceived more than simple l i k e or d i s l i k e of physical features i n love of the country or distaste for the town. As Edmund Wilson comments: ."the Romantic movement was r e a l l y a reaction against s c i e n t i f i c ideas or rather against the mechanistic ideas 4 3 to which cert a i n s c i e n t i f i c discoveries gave r i s e . " Distaste for the c i t y i s combined with distaste for s c i e n t i f i c material-ism and industrialism. In the c i t y , reason replaces i n t u i t i o n and imagination as the way to tackle the mysteries of l i f e ; and with science emphasised, s c i e n t i f i c discoveries are transformed into p r a c t i c a l inventions — the machinery which provides a base for the growing i n d u s t r i a l economy — and the increasing dominance of in d u s t r i a l i s m r e s u l t s i n an increasingly material-i s t i c frame of mind. The older s p i r i t u a l imagination fades, and with i t disappears much of beauty and worth. The new order i s based i n large and often ugly urban areas which lack intimacy both i n the personal relationships possible, and i n the rela t i o n s h i p between the person and what he or she produces and consumes. The c i t y , then, i s the place which epitomises t h i s grey r a t i o n a l i t y , whereas the countryside provides what remains o f t h e o l d e r f u l l e r v i s i o n . But i n I r e l a n d t h e r o m a n t i c i d e a l , b e s i d e s b e i n g e x p r e s s i b l e i n terms o f town v e r s u s c o u n t r y , i s a l s o e x p r e s s i b l e as I r e l a n d v e r s u s E n g l a n d . I r e l a n d was p r e -d o m i n a n t l y a g r i c u l t u r a l , was s p a r s e l y p o p u l a t e d , and remained l o c k e d i n a deep c o n c e r n f o r s p i r i t u a l m a t t e r s w h i c h was a r e s u l t o f b o t h t h e c l o s e n e s s t o Nature o f l i f e on t h e l a n d and t h e r i g o u r o f o r g a n i s e d C a t h o l i c i s m . I f the newer v a l u e s were a p p e a r i n g , t h e i r p r o g r e s s had been slow: as Y e a t s comments, "... t h e f l o o d -g a t e s o f m a t e r i a l i s m a r e o n l y h a l f - o p e n among us as y e t here i n 44 I r e l a n d " . So as w e l l as t h e c o u n t r y s i d e b e i n g s y m b o l i c o f t h e i d e a l , I r e l a n d i t s e l f was a p l a c e s y m b o l i c o f t h e i d e a l , an i n f l u e n t i a l n o t i o n i n a c o u n t r y i n c r e a s i n g l y concerned w i t h t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f i t s n a t i o n a l i t y . Y e a t s , t o o , i n h i s p o l i t i c a l moments, d i d not h e s i t a t e t o h i t c h t h e i d e a t o t h e n a t i o n a l i s t bandwagon. "We h a t e d a t f i r s t t h e i d e a l s and a m b i t i o n s o f E n g l a n d , t h e m a t e r i a l i s m o f E n g l a n d , because t h e y were h e r s , " he s t a t e s i n a speech on t h e n a t i o n a l i s t o c c a s i o n o f a Wolfe Tone commemorative banquet i n 1898, "but we have come t o hate them w i t h a n o b l e r h a t r e d . We h a t e them now because t h e y are e v i l . We have s u f f e r e d t o o l o n g from them, not t o u n d e r s t a n d , t h a t h u r r y t o become r i c h , t h a t d e l i g h t i n mere b i g n e s s , t h a t i n s o l e n c e t o t h e weak a r e e v i l and v u l g a r t h i n g s . . . We a r e b u i l d i n g up a n a t i o n w h i c h s h a l l 45 be moved by n o b l e purposes and t o n o b l e ends." The same c o m b i n a t i o n o f n a t i o n a l and r o m a n t i c i d e a l i s m i s p r e s e n t i n Edward Martyn's c o n t r i b u t i o n t o t h e F e b r u a r y 1900 i s s u e o f B e l t a i n e , t h e organ o f t h e I r i s h L i t e r a r y T h e a t r e w h i c h M a r t y n had h e l p e d t o found. . M a r t y n ; wrote s e v e r a l o f . t h e T h e a t r e ' s 5 2 f i r s t plays and was involved with the beginnings of the Sinn Fein p o l i t i c a l party, and t h i s f u l l e r statement of the ideology also demonstrates the increasing self-confidence of a nation which, a f t e r considerable misfortune, i s at l a s t discovering 46 something of pride i n i t s existence: One of the most hopeful signs of the i n t e l l e c t u a l l i f e of modern Ireland i s a steadily growing b e l i e f that England, despite her parade of wealth and commerce, i s aft e r a l l , l i t t l e better than a h a l f - c i v i l i s e d country. This b e l i e f has not [developed] because the lower orders i n England are admittedly brutish and ignorant, but because, i f we look more cl o s e l y , we can discover the same q u a l i t i e s i n various forms i n the various classes which compose her nationhood... The English people are what t h e i r countryman, Matthew Arnold, described them i n h i s memorable introduction to h i s selections from Byron — "Our upper classes materialised and n u l l , our middle classes purblind and hideous, our lower classes crude and b r u t a l . . . There has never been worse taste i n l i t e r a t u r e . " ...But turning to Ireland what do we see? Instead of a vast cosmopolitanism and vulgarity, there i s an idealism founded upon the ancient genius of the land... Ireland i s a v i r g i n s o i l , y i e l d i n g endless i n s p i r a t i o n to the a r t i s t ; and her people, uncontaminated by false i d e a l s , are ready to receive the new a r t . . . . The best thing that could happen to the i n t e l l e c t of Ireland would be i f England could be blotted out of Ireland's sphere... The p o l i t i c a l content of the romantic i d e a l i s therefore clear — England should be "blotted out". The romantic i d e a l , rooted i n place, becomes part of n a t i o n a l i s t ideology. In The Imagina-t i o n of an Insurrection: Dublin, Easter 1916, William Irwin Thompson succinctly i d e n t i f i e s the issues and t h e i r f i n a l 47 message: ...a new ideology with i t s new values expressed as antitheses: past vs. present, a g r i c u l t u r a l community vs. i n d u s t r i a l c o l l e c t i v e , small moral nation vs. decadent empire, i n t u i t i o n vs. reason, Gaelic vs. English. But for the unsophisticated mind of the man i n the stree t , i t simply meant Ireland vs. England. 5 3 I n t e r e s t i n g l y , the I r e l a n d to which the w r i t e r s are most o f t e n r e f e r r i n g i s mountain or i s l a n d I r e l a n d : not only do they a v o i d the c i t y but a l s o c o n s i d e r a b l e t r a c t s of the f e r t i l e but r a t h e r u n s p e c t a c u l a r c e n t r e of the country. I t was the West, the p a r t of the country p h y s i c a l l y most removed from England, where the o l d e r s t y l e of l i f e was s t i l l i n t a c t , which was most 48 a t t r a c t i v e . " I r e l a n d i s always Connacht to my i m a g i n a t i o n " , Yeats once wrote, and the remark i s r e v e a l i n g . I t was i n Connacht t h a t l i f e was s t i l l c l o s e s t to Nature, caught up with the winds and r a i n s from the A t l a n t i c and the rocky s o i l , where the people s t i l l f e a r e d the s u p e r n a t u r a l , and spoke the G a e l i c language. As F o s t e r p o i n t s out i n d i s c u s s i n g Joyce's s t o r y 'The Dead' from D u b l i n e r s , the West, and p a r t i c u l a r l y the Aran I s l a n d s , came to be regarded as something of a w e l l p r o v i d i n g the waters of 49 s p i r i t u a l and n a t i o n a l renewal. The i d e a had more than a measure of t r u t h : f o r Synge, i t was h i s v i s i t s t o Aran from 1898 to 1902 which sparked and shaped much of what he subsequently wrote — "Am I not l e a v i n g i n Inishmaan", he asks h i m s e l f , " s p i r i t u a l t r e a s u r e unexplored whose presence i s as a g r e a t magnet to my soul? ...How much of I r e l a n d was f o r m e r l y l i k e t h i s and how much of I r e l a n d i s today A n g l i c i z e d and c i v i l i z e d and b r u t a l i z e d . . . F o r Pearse, too, the i s l a n d s were over-whelming, and he of a l l the w r i t e r s v a l u e d western l i f e i n the most s i m p l i s t i c a l l y romantic way. Yeats' schoolboy v i s i t s t o S l i g o d u r i n g the summer h o l i d a y s were an enormous i n f l u e n c e , from the r i n g o f the placenames i n the e a r l y poems, t o h i s f i n a l wish t o be b u r i e d i n D r u m c l i f f churchyard; and Yeats, i n l a t e middle age, r e s t o r e d and l i v e d with h i s young f a m i l y i n an 54 ancient Norman battle-tower, Thoor B a l l y l e e , i n Galway near Lady Gregory's estate at Coole. The West was the part of Ireland which bound up most s t r i k i n g l y the romantic distaste for urban and English materialism; and i t embodied the romantic i d e a l i n a series of wild and beau t i f u l landscapes, i t s people sheltering in small v i l l a g e s and iso l a t e d cottages stubbornly r e s i s t i n g the 51 battering of the stormy A t l a n t i c . Involved i n a l l t h i s national romance, too, i s the t r a d i t i o n of the pe r s o n i f i c a t i o n of Ireland as a woman. Almost every name, actual or symbolic, by which the isl a n d has been c a l l e d comes from the name of a woman: Dana, Banba, Fodhla, Scota, and Ei r e (anglicised to E r i n or Ireland) were a l l queens of the I r i s h mythic past. The disapproval of the English authorities of any sort of n a t i o n a l i s t i c expression, also, e s p e c i a l l y during the eighteenth century, resulted i n Ireland appearing i n seemingly innocent love-songs and ballads i n such guises as Cathleen n i Houlihan or Roisin Dubh -- my Dark Rosaleen -- and, i n a d i f f e r e n t pose, as the poor old woman, An Shan Van Vocht. In times when supposed temperamental d i f f e r -ences between men and women were more part of society's b e l i e f s than they are today, Ireland, with i t s blends of l i g h t and soft weather, seemed to evoke womanhood; and the theme of I r i s h history, also, of the English plunderers forever opposed by the v a l i a n t i f often f u t i l e resistance of the I r i s h can be seen i n terms of the more oppressive of relationships between the sexes: 0, my Dark Rosaleen, Do not sign, do not weep!52 The r e l a t i o n s h i p between person and p l a c e , between the I r i s h and I r e l a n d , t h e r e f o r e becomes more i n t i m a t e , becomes a l o v e a f f a i r . The romantic i d e a l i s p e r s o n i f i e d ; s p i r i t u a l and noble emotions are emphasised; and i n t u i t i o n and warmth are v a l u e d . As George Moore, r e t u r n i n g t o l i v e i n I r e l a n d at the t u r n of the century a f t e r an absence of many ye a r s , remarked t o a young man beside whom he found h i m s e l f s i t t i n g on the famous o c c a s i o n of T.P. G i l l ' s l i t e r a r y d i n n e r : "even w i t h i n the few days I have been i n I r e l a n d , t h a t I r e l a n d i s spoken o f , not as a g e o g r a p h i c a l 53 but a s o r t of human e n t i t y . " The p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n of the romantic i d e a l seemed t o persuade many people: there developed the f e e l i n g t h a t I r e l a n d was one of the l a s t s t rongholds of romantic v a l u e s ; and a l s o t h a t i t was the duty of the I r i s h romantics t o r e s t a t e the i d e a l s and c a r r y the b e l i e f s t o a Europe which had abandoned them, as the I r i s h r e l i g i o u s m i s s i o n -a r i e s had r e - i n t r o d u c e d C h r i s t i a n i t y and s c h o l a r s h i p t o the European mainland a f t e r the Dark Ages a thousand years e a r l i e r . A l s o i n v o l v e d i n the romantic i d e a l i s the p o l i t i c a l message of I r i s h romantic worth, important t o a sense of I r i s h p r i d e ; and the i d e a l i t s e l f became absorbed i n v a r i o u s ways by n a t i o n a l i s t i d e o l o g y . E s s e n t i a l l y , however, i t i s an i d e a l coming very much out of a c e r t a i n conception of p l a c e , and I r i s h p l a c e i s very prominent i n i t s e x p o s i t i o n i n I r e l a n d . I t c o l o u r e d the s t y l e of the l i t e r a t u r e the. r e v i v a l produced, ensured t h a t landscape and p l a c e were important themes, and ensured t h a t the l i t e r a t u r e had an e f f e c t on conceptions of n a t i o n a l i d e n t i t y . 56 PLACE AND MYTHOLOGY P l a c e i s f u r t h e r bound up w i t h t h e w r i t i n g o f t h e l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l because o f i t s i n v o l v e m e n t i n t h e r e v i v a l ' s i n t e r e s t i n t h e a n c i e n t G a e l i c mythology. The o l d I r i s h h e r i t a g e o f l e g e n d s became an i m p o r t a n t s o u r c e o f m a t e r i a l f o r t h e w r i t e r s , and i t was t h e w r i t e r s 1 r e c o g n i t i o n o f t h e v a l u e o f t h e l e g e nds w h i c h h e l p e d r e s c u e them from b e i n g f o r g o t t e n by a l l but a few s c h o l a r s and s t o r y - t e l l e r s . "Of a l l t h e many t h i n g s the p a s t bequeaths t o t h e f u t u r e , " w r i t e s Y e a t s , " t h e g r e a t e s t a r e g r e a t l e g e n d s ; 54 t h e y a r e t h e mothers o f n a t i o n s . " The r e d i s c o v e r y o f t h e l e g e n d s , t o o , p r o v i d e d a n o t h e r s o u r c e o f growing p r i d e . The r e a l i s a t i o n s p r e a d t h a t I r i s h mythology was o l d e r t h a n any European mythology w i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n o f t h e Greek; and, w i t h Wagner's operas h a v i n g such an i m p a c t , t h i s was p a r t i c u l a r l y 55 s i g n i f i c a n t . As 0'Grady p o i n t s out i n the i n t r o d u c t i o n t o t h e second volume of h i s B a r d i c H i s t o r y (and h i s p e r c e p t i o n o f h i s s t atement as t r u e i s as i m p o r t a n t as a c c u r a c y ) : The Tan-bo-Cooalney was t h e r e f o r e t r a n s c r i b e d by an a n c i e n t penman t o t h e parchment o f a s t i l l e x i s t i n g m a n u s c r i p t , i n the c e n t u r y b e f o r e t h a t i n w h i c h th e German e p i c [the R i n g o f t h e N i b e l u n g e n ] i s presumed, from s t y l e o n l y , and i n the o p i n i o n o f Germans, t o have been composed. 56 The o l d I r i s h l e g e n ds t h e m s e l v e s c o n t a i n e d q u i t e a sense o f t h e s p i r i t o f p l a c e , and t h e y were a l s o s u r p r i s i n g l y s p e c i f i c about a c t u a l l o c a t i o n . The w r i t e r s o f t h e r e v i v a l who r e s u r r e c t e d t h e mythology c o n t i n u e d t h i s approach. Y e a t s comments e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y : Our legends a r e always a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p l a c e s , and n o t m e r e l y e v e r y mountain and v a l l e y , b u t e v e r y s t r a n g e s t o n e and l i t t l e c o p p i c e has i t s l e g e n d , p r e -s e r v e d i n w r i t t e n o r u n w r i t t e n t r a d i t i o n . Our I r i s h r o m a n t i c movement has a r i s e n out o f t h i s t r a d i t i o n , and s h o u l d a l w a y s , even when i t makes new legends about t r a d i t i o n a l p e o p l e and t h i n g s , be haunted by p l a c e s . I t s h o u l d make I r e l a n d , as ; I r e l a n d and a l l o t h e r l a n d s were i n a n c i e n t t i m e s , a h o l y l a n d t o h e r own p e o p l e . 5 7 P l a c e i s e n r i c h e d by i t s p a s t , and the legends a l s o draw s t r e n g t h from t h e i r a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h p l a c e . " I t may be l e g e n d , " 0'Grady w r i t e s , "but i t i s l e g e n d b e l i e v e d i n as h i s t o r y n ever c o n s c i o u s l y i n v e n t e d , and growing o u t o f c e r t a i n s p o t s o f t h e e a r t h ' s s u r f a c e , and s u p p o r t e d by and d r a w i n g l i f e from t h e s o i l l i k e 5 8 a n a t u r a l growth." Because t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between p l a c e and h i s t o r y o r mythology i s r e c i p r o c a l , p l a c e i s i m p o r t a n t t o t h e w r i t e r s as t h e y r e v i v e t h e l e g e n d , and t h e l e g e n d i s i m p o r t a n t i n deepening t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f p l a c e . The degree t o w h i c h t h e w r i t e r s were a f f e c t e d by t h e l e g e n d s v a r i e d w i t h t h e i n d i v i d u a l s : A.E. saw d r u i d s w i t h an a l a r m i n g f r e q u e n c y , w h i l e George Moore p e d a l l e d a l o n g b e s i d e him i n amused d i s b e l i e f . But i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o r e t u r n t o Synge, because h i s r o m a n t i c i s m i s o n l y e v i d e n t on c l o s e r examina-t i o n o f h i s s t r o n g o v e r l y i n g sense o f r e a l i s m , and t h i s somehow g i v e s h i s r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e l e g e n d s more w e i g h t . " I was r e s t i n g a g a i n on a b r i d g e over t h e Behy", he remarks c a s u a l l y i n 5 9 I n West K e r r y , "where D i a r m u i d caught salmon w i t h G r a n i a . . . " — i t i s j u s t a throwaway p i e c e o f i n f o r m a t i o n s e t t i n g t h e n a r r a t i v e which i s about t o f o l l o w . H i s e n c o u n t e r s w i t h t h e l e g e n d s , t o o , o c c u r a f t e r mundane e v e n t s : " I got t i r e d o f t a k i n g o r r e f u s i n g t h e p o r t e r [a d r i n k ] my f r i e n d s p r e s s e d me c o n t i n u a l l y , " he r e l a t e s , "so I wandered o f f from t h e r a c e c o u r s e ft o a l o n g t h e p a t h where D i a r m u i d had t r i c k e d t h e F e n i a n s . " Of 58 the r e v i v a l plays with the legends as theme, his Deirdre of the Sorrows probably makes the f u l l e s t use of place. He captures Deirdre's radiance "... and she without a thought but for her 61 beauty and to be straying the h i l l s " ; and her guardian scolds Concubhar, the king to whom Deirdre has been promised, but whom she does not love: ... she's l i t t l e c a l l to mind an old woman when she has the birds to school her, and the pools i n the r i v e r where she goes bathing i n the sun. I ' l l t e l l you i f you seen her that time, with her white skin, and her red l i p s , and the blue water and the ferns about her, you'd know, maybe, and you greedy i t s e l f , i t wasn't for your l i k e she was born at a l l . 62 The wedding ceremony performed by Ainnle i s si m p l i c i t y i t s e l f : By the sun and the moon and the whole earth, I wed Deirdre to N a i s i . May the a i r bless you, and water and the wind, the sea, and a l l the hours of the sun and moon. 6 3 Yeats also, of course, was deeply responsive to the mythology, although his treatment i s not as di r e c t as that of Synge: he i s fonder of emphasising a supernatural aura. A wild passage at the beginning of The Wind among the Reeds pictures 'The Hosting of the Sidhe": The host i s r i d i n g from Knocknarea And over the grave of Clooth-na-Bare; Caoilte tossing his burning h a i r , And Niamh c a l l i n g Away, come away 64 The same area around Sli g o , with Maeve's cai r n looking down on the bay with the A t l a n t i c r o l l i n g i n , i s the setting for another encounter with Caoilte and Niamh i n 'The Wanderings of Oi s i n ' : C a o i l t e , and Conan, and Finn were there, When we followed a deer with our baying hounds. With Bran, Sceolan, and Lomair, And passing the F i r b o l g s 1 b u r i a l mounds, Came to the cairn-shaped grassy h i l l Where passionate Maeve i s stony s t i l l ; 59 And found on t h e dove-gray edge o f t h e sea A p e a r l - p a l e , h i g h - b o r n l a d y , who rode On a horse w i t h b r i d l e o f f i n d r i n n y ; And l i k e a s u n s e t were h e r l i p s , A stormy s u n s e t on doomed s h i p s . 65 There i s "the D r u i d , g r e y , wood-nurtured, q u i e t - e y e d , " 6 6 and 6 7 " R o c k - n u r t u r e d A o i f e " ; and t h e r e a r e the scenes o f C u c h u l a i n ' s meeting w i t h t h e son he does n o t r e c o g n i s e and whom he s l a y s , c l u m i n a t i n g i n h i s f u r i o u s b a t t l e o f d e s p a i r w i t h t h e ocean: C u c h u l a i n s t i r r e d , S t a r e d on t h e h o r s e s o f the s e a , and hea r d The c a r s o f b a t t l e and h i s own name c r i e d ; And f o u g h t w i t h t h e i n v u l n e r a b l e t i d e . 68 And t h e r e i s t h e a d v i c e , g i v e n a g a i n by Buck M u l l i g a n i n U l y s s e s t o t a u n t Stephen o v e r Stephen's d i s c o m f o r t a t h i s mother's death-bed when she asked him t o p r a y : And no more t u r n a s i d e and brood Upon l o v e ' s b i t t e r m y s t e r y ; And Fergus r u l e s t h e b r a z e n c a r s , And r u l e s t h e shadow o f t h e wood And t h e w h i t e b r e a s t o f t h e dim sea And a l l t h e d i s h e v e l l e d w andering s t a r s . 6 9 The legends c o n s i s t e n t l y p r o v e d more a t t r a c t i v e t o t h e w r i t e r s t h a n more r e c e n t h i s t o r y . We may s p e c u l a t e as t o t h e r e a s o n s : c e r t a i n l y t h e f a b u l o u s n a t u r e o f the myths s u i t e d t h e temperaments o f men l i k e Y e a t s w e l l (and perhaps s u i t e d t h e supposed I r i s h c u l t u r a l d i s p o s i t i o n towards t h e f a n t a s t i c ! ) . The myths were a l s o a v i t a l p a r t o f I r i s h c u l t u r e on t h e ve r g e o f d i s a p p e a r i n g f o r e v e r because o f sheer n e g l e c t . Recent h i s t o r y i n I r e l a n d , as w e l l , was a r a t h e r d i s m a l r e c o r d o f o p p r e s s i o n and f a m i n e , n o t t o ment i o n t h e d i s i l l u s i o n i n g s p e c t a c l e o f t h e I r i s h t h e m s e l v e s d i s m a n t l i n g t h e i r f i r s t r e a l v e h i c l e o f n a t i o n a l i s t hope, t h e Home Rule P a r t y , i n t h e wake o f t h e s p l i t a f t e r P a r n e l l . The more n o b l e o r p a t r i o t i c o f 60 events which did occur, i n any case, were well served by productions, a l b e i t rather melodramatic productions, i n the commercial theatre. The closer the time setting of a piece, too, the more the a r t i s t i c merits of the work tended to d i s -appear beneath judgements of the p o l i t i c a l and national merits, which happened to Yeats, for example, i n two contrasting ways with his plays The Countess Cathleen and Cathleen n i Houlihan — the one offensive to some sectors of n a t i o n a l i s t opinion, the other a lesser a r t i s t i c achievement but an immense nation-a l i s t success. I f the writers did indeed f i g h t shy of recent history because t h e i r work would therefore in e v i t a b l y become p o l i t i c a l , i t i s i r o n i c a l that t h e i r preoccupation with the mythology emerged i n the ideology of 1916. In emphasising a sense of place, they rooted the legends very firmly i n Ireland, and made them p a r t i c u l a r l y s t r i k i n g ; and the examples of the legendary heroes were i n the minds of those f i g h t i n g i n 1916, and e s p e c i a l l y i n the mind of Pearse. CONCLUSION On return, however, from the mists of mythology, there i s one remaining aspect of the r e v i v a l treatment of place which i s important i n a discussion of t h e i r romantic v i s i o n , and which perhaps emphasises many of the points made i n t h i s chapter about the sense of place i n the l i t e r a t u r e of the r e v i v a l . The celebration of place, the pe r s o n i f i c a t i o n of place, and the rooting of mythology i n place a l l contribute to a romantic i d e a l i s a t i o n of r u r a l Ireland, but, i n r e a l i t y , r u r a l Ireland at the turn of the century was i n many ways a very harsh 61 environment i n which to l i v e , most es p e c i a l l y i n the areas to which the r e v i v a l i s t s were most attracted. The romantic s a t i s f a c t i o n of a s p i r i t u a l l y r i c h l i f e i n contact with the land was o f f s e t for the vast majority of those who actually l i v e d i n the country by the r e s t r i c t e d outlook, the continually grinding poverty, and,'.': .. at that time, only recently reduced p o s s i b i l -i t i e s of e v i c t i o n or of starvation. Although conditions had improved over those of the previous generation, people s t i l l l i v e d with the memory of the horrors of the Land War and, before 70 that, of the Great Famine. The writers were not unaware of t h i s : A.E. must have often been confronted with the hardships of r u r a l l i f e i n his work with the a g r i c u l t u r a l co-operative movement, and Synge, es p e c i a l l y i n the a r t i c l e s for the Manchester 71 Guardian which now constitute In Connemara, r e a l i s e d and commented upon the r e a l i t i e s of having to eke out an existence on rocky coastal land or mountainous bog or from a treacherous ocean. Yet i n t h e i r work t h i s often becomes obscured or romanticised. A.E., as a writer, was not concerned with matters of material s u r v i v a l ; and Synge often hides, perhaps uninten-t i o n a l l y , the pai n f u l r e a l i t i e s of l i f e i n the more remote areas i n that, "aura of romance" which Freeman comments upon. A good example i s his attitude to the g r i e f of the islanders who lose a member of t h e i r community through drowning. It was out of th i s s i t u a t i o n that Synge fashioned his one-act tragedy Riders  to the Sea, but the power of the play i s derived less from the gr i e f of the mother who sees the l a s t of her sons j o i n a l l the others i n t h e i r ocean grave than from the quiet dignity with 72 which she accepts her fate. In Synge 1s accounts of death i n 62 the Aran Islands essays, also, there i s not so much a sympathy with the loss which the islanders have suffered as a sense of wonder at the wildness, yet the strange simultaneous sense of 7 3 acceptance, of t h e i r mourning. Synge's reaction, indeed, i s revealing about a l l the r e v i v a l i s t s ' reactions to country l i f e . They were attracted by the exotic, but disinterested by the chores of the d a i l y routine, unless, as on the islands, these were enlivened by the unusual. It i s perhaps i n the work of Yeats that the separation from the r e a l i t i e s of r u r a l l i f e becomes most acute. He searched the r u r a l landscape and i t s people for the images he needed for his a r t , but ignored the drearier aspects of the material existence as i r r e v e l a n t to his v i s i o n . His very f e u d a l i s t i c view of r u r a l society can, i n f a c t , be interpreted as merely an exaggeration of a tendency evident i n a l l the r e v i v a l writers to see the countryman l i v i n g his l i f e i n sparse but d i g n i f i e d contentment. As Yeats in s t r u c t s i n one of the poems written less than a year before his death: Sing the peasantry, and then Hard-riding country gentlemen.74 This separation from the harsh r e a l i t i e s of country l i f e also emphasises the e s s e n t i a l l y urban orig i n s of the r e v i v a l i s t s , despite t h e i r fascination with r u r a l Ireland and t h e i r frequent 7 5 sojourns i n the countryside. I t i s an i r o n i c web of paradox, too, which r e s u l t s , as we s h a l l presently see, i n a romantic i d e a l i s a t i o n of the I r i s h countryside becoming an important ingredient i n the v i s i o n of an i d e a l i s e d Ireland which helped to prompt a Rising i n the major n a t i o n a l i s t urban centre, whereas 63 much of the o r i g i n a l impetus of I r i s h n a t i o n a l i s m came from the harsher f a c t s of r u r a l l i f e which the i d e a l i s t s f o r the most p a r t i g n o r e d . The romanticism of the r e v i v a l , t h e r e f o r e , r e s u l t e d i n a tendency among the w r i t e r s of the r e v i v a l t o overlook the worst r e a l i t i e s of l i f e i n the w i l d e r I r i s h landscapes t o which they were so a t t r a c t e d . Instead they managed to b u i l d up a formidable a r r a y of imagery o f t h e i r own, r o o t e d i n these p l a c e s , emphasising the important p o i n t t h a t the experience of p l a c e , r a t h e r than b e i n g o b j e c t i v e , i s o f t e n very c o n s i d e r a b l y a c o n s t r u c t of the i m a g i n a t i o n . To the w r i t e r s of the r e v i v a l , p l a c e , i n t e r e s t i n g l y , was both more and l e s s than the a c t u a l p h y s i c a l or m a t e r i a l environment. I t was something wi t h which t o r e l a t e e m o t i o n a l l y ; i t was a key to i d e a s ; i t was a key t o the p a s t . I t was something i n which to p r o j e c t one's own p h i l o s o p h y , but i t was not an environment from which one, how-ever, needed t o attempt t o eke a l i v i n g . Yet the w r i t e r s succeeded i n making t h e i r v i s i o n of I r e l a n d important i n f o r g i n g new connections between at l e a s t c e r t a i n s e c t i o n s of I r i s h people, perhaps c h i e f l y among the i n t e l l e c t u a l s of D u b l i n , and t h e i r l a n d . They took the romantic t r a d i t i o n of l o v e of the p a s t o r a l and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h Nature and a p p l i e d i t t o the c o u n t r y s i d e and Nature i n I r e l a n d , thereby d e v e l o p i n g a bond which was p a r t i c u l a r l y I r i s h ; they harnessed the a n t i - m a t e r i a l i s t romantic t r a d i t i o n t o the o l d I r i s h argument with B r i t a i n ; and, spurred by a romantic need f o r myth and symbol, they r e v i v e d the a n c i e n t G a e l i c mythology, and r o o t e d i t i n p l a c e t o make i t come a l i v e . The r e s u l t i s t h a t p l a c e , as w e l l as being 64 important to the effectiveness and depth of the l i t e r a t u r e created, i s also important i n giving the l i t e r a t u r e an I r i s h n a t i o n a l i s t relevance, e s p e c i a l l y i n the form of the romanticised v i s i o n of Ireland held by Patrick Pearse. The sense of Ireland the place i s the feature which most ensures the Irishness of the works of the l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l , and i t i s also important i n allowing the r e v i v a l i t s subsequent influence. 65 FOOTNOTES 1 W.B. Y e a t s , L e t t e r s o f W.B. Y e a t s , ed. A l l a n Wade, (London, H a r t - D a v i s , 1954), p.99. 2 Y e a t s , E s s a y s and i n t r o d u c t i o n s , (New Y o r k , M a c m i l l a n , 1961), p.5. 3 Volume f o u r o f The Works o f John M. Synge, ( D u b l i n , Maunsel, 1910), i n c l u d e d 'In W i c k l o w 1 and 'In West K e r r y ' , now a v a i l a b l e i n J.M. Synge, C o l l e c t e d Works, V o l . I I , ed.. A l a n P r i c e , (London, O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1966). Most o f t h e s e e s s a y s were o r i g i n a l l y p u b l i s h e d i n such j o u r n a l s as The G a e l (New Y o r k ) , t h e Manchester G u a r d i a n , o r The Shanachie (D u b l i n ) between 190 3 and 1907. The Aran I s l a n d s was f i r s t p u b l i s h e d j o i n t l y by Mau n s e l , D u b l i n , and E l k i n Mathews, London, i n 190 7. I t i s a l s o p a r t o f C o l l e c t e d Works. 4 Synge, C o l l e c t e d Works, I I , p.193. 5 Ann Saddlemyer, 'Synge and t h e Doors o f P e r c e p t i o n ' i n P l a c e , P e r s o n a l i t y and t h e I r i s h W r i t e r , ed. Andrew C a r p e n t e r , pp.97-120. Synge, C o l l e c t e d Works, I I , p.97, f n . l . 7 I b i d , p.73. p.9 o L o r n a Reynolds i n t h e I n t r o d u c t i o n t o C a r p e n t e r , op. c i t . , g Synge, C o l l e c t e d Works, I I , p.213. 1 0 I b i d , p.84. ^ Thomas R i c e Henn, L a s t E s s a y s , ( G d r r a r d s C r o s s , B u c k s . , C o l i n Smythe L t d . , 1976), p.204. 12 Synge, C o l l e c t e d Works, I I , p.110. 13 Y e a t s , E s s a y s , p.310. 14 Synge, C o l l e c t e d Works, p.234. 1 5 I b i d , pp.129-130. 66 16 17 18 19 Y e a t s , E s s a y s , pp.330 a n d 327, I b i d , pp.156-157. I b i d , pp.148-149. Y e a t s , T h e C o l l e c t e d Poems o f W . B . Y e a t s , (New Y o r k , M a c m i l l a n , 1 9 5 6 ) , p . 7 1 . 20 Y e a t s , P o e m s , p . 1 1 1 . 21 Y e a t s , ' C o o l e P a r k a n d B a l l y l e e , 1931', i n P o e m s , p . 2 3 9 22 23 Y e a t s , ' R e d H a n r a h a n ' s S o n g a b o u t I r e l a n d ' , i n P o e m s , p . 7 9 . I b i d . 24 Y e a t s , ' T h e D a w n ' , i n P o e m s , p . 1 4 4 . 25 Y e a t s , ' T h e F i s h e r m a n ' , i n P o e m s , p . 1 4 6 . T h e r i o t s a t A b b e y a r e r e f e r r e d t o i n f o o t n o t e 8 t o C h a p t e r 4, t h e d i s p u t e o c c u r r i n g o v e r S y n g e ' s T h e P l a y b o y o f t h e W e s t e r n W o r l d i n 190 7. T h e p i c t u r e s • w e r e b y F r e n c h i m p r e s s i o n i s t s a n d h a d b e e n a c q u i r e d b y S i r H u g h L a n e , L a d y G r e g o r y ' s n e p h e w . He p r o p o s e d t o p r e s e n t t h e m t o t h e p e o p l e o f D u b l i n i f e n o u g h money w a s s u b s c r i b e d b y D u b l i n C o r p o r a t i o n t o a u g m e n t a n e x i s t i n g sum s u b s c r i b e d b y w e a l t h y p r i v a t e i n d i v i d u a l s s o t h a t a s u i t a b l e g a l l e r y c o u l d be b u i l t . T h e m o n e y was n o t r a i s e d , a n d t h e p a i n t i n g s w e n t t o L o n d o n . (A s h a r i n g a r r a n g e m e n t b e t w e e n t h e T a t e G a l l e r y o f L o n d o n a n d t h e M u n i c i p a l G a l l e r y i n D u b l i n i s now i n o p e r a t i o n ) . B o t h t h e P l a y b o y r i o t s a n d t h e f a i l u r e t o a c q u i r e t h e L a n e p a i n t i n g s l e f t Y e a t s b i t t e r l y d i s i l l u s i o n e d w i t h w h a t h e s a w a s t h e I r i s h a t t i t u d e t o a r t . 2 6 I b i d , " E a s t e r 1916', p . 1 7 9 . 27 R o b e r t O ' D r i s c o l l , S y m b o l i s m a n d Some I m p l i c a t i o n s o f  t h e S y m b o l i c A p p r o a c h : W . B . Y e a t s d u r i n g t h e E i g h t e e n - N i n e t i e s , ( D u b l i n , D o l m e n , 1 9 7 5 ) , p . 4 9 . T h e o r i g i n a l q u o t e s a r e f r o m Y e a t s , U n c o l l e c t e d P r o s e 1, e d . J o h n P . F r a y n e , (New Y o r k , C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 7 0 ) , p . 3 2 4 , a n d f r o m Y e a t s , T h e  C e l t i c T w l i g h t , p . 1 8 . 2 8 Y e a t s , P o e m s , p . 5 3 . 29 I b i d , ' T h e U n a p p e a s a b l e H o s t ' , p . 5 6 . 67 3 0 I b i d , 'The C o l d Heaven', pp.122-123. 3 1 I b i d , p.129. 32 George Moore, H a i l and F a r e w e l l , ed. R i c h a r d Cave, ( T o r o n t o , M a c m i l l a n of Canada, 1976), p.57. D e t e r m i n i s t i d e a s were much more g e n e r a l l y a c c e p t e d (and not j u s t by geographers) a t t h e t u r n o f t h e c e n t u r y t h a n t o d a y . I f such a l i n k between p e o p l e and t h e i r environment i s p o s t u l a t e d , i t n o t o n l y has t h e n a t i o n a l i s t i m p l i c a t i o n o f b i n d i n g p e o p l e c l o s e r t o t h e l a n d , b u t i t a l s o i n f e r s t h a t d i f f e r e n t l a n d s c a p e s w i l l produce p e o p l e w i t h d i f f e r e n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Thus I r e l a n d w i l l produce d i s t i n c t l y I r i s h p e o p l e , w h i c h i s a c o n c l u s i o n w i t h o b v i o u s n a t i o n a l i s t i c r e l e v a n c e . Shaw (see f o o t n o t e 33) r e a l l y d i d seem t o b e l i e v e i n t h e power o f t h e I r i s h c l i m a t e and l a n d s c a p e i n p r o d u c i n g I r i s h m e n and Irishwomen. I n t h e ' P r e f a c e f o r P o l i t i c i a n s ' t o t h e F i r s t E d i t i o n o f John B u l l ' s Other I s l a n d , p.18, he w r o t e : There i s no I r i s h r a c e any more t h a n t h e r e i s an E n g l i s h r a c e o r a Yankee r a c e . There, i s an I r i s h c l i m a t e , w h i c h w i l l stamp an immigrant more d e e p l y and d u r a b l y i n two y e a r s , a p p a r e n t l y , t h a n t h e E n g l i s h c l i m a t e w i l l i n two hundred. I t i s r e i n f o r c e d by an a r t i f i c i a l economic c l i m a t e which does some o f t h e work a t t r i b u t e d t o t h e n a t u r a l g e o g r a p h i c one; b u t t h e geo-g r a p h i c c l i m a t e i s e t e r n a l and i r r e s i s t i b l e , making a mankind and a womankind t h a t K e n t , M i d d l e s e x , and E a s t A n g l i a cannot produce and do not want t o i m i t a t e . Synge (see f o o t n o t e 34) was r a t h e r more c a u t i o u s , however, and perhaps h i s v i e w s a r e b e t t e r d e s c r i b e d as n a t u r a l i s m . But he t o o was p r o p o s i n g a c l o s e l i n k between man and h i s environment, and t h e comments here about d e t e r m i n i s m a l s o a p p l y t o h i s w r i t i n g , 33 George B e r n a r d Shaw, John B u l l ' s Other I s l a n d , (London, C o n s t a b l e and Co., 1931), p.84. 3 4 Synge, C o l l e c t e d Works, I I , p.209. 3 5 I b i d , p.74. 3 6 I b i d , p.75. 3 7 I b i d , p.264. 3 8 Y e a t s , E s s a y s , p.98. 39 I b i d , p.166. 40 Y e a t s , 'A P r a y e r f o r my Daughter', i n Poems, p.187. 68 4 1 Moore, op. c i t . , p.59 onwards. 4 2 For comment es p e c i a l l y on Wordsworth's view of the countryside, see Norman Lacey, Wordsworth's View of Nature, (Hamden, Conn., Archon, 1965). See also Joseph Warren Beach, The Concept of Nature i n Nineteenth-Century English Poetry, (New York, Russell and Russell, 1966). 4 3 Edmund Wilson, Axel's Castle, (New York, Charles Scrxb-ner's Sons, 1931), p.3., paraphrasing Whitehead. 44 Yeats, Uncollected Prose 1, p.26 8. 45 Richard Ellman, Yeats: The Man and the Masks, (London, Faber and Faber, 1961), p.115. 46 Edward Martyn:,. Beltaxne, February 1900, p. 11. 4 7 William Irwin Thompson, The Imagxnatxon of an Insurrection:  Dublin, Easter 1916, (New York, Oxford University Press, 1967), p.58. 48 Yeats, Samhaxn, November 190 8, p.6. 49 John Wilson Foster, 'Certain Set Apart: The Western Island i n the I r i s h Renaissance', i n Studies, Winter 1977, pp.261-274. 50 Synge, Collected Works, I I , p.103 fn. I have reversed the order of the sentences. 51 Peter Costello, The Heart Grown Brutal, (Dublxn, G x l l and Macmillan, 19 77) points out that the part of Ireland most excluded from the romantic i d e a l , as well as from so many other n a t i o n a l i s t i d e a l s , was the i n d u s t r i a l north-east, e s p e c i a l l y the Lagan va l l e y round B e l f a s t . Thus the north-east, as well as being of a d i f f e r e n t r e l i g i o u s outlook and as well as being r e l i a n t on a d i f f e r e n t economic and market structure, also found i t s e l f outside the new c u l t u r a l nationalism that was being expounded i n the rest of Ireland. 52 James Clarence Mangan, 'My Dark Rosaleen', included i n many anthologies of I r i s h verse, including The Mentor Book of  I r i s h Poetry, ed. Devin A. Garrity, (New York, Mentor Books, 1965), p.269. 53 Moore, op. ext., p.134, 69 Y e a t s , U n c o l l e c t e d P r o s e 1, p.104. 55 The operas o f R i c h a r d Wagner (1813-1883), many o f w h i c h t a k e t h e Germanic l e g e n d s as s o u r c e , most n o t a b l y t h e t h r e e operas w h i c h form The R i n g o f t h e N i b e l u n g e n , were becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y p o p u l a r a t t h i s t i m e . Thus t h e Germanic legends were r e c e i v i n g c o n s i d e r a b l e p u b l i c i t y as an a n c i e n t mythology w h i c h c o u l d r o o t modern a r t . The j o u r n e y o f George Moore and Edward M a r t y n t o B a y r e u t h , where Wagner had b u i l t an opera-house f o r t h e performance o f h i s works, i s an i m p o r t a n t e p i s o d e i n H a i l and F a r e w e l l , and i n d i c a t e s t h e r e g a r d i n which the two men h e l d Wagner, b e s i d e s a l l o w i n g Moore p l e n t y o f f u n a t t h e expense o f h i s slow-moving c o u s i n . 5 6 S t a n d i s h James 0'Grady, H i s t o r y o f I r e l a n d : h e r o i c  p e r i o d , V o l . I I , (London, 1880) , I n t r o d u c t i o n , p. 36. The Ta'n-bo-Cooalney (one o f many s p e l l i n g s ) t r a n s l a t e s as The C a t t l e - R a i d o f C o o l e y . D e s p i t e i t s name, i t i s one o f t h e most s t i r r i n g and famous o f t h e I r i s h l e g e n d s , t e l l i n g t h e s t o r y o f t h e a t t e m p t s o f Queen Maeve and t h e men o f Connacht t o c a p t u r e a g r e a t b u l l w h i c h b e l o n g e d t o t h e men o f U l s t e r . A l t h o u g h t h e men o f U l s t e r were s t r i c k e n w i t h a m y s t e r i o u s d i s e a s e , t h e y were saved by C u c h u l a i n , who s i n g l e - h a n d e d l y h e l d o f f t h e armies o f Maeve. C u c h u l a i n was t h e l e g e n d a r y f i g u r e who so i n s p i r e d P a t r i c k P e a r s e . 0'Grady i s a c t u a l l y c o r r e c t when he s t a t e s t h a t t h e I r i s h l e g e n ds a r e o l d e r t h a n t h e Germanic. Set around t h e t i m e o f t h e b i r t h o f C h r i s t t h e I r i s h l e g e n ds a r e a l s o o l d e r t h a n t h e I c e l a n d i c and t h e Norse. c 7 Y e a t s , U n c o l l e c t e d P r o s e 2, ed. John P. Frayne and C o l t o n Johnson, (New Y o r k , Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1976), p.127. r p 0'Grady, op. c i t . , V o l . I I , I n t r o d u c t i o n , p.7. 59 Synge, C o l l e c t e d Works, I I , p.259. 6 0 I b i d , p.274. Synge, The Complete Works of John M. Synge, (New York, Random House, 1935), p.214. 6 2 I b i d , p.216. 6 3 I b i d , p.233. 6 4 Y e a t s , Poems, p.53. 65 I b i d , p.351. 70 66 67 68 69 Ibid, 'To the Rose upon the Rood of Time1', p.. 31. Ibid, 'The Grey Rock', p.103. Ibid, 'Cuchulain's Fight with the Sea', p.36. Ibid, 'Who Goes with Fergus?", p.43, and James Joyce, Ulysses, (New York, Vintage Books, 1961), p.9, and passim. 70 The Land War refers to a climax of c i v i l unrest i n the poorer a g r i c u l t u r a l areas i n the years around 1880 over the chronic problems which aggravated re l a t i o n s between I r i s h land-lords and t h e i r tenants. A severe depression i n the prices of a g r i c u l t u r a l produce resulted i n many farmers being evicted for i n a b i l i t y to meet t h e i r rent. Evictions were countered by agrarian "outrages" — cattle-maimings, burnings, shootings — and by the organisation of the farmers into the I r i s h National Land League, which provided resistance to e v i c t i o n by staging demonstrations, and by o s t r a c i s i n g those who f a c i l i t a t e d evictions or occupied the evicted land. This l a t t e r p o l i c y gave a new word to the English language when i t broke the resolve of Captain Boycott, Lord Erne's agent i n the p a r t i c u l a r l y poor A t l a n t i c seaboard county of Mayo. The slump in a g r i c u l -t u r a l prices was accompanied by p a r t i a l f a i l u r e of the potato crop, which reduced many to the l e v e l of starvation. This must have served as a stark reminder of the years of the Great Famine when the potato crop f a i l e d p a r t i a l l y or completely for the f i v e years 1845-1849, leaving one m i l l i o n people dead and another one m i l l i o n i n e x i l e out of a t o t a l I r i s h population of eight m i l l i o n . For accounts of both the Land War and the Great Famine see F.S.L. Lyons, Ireland Since the Famine, (Fontana, 1973). 71 O r i g i n a l l y e n t i t l e d In The Congested D i s t r i c t s , and now available i n Synge, Collected Works, II , pp.283-343. 72 Synge, 'Riders to the Sea', i n The Complete Works, pp.81-97. 7 3 See Synge, Collected Works, I I , pp.74-75, and pp.160-162. 74 Yeats, 'Under Ben Bulben' i n Poems, p.341. 75 Of the r e v i v a l writers, Lady Gregory, l i v i n g on her estate at Coole i n r u r a l Galway, i s closest to being a country person. Yet her p o s i t i o n as one of the -.aristocracy d i f f e r e n t i a t e d her from most people who l i v e d i n r u r a l areas. A.E. was born i n Lurgan i n Co. Armagh, but his family moved to Dublin when he was eleven, and through his l i f e Dublin continued to be his base. Yeats was born i n Dublin, and brought up i n 71 1 D u b l i n and London. As a young man he l i v e d i n London, b u t D u b l i n i n c r e a s i n g l y became h i s base a f t e r t h e b e g i n n i n g s o f t h e I r i s h L i t e r a r y T h e a t r e , a l t h o u g h f r e q u e n t v i s i t s t o r u r a l a r e a s , e s p e c i a l l y t o C o o l e , c o n t i n u e d u n t i l h i s d e c i s i o n t o l i v e i n c r e a s i n g l y i n E n g l a n d d u r i n g t h e second decade o f t h e c e n t u r y . P u r c h a s e o f t h e t o w e r , Thoor B a l l y l e e , i n 1915, e v e n t u a l l y r e s u l t e d i n i t s use as h i s and h i s f a m i l y ' s r e s i d e n c e d u r i n g the summer p e r i o d s from 1918 t o 1929. But i n t h e n i n e t e e n - t h i r t i e s , i l l h e a l t h i n c r e a s i n g l y f o r c e d him t o l i v e abroad. Synge was b o r n i n D u b l i n , and i t remained h i s b a s e , e x c e p t f o r h i s few y e a r s s t a y i n P a r i s and t h e p e r i o d s o f h i s wanderings t h r o u g h I r e l a n d . The p o i n t t h a t i s most i m p o r t a n t here i s t h a t none of t h e w r i t e r s had a r u r a l f a r m i n g background i n t h e same sense a s , f o r example, P a t r i c k Kavanagh, a l a t e r I r i s h p o e t , who had been brou g h t up on a s m a l l f a rm i n Co. Monaghan. 7 2 CHAPTER 4 LITERATURE AND NATIONALISM When P e a r s e summoned C u c h u l a i n t o h i s s i d e , What s t a l k e d t h r o u g h t h e P o s t O f f i c e ? — W.B. Y e a t s , 'The S t a t u e s ' As t h e l i t e r a r y movement sought t o c r e a t e a worthy I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e from I r i s h themes, i t began i n c r e a s i n g l y t o f i n d i t s e l f i n a p o s i t i o n from w h i c h i t c o u l d be o f i n f l u e n c e i n I r i s h n a t i o n a l i s t a f f a i r s . P l a c e , as we have seen, i s one o f a number o f themes w h i c h emphasise t h e I r i s h n e s s o f t h e movement; and t h e c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f t h e movement on t h i n g s I r i s h made i t p a r t o f t h e g e n e r a l c u l t u r a l r e v i v a l i n I r e l a n d from t h e e i g h t e e n - n i n e t i e s onwards. The movement h e l p e d g i v e c u l t u r a l n a t i o n a l i s m a c e r t a i n f l a v o u r , and r a i s e d i s s u e s i m p o r t a n t i n s h a p i n g t h e v i s i o n o f t h e new I r e l a n d w h i c h t h e n a t i o n a l i s t s d e v e l o p e d . To t r a c e t h e c o n n e c t i o n s between t h e l i t e r a r y movement and t h e n a t i o n a l i s t movement, however, i s not a l t o g e t h e r a s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d t a s k . The r e v i v a l i s t s and t h e n a t i o n a l i s t s d i d not always have s i m i l a r aims, and t h e two movements d i d not always f u n c t i o n h a r m o n i o u s l y t o g e t h e r : i n d e e d , t h e arguments o v e r s e v e r a l o f t h e r e v i v a l p l a y s became e x t r e m e l y b i t t e r , and i n t h e case o f Synge's The P l a y b o y o f t h e Western W o r l d , a c t u a l l y e r u p t e d i n t o s t r e e t r i o t i n g . As w e l l , i f we w i s h t o e v a l u a t e t h e i n f l u e n c e o f t h e w r i t e r s on t h e i d e o l o g y and t h e s t a g i n g o f t h e E a s t e r R e b e l l i o n o f 1916, i t i s i m p o r t a n t t o s t r e s s t h a t t h e c u l t u r a l r e v i v a l embodied, as mentioned e a r l i e r , 73 a strong enthusiasm for the Gaelic language and Gaelic games; and that quite a number of other: factors, such as the War and the 1913/1914 gun-running, encouraged a return to m i l i t a n t nationalism also. With t h i s i n mind, however, i t i s worth exploring the connections between the two groups, because they had a number of i n t e r e s t i n g l i n k s j oining them. What the two groups held i n common also puts the l i t e r a r y concern with I r i s h themes, including the theme of place, into a context where these themes could actually influence the development of a n a t i o n a l i s t ideology. The l i t e r a r y movement and the c u l t u r a l nationalism out of which the m i l i t a n t nationalism arose, for example, had very s i m i l a r o r i g i n s i n the years af t e r the death of P a r n e l l . Certain of the ideals or subjects emphasised by the r e v i v a l also emerged i n the ideology of some of the m i l i t a n t s . Most s t r i k i n g l y , not only did many of the writers and the m i l i t a n t s know each other, but three of the seven signatories of the actual Declaration of Independence were writers themselves: Pearse, Plunkett, and MacDonagh. Perhaps the heatedness of the arguments over Synge's plays has, i n fact, tended to mask the contacts which continued between the two groups, and obscured a basic s i m i l a r i t y of purpose which the groups shared. Both the writers and the a c t i v i s t s , i n a f i n a l analysis, held a fundamental b e l i e f i n common that Ireland had to change from being a c o l o n i a l adjunct of the B r i t i s h Empire to becoming a new country with a d i s t i n c t i d e n t i t y of i t s own. COMMON ORIGINS The three writers who took prominent parts i n the Rising 74 were not u n f a m i l i a r f i g u r e s i n the p u b l i c l i f e of D u b l i n i n the years p r e c e d i n g 1916. P a t r i c k Pearse, the l e a d e r of the R i s i n g , had founded h i s own s c h o o l i n D u b l i n i n 190 8 t o p r o v i d e the o p p o r t u n i t y f o r c h i l d r e n t o o b t a i n a comprehensive G a e l i c e d u c a t i o n , had become an important c u l t u r a l n a t i o n a l i s t o r a t o r , had w r i t t e n and produced p l a y s f o r the /Abbey t h e a t r e , and had a l s o become a r e s p e c t e d s h o r t - s t o r y w r i t e r and poet. Thomas MacDonagh, i n charge of the Second B a t t a l i o n i n the south-west of D u b l i n d u r i n g the R i s i n g , was P r o f e s s o r of E n g l i s h a t U n i v e r s i t y C o l l e g e , D u b l i n , had a l s o w r i t t e n a p l a y performed at the Abbey, and was a poet of some promise and much p e r s i s t e n c e . Joseph P l u n k e t t , c h i e f s t r a t e g i s t of the R i s i n g , owned and e d i t e d the I r i s h Review, was a m y s t i c a l poet, and was co-founder with MacDonagh and Edward Martyn of the I r i s h Theatre, s e t up with much the same aims as the Abbey. In a d d i t i o n , s e v e r a l men a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the Abbey were o r d i n a r y s o l d i e r s on the i n s u r r e c t i o n i s t s i d e , i n c l u d i n g an Abbey p l a y e r , Sean Connolly, who was the f i r s t I r i s h c a s u a l t y of the Rising."'" In an important way, however, the involvement of w r i t e r s and a c t o r s i n I r i s h m i l i t a n t n a t i o n a l i s m was a l o g i c a l outcome of a c o n n e c t i o n between w r i t i n g and n a t i o n a l i s m i n I r e l a n d which goes back t o the Young I r e l a n d movement of the e i g h t e e n - f o r t i e s . As a l r e a d y mentioned, t h i s movement sought to e s t a b l i s h a sense of c u l t u r a l n a t i o n a l i s m — "a n a t i o n a l i t y of s p i r i t " as Thomas Davis, i t s o r i g i n a t o r and c h i e f proponent 2 termed i t — through the c r e a t i o n of a d i s t i n c t i v e l y I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e . Although Young I r e l a n d f i z z l e d out i n the backyards of T i p p e r a r y i n 1848 and i t s ideas l a y n e g l e c t e d f o r a long while, i t s influence i s evident e s p e c i a l l y i n the f i r s t years of the r e v i v a l i n the eighteen-eighties and the eighteen-nineties; and a survivor of the Young Ireland movement, Gavan Duffy, pro-vided a symbolic i f not always constructive l i n k . In i t s f i r s t years, at l e a s t , the r e v i v a l looked to the achievements of Young Ireland as i n d i c a t i v e of possible directions; and an important legacy of Young Ireland was the t a c i t assumption among the I r i s h reading public that I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e should have a p o l i t i c a l 3 n a t i o n a l i s t message. Na t i o n a l i s t enthusiasm d i s i l l u s i o n e d with conventional p o l i t i c s a f t e r the death of Parn e l l , came to be channelled into l i t e r a r y and j o u r n a l i s t i c a c t i v i t y . A remarkable number of weekly newspapers, journals, and other publications began to appear, i n which p o l i t i c a l a r t i c l e s were printed side by side with l i t e r a r y pieces, a l l aimed at the n a t i o n a l i s t 4 audience; and the foundation of many l i t e r a r y and language so c i e t i e s also provided much opportunity for verbal discussion of c u l t u r a l issues and, l a t e r , n a t i o n a l i s t ideology. In general, people, s t i l l thinking i n terms of the Young Ireland t r a d i t i o n , expected p o l i t i c a l pronouncements from writers; and the writers, sensing the power of t h i s p o l i t i c a l and c u l t u r a l enthusiasm, did not hesitate to provide. "New from the influence, mainly the personal influence of William Morris," wrote Yeats, joining his hatred of materialism with the nation's hate of English rule, 5 "I dreamed of enlarging I r i s h hate." In fact, i m p l i c i t i n a l l the s p i r i t u a l i s m and romanticism of the r e v i v a l i s the p o l i t i c a l message which Martyn was making c l e a r : Ireland had to be freed from England and the traces of her influence. 76 The a l l i a n c e between t h e w r i t e r s and t h e n a t i o n a l i s t s c o n t i n u e t o f u n c t i o n c o n s t r u c t i v e l y t h r o u g h most o f t h e e i g h t e e n -n i n e t i e s , b o t h groups b e n e f i t i n g from t h e c o - o p e r a t i o n : t h e n a t i o n a l i s t s p r o v i d e d t h e w r i t e r s w i t h an a t t e n t i v e a u d i e n c e ; and the w r i t e r s p r o v i d e d t h e n a t i o n a l i s t s w i t h a growing I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e , and a l s o w i t h a sense o f p r i d e i n a n c i e n t G a e l i c mythology and a r o m a n t i c h e r i t a g e . But t h e a l l i a n c e a l s o con-t a i n e d t e n s i o n s , e v i d e n t i n r e t r o s p e c t but u n n o t i c e d i n t h e f i r s t f l u s h o f c u l t u r a l e x c i t e m e n t , which s u r f a c e d , f i r s t b r i e f l y i n 1899 o v e r Y e a t s ' The Countess C a t h l e e n , and t h e n l a t e r and more s e r i o u s l y i n 1903 and 1907 over S y n g e 1 s p l a y s , I n t h e Shadow o f  t h e G l e n and The P l a y b o y o f t h e Western World. There were, f o r example, c e r t a i n c o n t r a d i c t i o n s i n c o - o p e r a t i o n between a G a e l i c language r e v i v a l movement and a l i t e r a r y movement d e d i c a t e d t o c r e a t i n g an I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e i n t h e E n g l i s h language; and t h e r e was a s u s p i c i o n among some n a t i o n a l i s t s , aware o f t h e l o n g - l a s t i n g i n j u s t i c e s o f I r i s h l a n d t e n u r e under E n g l i s h j u r i s d i c t i o n , o f th e Ascendancy c o n n e c t i o n s o f t h e r e v i v a l , e s p e c i a l l y o f Y e a t s , Synge and Lady Gregory. But t h e g r e a t e s t t e n s i o n e x i s t e d over whether l i t e r a t u r e s h o u l d s e r v e t h e purposes o f a r t o r o f p r o p a -ganda. I n c e r t a i n c a s e s , such as i n Y e a t s ' C a t h l e e n n i H o u l i h a n , t h e two were complementary, and t h e p l a y became a c r i t i c a l and an immense n a t i o n a l i s t s u c c e s s ; but i n Synge's p l a y s a r t i s t i c c o n s i d e r a t i o n s had c l e a r l y t a k e n precedence, and many n a t i o n a l -i s t s , i n f a c t , t h o u g h t t h a t t h e p l a y s were p a r t i c u l a r l y damaging t o t h e image t h e I r i s h n a t i o n was t r y i n g t o c o n s t r u c t . The e s s e n t i a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n e x i s t e d between t h e w r i t e r s who wanted t o expand and e x p l o r e I r i s h i d e n t i t y , and t h e n a t i o n a l i s t s who 7 7 wanted to define i t — i n as benevolent a manner as possible. The disputes over Synge's The Shadow were conducted b i t t e r l y and at some length i n the columns of the Dublin newspapers, but they were e n t i r e l y eclipsed by the rows at the f i r s t performances of The Playboy, the audience completely drowning the dialogue, and the r i v a l factions engaging i n physical combat which s p i l l e d out of the theatre into the streets. To many i t must have seemed as i f the a l l i a n c e between the writers and the a c t i v i s t n a t i o n a l i s t s , shaky since the arguments over The Shadow, had been completely g and irrevocably damaged. But the spectacular nature of the Playboy disputes i s actually rather misleading i n any assessment of the o v e r a l l nature of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the writers and the n a t i o n a l i s t s i n the period before 1916. Although members of both groups c e r t a i n l y became alienated from one another, there was a recognition among 9 many at the time (for example, MacDonagh ), though perhaps not always among commentators since, that the whole a f f a i r was some-thing of a storm i n a teacup. The Abbey s t i l l refused to play 'God Save the King' at i t s productions, and i t was the next year that i t performed MacDonagh1s n a t i o n a l i s t i c play When the  Dawn i s Come. Even among the more extreme and narrow of the n a t i o n a l i s t s , the theatre to some extent redeemed i t s reputation by i t s insistence i n 1909 i n performing, against the wishes of Dublin Castle, The Shewing-up of Blanco Posnet by Bernard Shaw; and i t was af t e r the Playboy dispute that Pearse was involved in Abbey productions. An i n t e r e s t i n g case might also be made that the dispute actually increased the influence of the writers 78 on the n a t i o n a l i s t s since i t raised many new issues concerning I r i s h i d e n t i t y which would have been otherwise ignored; and the r i o t s , because of the drama they provided and the consequent widespread newspaper coverage, ensured that those issues reached an unusually large number of people. In general, although the Playboy incident made the rela t i o n s h i p between the l i t e r a r y movement and the n a t i o n a l i s t movement less comfortable i n the decade before 1916 than i t previously had been — i t made the tensions apparent — the n a t i o n a l i s t s and the writers s t i l l co-operated to a considerable degree. The two movements were too bound by a si m i l a r concern for many issues to cease to be involved i n debate with each other, and to cease to be an influence on each other's development. NATIONALIST SYMPATHIES As well as Yeats and Martyn making the p o l i t i c a l message of romanticism e x p l i c i t , others involved i n the l i t e r a r y movement also expressed n a t i o n a l i s t sympathies from time to time — i n d i c a t i n g again that despite tensions and differences there existed a common sense of d i r e c t i o n . Lady Gregory was the daughter of an Ascendancy family and the widow of an ex-Governor of Ceylon who had l e f t her a large estate at Coole i n the west of Ireland, but even she was "with the Nationalists a l l the way — more than they knew or my nearest r e a l i s e d . " " ^ Synge had been dead for seven years by the time of the Rising, and he always remained r e t i c e n t about his p o l i t i c a l b e l i e f s . But passages i n the t r a v e l essays make clear the s o c i a l and economic improvements he believed would come w i t h t h e i m p l e m e n t a t i o n o f Home Rule;"1""1" and as a young man i n P a r i s he was b r i e f l y a member o f Maud Gonne 1s T r l a n d e  L i b r e r e v o l u t i o n a r y n a t i o n a l i s t o r g a n i s a t i o n , though he l e f t t h i s because o f i t s m i l i t a n c y . George R u s s e l l (A.E.) was a Home R u l e , as was B e r n a r d Shaw; Shaw d e a l i n g w i t h t h e s u b j e c t i n h i s f o r m i d a b l e John B u l l ' s Other I s l a n d . H i s c a l l t o t h e B r i t i s h government t o h a l t t h e 1916 e x e c u t i o n s foresaw w i t h r e m a r k a b l e c l a r i t y t h a t t h e dead l e a d e r s would become m a r t y r s i n s t r u m e n t a l i n f u e l l i n g an unprecedented a p p r o v a l by t h e I r i s h p u b l i c o f th e use o f f o r c e f o r n a t i o n a l i s t ends. M a r t y n , t h e owner o f a b i g house w i t h i n w a l k i n g d i s t a n c e o f C o o l e , was on t h e f i r s t n a t i o n a l c o u n c i l o f S i n n F e i n , t h e p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i s a t i o n w h i c h l a t e r d e v e l o p e d i n t o t h e p a r t y which won t h e l a n d s l i d e v i c t o r y i n t h e 1918 G e n e r a l E l e c t i o n . C o n t i n u -i n g h i s o c c a s i o n a l v e n t u r e s i n t o p o l i t i c s , he l a t e r , i n 1914, a l s o founded t h e I r i s h T h e a t r e w i t h MacDonagh and P l u n k e t t . But i t was Y e a t s who, a t l e a s t f o r a t i m e , was more committed t o h i s n a t i o n a l i s t c o n v i c t i o n s . He was d e e p l y i n f l u e n c e d as a young man by John O'Leary, a F e n i a n who had spent f i v e y e a r s i n g a o l and f i f t e e n y e a r s i n compulsory e x i l e because o f n a t i o n a l i s t a c t i v i t i e s ; and j u s t b e f o r e t h e t u r n o f t h e c e n t u r y he b r i e f l y 12 j o i n e d t h e I r i s h R e p u b l i c a n B r o t h e r h o o d , t h e s e c r e t under-ground m i l i t a n t group t h a t was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e R i s i n g . I n 1897 he had h e l p e d t o o r g a n i s e t h e I r i s h o p p o s i t i o n t o Queen V i c t o r i a ' s Golden J u b i l e e ; and a y e a r l a t e r he became p r e s i d e n t o f t h e U n i t e d I r i s h m a n commemorative body, t h e "'98 C e n t e n n i a l 13 A s s o c i a t i o n o f G r e a t B r i t a i n and F r a n c e " , an i m p o r t a n t p o s i t i o n i n a r r a n g i n g t h e c e l e b r a t i o n s o f t h e r e b e l l i o n l e d by 80 Theobald Wolfe Tone i n 179 8 which had attemp t e d t o e s t a b l i s h a r e p u b l i c i n I r e l a n d a l o n g t h e l i n e s o f t h e F r e n c h model, and w i t h F r e n c h m i l i t a r y a i d . : Through t h i s t i me t h e i n t e n s i t y o f Y e a t s ' n a t i o n a l i s m was un d o u b t e d l y i n f l u e n c e d by h i s l o v e f o r Maud Gonne, a woman u n u s u a l i n t h e depth o f her n a t i o n a l i s m , and p a r t i c u l a r l y a c t i v e and c h a r i s m a t i c i n e x p r e s s i n g i t ; and a l -14 though h i s n a t i o n a l i s t e n t h u s i a s m p r e d a t e s t h i s i n v o l v e m e n t , h e r f e r v o u r , and t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o accompany h e r on p o l i t i c a l engagements, gave h i s o p i n i o n s added s t a m i n a . She h e r s e l f was a c o n s t a n t c o n c e r n t o t h e a u t h o r i t i e s i n D u b l i n C a s t l e , and i t i s i n her company t h a t he makes an appearance i n t h e C a s t l e i n t e l l i g e n c e r e p o r t s : "a man o f t h e a t r i c a l appearance w e a r i n g dark c l o t h e s , l o n g b l a c k h a i r and glasses'!. "^ I t was a l s o f o r h er t h a t he c r e a t e d h i s C a t h l e e n n i H o u l i h a n , i n which she t o o k t h e t i t l e r o l e i n t h e p r e m i e r e i n 1902. T h i s p l a y had a l a r g e enough n a t i o n a l i s t i m p a ct t o make i t w o r t h y o f c l o s e e x a m i n a t i o n : i t p r o v i d e s one o f t h e p o i n t s where t h e l i t e r a r y and n a t i o n a l i s t movements m o s t , c l e a r l y i n t e r -mesh. I t i s s e t i n 1798, j u s t as t h e r e b e l l i o n o f t h e U n i t e d I r i s h m e n i s about t o break o u t , I n a c o t t a g e near t h e w e s t e r n v i l l a g e o f K i l l a l a i n County Mayo, one o f t h e ar e a s where F r e n c h a i d was most s u b s t a n t i a l and where t h e s h o r t - l i v e d R e p u b l i c o f Connaught was e s t a b l i s h e d under t h e p r e s i d e n c y o f John Moore, g r e a t - u n c l e o f George Moore o f H a i l and Farewell."'" 6 The peasant f a m i l y i s p r e p a r i n g f o r t h e wedding o f t h e i r : e l d e s t s o n , M i c h a e l , as an o l d woman knocks a t t h e do o r , and, because i t would be u n l u c k y t o t u r n h e r away) a t such a t i m e , i s i n v i t e d i n s i d e . She i s t i r e d from h er wa n d e r i n g s , she s a y s , b u t she 81 nevertheless remains always r e s t l e s s . The old woman, as the audiences of the time readily appreciated, was a symbol of Ireland i t s e l f ; and the following passage, one of a number with metaphorical reference to the English and t h e i r occupation of Ireland, had the power to arouse emotion i n many a n a t i o n a l i s t heart: Peter (the father). It's a p i t y indeed for any person to have no place of t h e i r own. Old Woman. That's true for you indeed, and i t ' s long I'm on the roads since I f i r s t went wandering. Bridget (the mother). I t ' s a wonder you are not worn out with so much wandering. Old Woman. Sometimes my feet are t i r e d and my hands are quiet, but there i s no quiet i n my heart. When the people see me quiet, they think old age has come on me and that a l l the s t i r has gone out of me. But when the trouble i s on me I must be tal k i n g to my friends. Bridget. What was i t put you wandering? Old Woman. Too many strangers i n the house. Bridget. Indeed you look as i f you'd had your share of trouble. Old Woman. I have had trouble indeed. Bridget. What was i t put the trouble on you? Old Woman. My land that was taken from me. Peter. Was i t much land they took from you? 17 Old Woman. My four b e a u t i f u l green f i e l d s . The green f i e l d s refer to the four provinces of Ireland, and the "strangers i n the house" are, of course, the English. As the family speculates as to who the old woman could be, she starts singing q u i e t l y to herself of yellow-haired Donough and his death, u n t i l Michael asks her why Donough, who i s the subject of 82 an o l d G a e l i c f o l k - s o n g , was k i l l e d . The o l d woman r e p l i e s : "he d i e d f o r l o v e of me: many a man has d i e d f o r lov e of me." She c o n t i n u e s , l i s t i n g some df the f i g u r e s of I r i s h h i s t o r y who met t h e i r deaths i n b a t t l e a g a i n s t i n v a d e r s , among them Red 18 Hugh O'Donnell and B r i a n Boru. And, she says, t h e r e are others ready t o help her, even at t h a t very moment: Many t h a t are red-cheeked now w i l l be pale-cheeked; many have been f r e e t o walk the h i l l s and the bogs and the rushes w i l l be sent t o walk hard s t r e e t s i n f a r c o u n t r i e s ; many a good p l a n w i l l be broken; many t h a t have gathered money w i l l not stay t o spend i t ; many a c h i l d w i l l be born and th e r e w i l l be no f a t h e r at i t s c h r i s t e n i n g t o g i v e i t a name. They t h a t have r e d cheeks w i l l have p a l e cheeks f o r my sake, and f o r a l l t h a t , they w i l l t h i n k they are w e l l p a i d . She l e a v e s , and her v o i c e i s heard o u t s i d e s i n g i n g : They s h a l l be remembered f o r ever, They s h a l l be a l i v e f o r ever, They s h a l l be speaking f o r ever, The people s h a l l hear them f o r ever. 1 9 As she goes, P a t r i c k , the youngest son of the house, e n t e r s , c r y i n g t h a t "there are ship s i n the bay; the French are l a n d i n g i n K i l l a l a ! " M i c h a e l , a d i s t a n t look i n h i s eyes, i s suddenly no longer m i n d f u l of h i s intended b r i d e at h i s s i d e . D e s p i t e her e n t r e a t i e s , he breaks away from her and rushes out a f t e r the sound of the o l d woman's v o i c e . Peter turns t o P a t r i c k , and asks: "Did you see an o l d woman going down the path?" P e t e r ' s answer i s one of the most o f t - q u o t e d l i n e s from the p l a y : I d i d not, but I saw a young g i r l , and she had the walk of a queen. 20 Stephen Gwynn, a P r o t e s t a n t and the c o n s t i t u t i o n a l n a t i o n a l i s t M.P. f o r Galway C i t y , was at the f i r s t performance, and l a t e r d e s c r i b e d i t i n h i s book, I r i s h L i t e r a t u r e and Drama. Although the f e r v o u r of t h a t f i r s t audience was heightened by 83 the presence of "Miss Gonne's u l t r a - n a t i o n a l i s t following", her impersonation "had s t i r r e d the audience as I have never seen another audience s t i r r e d " : At the height of her beauty, she transformed herself there into one of the half-mad old crones whom we were accustomed to see by I r i s h roadsides, and she spoke, as they spoke, i n a half-crazy chant. But the voice i n which she spoke, a voice that matched her superb stature and carriage, had r i c h f l e x i b i l i t y and power to s t i r and stimulate ... 21 But the play i t s e l f builds on n a t i o n a l i s t echoes u n t i l i t becomes clear what i s being represented: Bridget. You did not t e l l us your name yet, ma'am. Old Woman. Some c a l l me the Poor Old Woman, and there are some that c a l l me Cathleen, the Daughter of Houlihan. Peter. I think I knew some one of that name, once. Who was i t I wonder? It must have been some one I knew when I was a boy. No, no; I remember, I heard i t i n a song. 22 The audience had no trouble remembering, though, and the perform-ance climaxed when the younger son rushed i n shouting that the French were i n the bay. In Gwynn's words, "such a t h r i l l went through the audience as I have never known i n any other theatre." Gwynn was l e f t pondering the implications of the play: [T]he e f f e c t of Cathleen n i Houlihan on me was that I went home asking myself i f such plays should be produced unless one was prepared for people to go out to shoot and be shot. 2 3 Years l a t e r Yeats, as he lay dying, was to wonder along the same li n e s himself. In one of his l a s t poems, he posed a famous question: Did that play of mine send out Certain men the English shot? 24 The answer must be that i t was, at the very l e a s t , an important influence. P.S. O'Hegarty, a member of the Supreme Council of 84 the I r i s h Republican Brotherhood before the Rising and l a t e r an important chronicler of the Anglo-Irish Treaty debates through his intimacy with the I r i s h g u e r r i l l a leader, Michael C o l l i n s , claimed that for him Cathleen was a "sort of sacrament". Countess Markiewicz, second-in-command of a section of the i n s u r r e c t i o n i s t army i n 1916 and saved from the firing-squad only because of her sex, r e c a l l e d i n prison that for her i t had been "a sort of gospel". Conor Cruise O'Brien, i n c i t i n g O'Hegarty and Markiewicz, also makes the i n t r i g u i n g speculation that the 1916 25 Proclamation of the Republic i t s e l f owed something to Cathleen. The f i r s t two paragraphs of the statement Pearse made from the Post Office on Easter Monday are as follows: IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old t r a d i t i o n of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her f l a g and str i k e s for her freedom. Having organised her manhood through her secret revolutionary organisation, the I r i s h Republican Brotherhood, and through her open m i l i t a r y organisa-ti o n s , the I r i s h Volunteers and the I r i s h C i t i z e n Army, having patiently perfected her d i s c i p l i n e , having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal herself, she now seizes that moment, and supported by her exi l e d children i n America and by gallant a l l i e s i n Europe, but r e l y i n g i n the f i r s t on her own strength, she s t r i k e s i n f u l l confidence of v i c t o r y . 26 As O'Brien writes: "the pe r s o n i f i c a t i o n [of Ireland as a woman] was i t s e l f a very old Gaelic l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n , but i t was undoubtedly Yeats who made i t come a l i v e for those who l i v e d i n the f i r s t decades of the twentieth century." But Cathleen represents a climax to Yeats' involvement with nationalism. Personally involved i n the disputes over Synge's plays, he increasingly sought to dissociate himself from the more orthodox n a t i o n a l i s t s . In retrospect,, 190 3 was for him a watershed year: i t not only brought the dispute over 85 The Shadow i n which he was a chief protagonist, but i t was also the year i n which Maud Gonne unexpectedly married Major John MacBride, a veteran on the Boer side i n the war against the B r i t i s h i n South A f r i c a . The marriage allowed Yeats to reconsider his nationalism i n a less personally emotional l i g h t , and, no longer i n need of Maud Gonne 1s approval, his sense of nationalism came increasingly to have less and less i n common with the a c t i v i s t s . One senses, however, his persistent b e l i e f i n the need for a new beginning i n Ireland; and despite his withdrawal from active nationalism and his growing distaste for n a t i o n a l i s t r h e t o r i c , there remained i n his work the same concern for Ireland which had prompted his e a r l i e r nationalism, and which could s t i l l serve to point to new n a t i o n a l i s t d i r e c t i o n s . CONTACTS Indeed, the fundamental sense of purpose shared by the na t i o n a l i s t s and the writers remained evident i n the personal contacts maintained throughout the period: the Rising came as a pa r t i c u l a r shock to many of the wrtiers because they knew prominent figures among those involved. In t h i s , Yeats was no exception. " A l l my habits of thought and work are upset by t h i s t r a g i c I r i s h r e b e l l i o n which has swept away friends and fellow-27 workers", he wrote immediately aft e r the Rising, and perhaps some measure of his depth of f e e l i n g can be gauged from the three extraordinary poems which he wrote i n comment upon the event. He was acquainted with Pearse; and he had i n fact before the Rising recognised i n Pearse something of the s p i r i t which had resulted i n his rebel leadership, and brought him his 86 martyrdom. "Pearse i s a dangerous man", he had commented "he 2 8 has the vertigo of s e l f - s a c r i f i c e . " I t was mainly through Pearse's e f f o r t s i n founding and maintaining his Gaelic school, St. E n d a ' S j t h a t the two men had come to know each other: Yeats gave an afternoon lecture there not long after i t opened i n 29 1908, and he was also present at the pupils' f i r s t t h e a t r i c a l 30 performance. I t was also through the school that Pearse found himself producing on the Abbey stage, his pupils twice presenting performances -- the second a Passion play by Pearse 31 himself. Later, i n 1913, with St. Enda's i n f i n a n c i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s , Yeats, i n his capacity as an Abbey d i r e c t o r , once more offered the use of the Abbey stage i n a fund-raising e f f o r t which featured Pearse's The King, along with a play by 32 Rabmdranath Tagore. The relat i o n s h i p between the two men always remained occasional rather than close, but th e i r collaboration points to shared i d e o l o g i c a l directions; and, i n the event, at one stage they had actually appeared on a p o l i t i c a l n a t i o n a l i s t platform together, at a meeting organised by the T r i n i t y College Gaelic Society which had to be held outside the univers i t y walls because the Unionist vice-provost, Mahaffy, acted on his p o l i t i c a l i n s t i n c t s by refusing permission for the 33 normal venue. Yeats also knew Thomas MacDonagh, rather better i n fact than he knew Pearse — although t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p changed some-what through t h e i r years of contact. As an aspiring young poet, MacDonagh had sent his f i r s t volume to Yeats for advice, and had 34 dedicated i t to him when i t was published i n 1902. He again sent poems i n 1910, and the year before he had enough respect 8 7 for Yeats to suggest that Yeats was the best man to become 3 5 Professor of English at University College, Dublin c o i n c i d e n t a l l y the position that he himself was l a t e r to occupy — and Yeats returned the compliment by providing references for MacDonagh's u n f r u i t f u l application to the chair of History, English L i t e r a t u r e , and Mental Science at University College, 3 6 Galway. The two men also seemed to have met s o c i a l l y on occasion, and apparently enjoyed each other's company. "I have been a good deal with Yeats of l a t e " , MacDonagh writes early i n 1 9 0 9 , a few months after he had joined the s t a f f of Pearse's school to teach English and French, "I l i k e him very much and he 3 7 talks very f r e e l y to me." Two years l a t e r however, MacDonagh seemed less i n awe of the older man, and although — i n t e r e s t i n g l y 3 8 — he comments on Yeats' "good twist of Puck gas", he also thought that Yeats was vi c t i m of "that rottenest of t a i n t s i n 3 9 Ireland's ground, the ascendancy t a i n t . " MacDonagh was not by any means alone i n th i s observation, and indeed he did not regard i t as serious as most; but i t seemed to change his attitude to Yeats so that Norstedt, MacDonagh's most recent biographer, suggests that MacDonagh's Metempsychosis i s a s a t i r i c a l play with Yeats as the central character whose a r i s t o c r a t i c leanings and 4 0 deep and complex b e l i e f i n s p i r i t u a l i s m provide the fun. It i s also possible that MacDonagh's diminished respect for Yeats was instrumental i n his collaboration with Martyn and Plunkett i n founding the I r i s h Theatre as an alt e r n a t i v e to the Abbey. Whether Yeats recognised the s a t i r e i s not on record, but profes s i o n a l l y he judged MacDonagh "a man with some l i t e r a r y f a c u l t y which w i l l probably come to nothing through lack of 88 culture and encouragement... In England t h i s man would have become remarkable i n some way, here he i s being crushed by the mechanical l o g i c and commonplace eloquence which give power to 41 the most empty mind." MacDonagh's l i t e r a r y faculty did i n fact come to enough for his play When the Dawn i s Come to have been staged at the Abbey i n October 190 8. Although the produc-t i o n was apparently less than s a t i s f a c t o r y , and Norstedt speculates that t h i s may have been the source of MacDonagh's 42 disillusionment with the Abbey and Yeats, perhaps a more in t e r e s t i n g p o s t s c r i p t i s provided by Pearse i n his headmaster's study up at St. Enda's. Pearse's comment indicates the extent to which the n a t i o n a l i s t movement and the l i t e r a r y movment s t i l l found themselves working together a f t e r the Playboy row, and points to the possible e f f e c t of at least some of the works of the r e v i v a l . Undismayed by the play's poor performance, he wrote i n the school magazine the alarming statement that the 43 "... younger boys came home yearning for r i f l e s . " Besides MacDonagh and Pearse, Yeats recognised several others of those involved i n the Rising. Through Maud Gonne he knew MacBride, second-in-command to MacDonagh i n the Second Bat t a l i o n and another of the sixteen men executed: i t was his marriage to her which brought an abrupt intermission to Yeats' attempts to win her love. However, the marriage was not happy, and Yeats to some extent remained emotionally involved i f at a distance. MacBride -.- "an old bellows f u l l of angry wind" — had thwarted him, and continued to annoy him as the drunken husband of a woman he s t i l l loved, and the stepfather of Iseult Gonne, with whom Yeats also f e l l i n love and to whom, as to her 89 mother,also, he l a t e r proposed. It was through Maud Gonne also that Yeats had b r i e f l y met James Connolly, the leader of the C i t i z e n Army and second-in-command to Pearse i n the o v e r a l l 44 leadership of the Rising. As a frie n d i n his younger days, as well, he had known the Countess Markiewicz, who, afte r escaping execution i n 1916, became i n 1918 the f i r s t woman to be elected to Westminster, although as a member of Sinn Fein she refused to take her seat and became instead a cabinet minister i n the breakaway I r i s h parliament. She was born Constance Gore-Booth, the Gore-Booths being an Ascendancy family of some prestige/ and Yeats had been a guest at the family home at L i s s a d e l l just to the north of Sligo on occasion: The l i g h t of evening, L i s s a d e l l , Great windows open to the south, Two g i r l s i n s i l k kimonos, both Be a u t i f u l , one a gazelle. 45 Yeats' a t t r a c t i o n to her was also an a t t r a c t i o n of the s p i r i t . She was an a r t i s t of ta l e n t , and a romantic v i s i o n of a new Ireland was part of her motivation i n renouncing the sympathies of her London-facing family. Although nearer to the Rising her fanaticism increasingly repelled him, they had started from similar i n s t i n c t s , and he found her constantly an i n t r i g u i n g person. He returned to her more than once as a subject in his poetry; and she i s the f i r s t of the i n s u r r e c t i o n i s t s to whom he refers i n the following section of his 'Easter.1916', the others being Pearse, MacDonagh and MacBride: That woman's days were spent In ignorant good-will, Her nights i n argument U n t i l her voice grew s h r i l l . What voice more sweet than hers When, young and b e a u t i f u l , 9 0 She rode to harriers? This man had kept a school And rode our winged horse; This other his helper and frie n d Was coming into his force; He might have won fame i n the end, So sensitive his nature seemed, So daring and sweet his thought. This other man I had dreamed A drunken, vainglorious lout. He had done most b i t t e r wrong To some who are near my heart, Yet I number him i n my song; He, too, has resigned his part In the casual comedy; He, too, has been changed i n his turn, Transformed u t t e r l y : A t e r r i b l e beauty i s born. 4 6 This poem, among the f i n e s t of Yeats', gains much of i t s impact from the way i t moves from the low key of the casual meetings with these friends and acquaintances i n the opening passages to a f u l l assessment of the tremendous emotional upheaval of the event i n which they took part. The tone of the poem would have been perhaps impossible to accomplish without the personal involvement which Yeats had with those concerned; but the poem also demonstrates that Yeats was close enough to those involved to grasp immediately the nature of t h e i r action, and also to grasp the implications of the Rising i n terms of the i n s p i r a t i o n a l e f f e c t i t would have on others. Because of his knowledge of those among the parti c i p a n t s , he was able to recognise the conscious dramatic intention of the Rising more quickly than most; and he understood that i t had at least some of i t s roots i n the same ideas of n o b i l i t y and heroism which had so attracted the romantics of the l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l . 'Easter 1 9 1 6 ' i s by no means u n c r i t i c a l of the m i l i t a n t n a t i o n a l i s t s : indeed i t i s less a t r i b u t e to the event than a commentary. Possibly i t could be regarded instead as a q u a l i f i e d 91 acknowledgement of a fundamental sense of romanticism which the l i t e r a r y movement and the m i l i t a n t s had i n common, and which Yeats could immediately understand. Yeats was not alone among the writers of the r e v i v a l to become associated with those involved i n the Rising. Padraic Colum, Hyde, 0'Grady and Martyn gave afternoon lectures at St. 4 7 Enda's also, and Martyn and 0'Grady were at that f i r s t t h e a t r i c a l presentation at the school, the plays being by 0'Grady 4 8 and Hyde. MacDonagh was a f a m i l i a r figure i n Dublin l i t e r a r y c i r c l e s as well, because of his involvement with the theatre, and then l a t e r a f t e r his appointment as English professor. He was a j o v i a l and extrovert man i n manner, which allowed him to become more popular than the more distant Pearse, who i n any case was almost completely absorbed by his v i s i o n of a Gaelic nation. A regular Sunday v i s i t o r to the gate-lodge i n which MacDonagh l i v e d while he taught at Pearse's school was James Stephens, best remembered now for his philosophical f a i r y - t a l e A Crock of Gold, 49 and A.E. bicycled up out of Dublin to the lodge at times also. Perhaps, however, i t i s useful to concentrate on Yeats, because not only was he the man responsible for giving the r e v i v a l much of i t s romantic flavour, but because he was instrumental i n founding and maintaining the theatres which became the most public source of the r e v i v a l ' s material, and because he was also the major defender of the l i t e r a r y movement's position i n the d i s -putes. As the r e v i v a l ' s chief figure, he shaped a great deal of the st y l e of the r e v i v a l and, therefore, i t s n a t i o n a l i s t influence. It i s interesting, too, that although he was the writer most d i s i l l u s i o n e d by the n a t i o n a l i s t s ' behaviour after 190 3, even he 92 had considerable contacts with the m i l i t a n t s who staged 1916. His associations with the i n s u r r e c t i o n i s t s show, more than those of other writers, that the rows over Synge's plays did not destroy the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the l i t e r a r y movement and the n a t i o n a l i s t movement which had existed since the eighteen-nineties; but merely altered i t s terms of reference. » INFLUENCES It i s not always as straightforward, however, to trace i n the works of MacDonagh, Plunkett and Pearse the actual influence of these contacts with the more established r e v i v a l writers. This i s p a r t l y due to the i n s u r r e c t i o n i s t poets' concern with expressing t h e i r Catholicism: Plunkett's sense of the s p i r i t u a l , for example, owes much more to C h r i s t i a n mystics such as Tauler and St. John of the Cross than to the more occult or pagan sources which fascinated Yeats or A.E. Plunkett and MacDonagh also are given to abstraction and obscure imagery, which denies much of t h e i r poetry the impact of t h e i r simpler pieces. But a l l three poets are very much within the romantic t r a d i t i o n --Pearse, e s p e c i a l l y , having the most obvious a f f i n i t i e s with the I r i s h romanticism established by the older writers — and, although a l l three represent new directions i n the r e v i v a l , they a l l have a number of important themes i n common with the rest of the movement. Although Plunkett's mystical Catholicism can be seen i n terms of a reaction to the type of s p i r i t u a l i s m espoused by the 50 e a r l i e r r e v i v a l , perhaps a stronger connection with the older 93 order i s evident, for example, i n comparing his use of Nature to express his r e l i g i o u s f a i t h with the pantheism of A.E. In one of his most often anthologised poems, Plunkett succeeds i n conveying his b e l i e f s i n terms of the world round about him: I see his blood upon the rose And i n the stars the glory of his eyes, His body gleams amid eternal snows, His tears f a l l from the skies. I see his face i n every flower; The thunder and the singing of the birds Are but his voice -- and carven by his power Rocks are his written words. A l l pathways by his feet are worn, His strong heart s t i r s the ever-beating sea, His crown of thorns i s twined with every thorn His cross i s every tree. 5-L Plunkett uses the image of the rose again i n the poem which most c l e a r l y outlines the m i l i t a n t patriotism which subsequently revealed i t s e l f i n 1916 and, although the image of the black rose also refers to Roisin Dubh or Ireland, one i s reminded of Yeats' imagery i n the poetry he wrote i n the eighteen-nienties when he, much the same age than as Plukett i n 1916, had yet to f i n d themes among contemporary public events, and was also bound up with s i m i l a r concerns of mysticism and love. If one emphasises the Roisin Dubh symbolism instead, t h i s poem, 'The L i t t l e Black Rose Sh a l l be Red at L a s t 1 , i s seen to be part of the t r a d i t i o n of Ireland i n the guise of a woman: Because we share our sorrows and our joys And a l l your dear and intimate thoughts are mine We s h a l l not fear the trumpets and the noise Of b a t t l e , for we know our dreams divine, And when my heart i s pillowed on your heart And ebb and flowing of t h e i r passionate flood Shall beat i n concord love through every part Of brain and body — when at l a s t the blood O'er leaps the f i n a l b a r r i e r to f i n d Only one source wherein to spend i t s strength And we two lovers, long but one in mind And soul, are made one fl e s h at length; 94 Praise God i f t h i s my blood f u l f i l s the doom When you, dark rose, s h a l l redden into bloom. 52 The sexual image, as Thompson points out, i s p a r a l l e l e d by the image of new l i f e i n Ireland emerging because of Plunkett's body 53 bleeding into the I r i s h s o i l . Yeats, concentrating more on the rose as a botanical symbol of Ireland, cannot have been over-looking t h i s poem when, i n the t h i r d of his commemorative tributes to the Rising, Pearse responds to Connolly's suggestion that the tree "needs to be but watered" with the following question — and answer: 'But where can we draw water,' Said Pearse to Connolly, 'When a l l the wells are parched away? 0 p l a i n as p l a i n can be There's nothing but our own red blood Can make a r i g h t Rose Tree.' 54 If i n the Plunkett poem one can detect echoes of Yeats twenty years before, perhaps i n another piece one can detect echoes of Synge, s i t t i n g at n i g h t f a l l on that pier i n the Aran Islands: 1 am a wave of the sea And the foam of the wave And the wind of the foam And the wings of the wind. My soul's i n the s a l t of the sea In the weight of the wave In the bubbles of foam In the ways of the wind. My g i f t i s i n the depth of the sea The strength of the wave The lightness of foam The speed of the wind. 55 But possibly these suggestions are too speculative: Plunkett was unusually widely-read; and through schooling, d e l i c a t e health, and a taste for the exotic, he had spent considerable periods of his r e l a t i v e l y short l i f e (he was twenty-eight when executed) outside Ireland. His points of contact with other sources were 95 numerous; and his closest involvement with the l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l occurred i n the f i v e years before his death, when the impetus of the movement after the two decades around the turn of the century was lessening, with Synge dead and Yeats increasingly l i v i n g i n England.^ 6 The writers, too, with which he was most involved — the Colums, James Stephens and MacDonagh — were also to varying degrees on the rebound from the impact of Yeats, Synge, and the Abbey. But i f Plunkett's li n k s with the older r e v i v a l i s t s are at times tenuous, MacDonagh — although probably more c r i t i c a l i n his respect for the r e v i v a l by 1911 (when he f i r s t met Plunkett) than when he was younger — i s noticeably more within the t r a d i t i o n established by Yeats and A.E. He, l i k e Yeats and A.E. (and Plunkett), expended considerable e f f o r t i n attempting to voice the s p i r i t u a l , though i t i s i n dealing with t h i s theme that his imagery tends to become most abstract, and his poetry correspondingly obscure. Possibly he i s more obviously a poet of the r e v i v a l i n his celebrations of the countryside, as i n 1 May Day 1: I wish I were to-day on the h i l l behind the wood,— My eyes on the brown bog there and the Shannon r i v e r , - -Behind the wood at home, a quickened solitude When the winds from Slieve Bloom set the branches there a-quiver.57 But MacDonagh does not always succeed i n conveying the depth of his emotions on being i n contact with Nature, and i t seems to be common consent today that his most e f f e c t i v e poetry i s i n the folk mode — also exemplified i n the early ballads Yeats wrote. One of his best-known poems harks back to Yeats' 'The Ballad of Moll Magee1, and also foreshadows the attention Yeats 96 l a t e r memorably accords t o Crazy Jane. Can one d e t e c t a l s o , i n t h i s b a l l a d of a country woman who marries a gypsy, w r i t t e n as 5 8 N o r s t e d t suggests i n l a t e 1909 or e a r l y 1910, the i n f l u e n c e of the a t t i t u d e s and c h a r a c t e r s which Synge p o r t r a y s i n The Shadow or The Playboy? The gypsy has l e f t the woman, but she has not f o r g o t t e n him: I dreamt l a s t n i g h t o f you, John-John, And thought you c a l l e d t o me; And when I woke t h i s morning, John, Y o u r s e l f I hoped t o see; But I was a l l alone, John-John, Though s t i l l I heard your c a l l : I put my boots and bonnet on, And took my Sunday shawl, And went f u l l sure t o f i n d you, John, To Nenagh f a i r . She searches, but he i s not t h e r e . But when she r e t u r n s t o the house, he i s i n s i d e . By now, though, she r e a l i s e s he w i l l never s t a y j u s t i n the one p l a c e , and she sends him on h i s wanderings, but w i t h a b l e s s i n g : Oh, you.'re my husband r i g h t enough, But what's the good of t h a t ? You know you never were the s t u f f To be the cottage c a t , To watch the f i r e and hear me l o c k The door and put out Shep — But t h e r e now, i t i s s i x o'clock And time f o r you t o step . God b l e s s and keep you f a r , John-John! And t h a t ' s my p r a y e r . 59 MacDonagh must have been a t t r a c t e d f o r the same reasons t o the poem of a drunkard husband which he t r a n s l a t e s from the I r i s h of an e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y poet: The y e l l o w b i t t e r n t h a t never broke out In a d r i n k i n g bout, might as w e l l have drunk; His bones are thrown on a naked stone Where he l i v e d alone l i k e a hermit monk. O y e l l o w b i t t e r n ! I p i t y your l o t , Though they say t h a t a s o t l i k e myself i s c u r s t — 97 I was sober f o r a : w h i l e , but I ' l l d r i n k and be wise For I f e a r I should d i e i n the end of t h i r s t . I t ' s not f o r the common b i r d s t h a t I'd mourn, The b l a c k - b i r d , the corn-crake, or the crane, But f o r the b i t t e r n t h a t ' s shy and apart And d r i n k s i n the marsh from the lone bog-drain ... I t i s worth n o t i n g , i n e x e m p l i f y i n g MacDonagh's p o r t r a y a l s of c h a r a c t e r s such as these, t h a t MacDonagh approved o f the Playboy, and thought t h a t much of the d i s p u t e was Yeats' r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r r a i s i n g a l l s o r t s of s i d e i s s u e s , thus h o p e l e s s l y c o n f u s i n g 61 and e x a c e r b a t i n g the a f f a i r . But i f MacDonagh i s showing the i n f l u e n c e o f Synge, i t must be remarked t h a t he breaks i n t o t h i s f o l k - s t y l e only o c c a s i o n a l l y ; and h i s looks at Nature are h a r d l y more frequent or c o n v i n c i n g i n t r a c i n g the i n f l u e n c e o f the r e v i v a l . Perhaps most important i s h i s a t t e n t i o n t o the t r a d i -t i o n o f I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e as n a t i o n a l i s t l i t e r a t u r e — o r i g i n a t i n g w i t h the Young I r e l a n d movement and e v i d e n t i n such works of the r e v i v a l as Cathleen n i Houlihan — which i n f u s e s h i s major work, When the Dawn i s Come, about an i n s u r r e c t i o n s e t f i f t y years i n the f u t u r e . In i t s p r o p h e t i c tone, t h i s p l a y i s as remarkable as Pearse's The Sing e r ; and i t i n d i c a t e s a s u b s t a n t i a l e f f o r t on the p a r t o f the author t o c r e a t e a.drama i n the s t y l i s t i c and thematic framework o f a t l e a s t the e a r l y p a r t of the r e v i v a l . Of the thr e e p o e t - i n s u r r e c t i o n i s t s , however, i t i s Pearse whose w r i t i n g s most c l e a r l y o r i g i n a t e w i t h i n the r e v i v a l , and whose n a t i o n a l i s m i s most c l e a r l y r e l a t e d t o ideas or themes developed i n the r e v i v a l . Pearse was a l s o concerned, l i k e P l u n k e t t , w i t h a s p i r i t u a l i t y r o o t e d i n C a t h o l i c i s m , but he devoted more time than e i t h e r P l u n k e t t or MacDonagh to p a s t o r a l romanticism as he saw i t e v i d e n t i n I r e l a n d . A romantic view 98 of the country and country l i f e i s , as we have seen, very much part of the r e v i v a l . But Pearse, i n t h i s regard, was probably the most romantic of a l l . He was a c i t y man and had l i t t l e idea, despite frequent v i s i t s to Connemara, of what r u r a l l i f e was r e a l l y l i k e . What he did see he interpreted s i m p l i s t i c a l l y : Sometimes my heart hath shaken with great joy To see a leaping s q u i r r e l i n a tree, Or a red ladybird upon a stalk, Or l i t t l e rabbits i n a f i e l d at evening, L i t by a slanting sun ... ... Or children with bare feet upon the sands Of some ebbed sea, or playing on the- streets Of l i t t l e towns i n Connacht, Things young and happy. 63 The whole tone of t h i s extract — the leaping s q u i r r e l s and the l i t t l e rabbits — i s very t y p i c a l of Pearse. A reference to bare feet appears again i n a story he wrote i n Gaelic (the t i t l e of which translates as 'A Day i n the Country 1), where i t attracted the attention of Pearse's biographer i n exemplifying an important point about Pearse's b e l i e f s . Although, as Edwards points out, the story i s set i n winter, i n the family which Pearse describes not only are the children bare-foot but so also i s t h e i r mother. Yet "there i s no suggestion from t h i s comfor>tably-dressed and well-shod observer that there might be the f a i n t e s t discomfort i n t h i s . It i s a fact of l i f e , and a rather romantic agreeable 6 4 fact of l i f e at that." Indeed, Pearse was almost completely b l i n d to r u r a l poverty. It was i n part his i d e a l i s a t i o n of Gaelic t r a d i t i o n which l e f t him unable to comprehend the more miserable r e a l i t i e s of the l i v e s of those he saw as the bearers of a sacred heritage — a worship of Gaelic culture which on occasion moved him to the r i d i c u l o u s : 99 What wonderful faces one sees i n Irish-speaking crowds! Truly the l i v e s of those whose faces are so reverent and reposeful must be be a u t i f u l and s p i r i t u a l beyond your and my ken. A painter might f i n d here many types for a St. John, a St. Peter, or a Mater Dolorosa. I often fancy that i f some of the old Masters had known r u r a l Ireland, we should not have so many gross and merely earthly conceptions of the Madonna as we have. 65 But i n such a passage, besides such heady praise of Gaelic speakers, there i s also c l e a r l y an i d e a l i s a t i o n which owes much to the pastoral v i s i o n of the r e v i v a l , e s p e c i a l l y of Yeats. The whole thing contains echoes of Yeats' desire, quoted e a r l i e r , to "make Ireland, as Ireland and a l l other lands were i n ancient times, 6 6 a holy land to her own people." Again and again, too, we f i n d Pearse overlooking the evidence of r u r a l poverty i n a way that i s reminiscent of, but more extreme than, Yeats' own explorations among "the peasantry". Pearse's blindness, indeed, could drive him to the verge of cruelty -- i n discussing the chronic I r i s h problem of emigration he was oblivious to the harsh l i f e and even hunger which many of his fellow-countrymen faced: Let us p l a i n l y t e l l the emigrant that he i s a t r a i t o r to the I r i s h State, and, i f he but knew a l l , a f o o l into the bargain ... i f the emigrants are s t i l l f l e e i n g , a large proportion of them ... can scarcely be accounted a l o s s , for they are deserters who have l e f t t h e i r posts, cowards who have refused to work i n Ireland though work i s to be had. 6 7 Such an uncompromising stance represents a dubious climax to the development of the pastoral vision's influence. Most of the time, however, Pearse dwelt on sunnier matters. "Great joy" at "things young and happy", as i n "The Wayfarer' above, i s very c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the Ireland of his imagination. Indeed the s i m p l i c i t y of a good deal of Pearse's work i s i n d i c a -t i v e of an e s s e n t i a l feature of his temperament. It i s no accident that he f e l t p a r t i c u l a r l y at home writing for children 100 and that being involved with children was one of the passions of l i f e : the directness evident i n his style and imagery and the enthusiasm of his idealism are features which we often attribute to youth i n general. A simple romantic v i s i o n , youthful or not, i s also p a r t i c u l a r l y evocative for Pearse of the true s p i r i t of the country. In a poem to remind his brother, who was b r i e f l y i n France, of his homeland and a l l that i t meant, the images he chooses are in t e r e s t i n g f i r s t l y because they are so st r a i g h t -forward, and secondly because they are from the surrounds of the c i t y rather than the c i t y i t s e l f (although when the poem was written i n 1905 the family l i v e d i n the centre of Dublin): ... think at times Of the corncrake's tune Beside Glasnevin In the middle of the meadow Speaking i n the night; Of the voice of the birds In Glenasmole Happily, with melody Chanting music; Of the strand of Howth Where a wave breaks, And the harbour of Dunleary, Where a ship rocks; On the sun that shines On the side of Slieverua, And the wind that blows Down over i t s brow. 8^ It seems clear that Pearse shared very strongly with Yeats and Synge a f e e l i n g that the true heart of the country was i n e x t r i c -ably caught up with i t s wilder landscapes; that the mountain and the sea were the r e a l Ireland. The figure he created as a woman of the mountain inspired him to some of his most powerful passages: 101 As I walked the mountain i n the evening The birds spoke to me sorrowfully, The sweet snipe spoke and the v o i c e f u l curlew Relating that my darling was dead. I c a l l e d to you and your voice I heard not, I c a l l e d again and I got no answer, I kissed your mouth, and O God how cold i t was! Ah, cold i s your bed i n the lonely churchyard...^9 As well, he was one of the writers of the r e v i v a l who most c l e a r l y regarded the West as a place of c u l t u r a l and s p i r i t u a l renewal. He had a l i t t l e cottage i n Rosmuc i n Connemara which he would 70 v i s i t three of four times yearly, where he could regain contact with people who spoke I r i s h as t h e i r mother tongue, and where he could l i v e as part of what he regarded as the true I r i s h land-scape. In t h i s a b i l i t y , also, to take aspects of the Gaelic hearthland and transform them into an image of a l l Ireland, not only was he looking back to the example of Yeats and Synge, but he was also providing strands of thought which have had an impact on the shaping of Ireland since. Eamon de Valera, involved as a leader i n the Rising and at least at times i d e o l o g i c a l l y close to Pearse, l a t e r became Prime Minister of the I r i s h Free State. He l e f t a large imprint on the emerging nation, and the i d e a l i s e d image of r u r a l Ireland which he often expounded could equally e a s i l y have been a r t i c u l a t e d by Pearse himself: The Ireland we have dreamed of would be the home of a people who valued material wealth only as a basis of r i g h t l i v i n g , of a people who were s a t i s f i e d with frugal comfort and devoted t h e i r l e i s u r e to the things of the s p i r i t ; a land whose countryside would bright with cosy homesteads, whose v i l l a g e s would be joyous with the romping of sturdy children, the contests of a t h l e t i c youths, the laughter of comely maidens; whose f i r e s i d e s would be the forums of the wisdom . of old age. 71 102 It i s , noticeably, a r u r a l Ireland and a family Ireland, and i t i s a country where the r e v i v a l d i s t r u s t of materialism and encouragement of the s p i r i t u a l i s central to the philosophy of l i f e . If Pearse"s pastoral romanticism i s the most obvious emergence of the r e v i v a l sense of place among the poets of 1916, there i s also a sense of place inherent i n the other large influences which the r e v i v a l had on Pearse — his passion for the Gaelic mythology. The valour and the selflessness of the mythic figures p a r t i c u l a r l y attracted him, and he i d e n t i f i e d above a l l with the mythic hero, Cuchulain — a reliance perhaps somewhat unexpected i n the leader of a twentieth-century national-i s t movement. Yet Pearse's fascination i s evident from a number of sources. He emphasised the i d e a l of Cuchulain to the boys of St. Enda's, and there was a fresco of the heroic figure i n the 72 hallway of the school. Cuchulain was also a popular character for the school plays. Later, A.E., commenting on the i n s p i r a t i o n behind the events of the Rising, remarked how he "remembered after Easter Week that [Pearse] had been s o l i t a r y against a great host i n imagination with Cuchulain, long before circum-stances permitted him to stand for his nation with so few 73 companions against so great a power." Yeats, too, r e a l i s i n g the significance of the emphasis of the legends at the school and l i n k i n g i t with Pearse's intense r e l i g i o u s conviction, also had his explanation: ... i n the imagination of Pearse and his fellow soldiers the S a c r i f i c e of the Mass had found the Red Branch i n the tapestry; they went out to die c a l l i n g upon Cuchulain.74 103 The authorities of the present Republic have acknowledged the contribution with a statue of the dying Cuchulain i n the Post O f f i c e . But t h i s mythology would, however, have remained forgotten except for the e f f o r t s of the l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l . The two men largely responsible for the legends catching the l i t e r a r y imagination were S i r Samuel Ferguson and Standish 0'Grady. Ferguson died i n 18 86, but 0'Grady survived af t e r 1916 to ponder the truth of a famous prophecy he had e a r l i e r made. "We have now a l i t e r a r y movement", he t o l d a l i t e r a r y dinner i n 1899, " i t i s not very important; i t w i l l be followed by a p o l i t i c a l movement, that w i l l not be very important; then there must . . 75 come a m i l i t a r y movement that w i l l be important indeed." It i s worth commenting that the I r i s h mythology was not the only mythology i n f l u e n t i a l i n the development of a sense of twentieth-century nationalism: a set of legends, with which 0'Grady had e a r l i e r favourably compared the I r i s h legends, was important i n developing the sense of nationalism responsible for the words 7 6 and deeds of the Third Reich. The importance of the ancient mythology was i t s contribution to the s p i r i t u a l side of nationalism; and i t was as t h i s sort of s p i r i t u a l force that Pearse conceived his nationalism. "They have conceived of na t i o n a l i t y as a material thing", he wrote of the more t r a d i t i o n a l p a t r i o t s , "whereas i t i s a s p i r i t u a l 77 thing." I t i s also through the s p i r i t u a l i t y of the mythology that place emerges as important to the mythology: the legends are bound up mystically with Ireland the place. A.E.'s pantheism embraced a v i s i o n of the past continually available i n the present i n the form of emanations. Yeats' stress on the 104 importance of place as a major l i n k to the legends included an ess e n t i a l unity he f e l t existed between his a r t , the mythology, and Ireland: ".all my art theories depend upon just t h i s — 7 8 rooting of mythology i n the earth." Pearse's conception of Ireland seemed to combine t h i s mystical sense of Ireland derived from the mythology, and the romantic sense of Ireland derived e s p e c i a l l y from Yeats and Synge. The t r a d i t i o n of representing Ireland as a woman, resurrected with such n a t i o n a l i s t impact by Yeats, i s p a r t i c u l a r l y successful i n conveying the idea of the country as a s p i r i t u a l e n t i t y . I t i s not surprising that Pearse also uses the symbolism several times, for example i n 'The Mother 1 and, e s p e c i a l l y , i n 'I am Ireland': I am Ireland I am older than the Old Woman of Beare. Great my glory: I that bore Cuchulain the v a l i a n t . Great my shame: My own children that sold t h e i r mother. I am Ireland: _„ I am l o n e l i e r than the Old Woman of Beare. Perhaps t h i s poem, i n i t s s i m p l i c i t y bringing together I r i s h myth, history, and the remoteness of the Beare peninsula facing into the A t l a n t i c , most succinctly evokes the s p i r i t of nationalism which f i r e d Pearse. One senses that his v i s i o n i s often t h i s sort of s i m p l i f i e d version of the ideas which the other writers of the l i t e r a r y movement were also t r y i n g to express. Whereas the other writers, however, knew the complexities behind t h e i r views of Ireland, the remarkable fact about Pearse i s that he fashioned a v i s i o n pure enough for i t to propel him and others into v i o l e n t revolutionary action. 'I am Ireland' expressed an 105 image which also f i r e d Easter 1916. A difference of degree of r e v i v a l influence on the poets of 1916 can therefore be discerned, with Pearse most c l o s e l y involved with the images and themes of the other writers. The general romanticism of the l i t e r a r y movement affected Plunkett and MacDonagh; and MacDonagh was also noticeably influenced i n his choice and treatment of themes. But i t i s Pearse who i s most obviously i n debt to the rest of the r e v i v a l writers, from whom he derives many of the elements of place, romanticism, and mythology which blend into his mystical love of Ireland. In developing his v i s i o n he has absorbed and s i m p l i f i e d much of the imagery and symbolism discussed i n the previous chapter, and i t i s c l e a r that his nationalism, although much dependent on his love of Gaelic culture, i s also substantially obtained from his romantic v i s i o n of Ireland the place. Because Pearse was leader of the Rising, these themes of place within the r e v i v a l are therefore brought .to an important focus i n the history of I r i s h e f f o r t s to obtain independence. Thus the romantic view of Ireland developed by the l i t e r a r y movement becomes an important visionary strand i n a n a t i o n a l i s t ideology which eventually poured out on to the streets i n 1916, and which subsequently had a profound e f f e c t on the course of I r i s h h i s t o r y . It i s i n t e r e s t i n g to consider that the r e v i v a l may have had a further influence not on the imagery of the i n s u r r e c t i o n i s t s but on t h e i r i n c l i n a t i o n towards militancy — an argument developed by G.J. Watson i n his book, I r i s h Identity and the 8 0 L i t e r a r y Revival. Through t h e i r i n t e r e s t i n occult and theosophical matters, both Yeats and A.E. had, i n Watson's 106 words, "absorbed ... the idea of the imminence of a new epoch to be ushered i n by a Messiah figure, and inaugurated with revolu-tionary violence and war." This i s a theme which recurs many times through Yeats' poetry, most c l e a r l y i n 'The Second Coming', written i n January 1919 as the Sinn Fein parliament was set up i n Dublin, and the f i r s t shots of the Anglo-Irish War were f i r e d by the South Tipperary Brigade of the I.R.A. at Soloheadbeg: Turning and turning i n the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things f a l l apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy i s loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide i s loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence i s drowned; The best lack a l l conviction, while the worst Are f u l l of passionate i n t e n s i t y . Surely some revelation i s at hand; Surely the Second Coming i s at hand. The Second Coming! ... 8 1 But before the upsurge of v i o l e n t nationalism, Yeats had joined mysticism and revolutionary nationalism more happily, a message, as Watson points out, with great appeal to men l i k e Pearse and Plunkett. In t h i s sense, the nationalism of the l i t e r a r y move-ment tended towards v i o l e n t nationalism. Watson c i t e s one poem and accompanying set of notes i n p a r t i c u l a r , 'The Valley of the Black Pig' written i n 1896: The dews drop slowly and dreams gather: unknown spears Suddenly hurtle before my dream-awakened eyes, And then the clash of f a l l e n horsemen and the c r i e s Of unknown perishing armies beat about my ears. We who s t i l l labour by the cromlech on the shore, The grey c a i r n on the h i l l , when day sinks drowned i n dew, Being weary of the world's empires, bow down to you, Master of the s t i l l stars and of the flaming door. 82 The f i r s t sentence of Yeats' notes reads: " A l l over Ireland there are prophecies of the coming rout of the enemies of Ireland, i n a c e r t a i n Valley of the Black Pig, and these prophecies are, no 107 doubt, as they were i n Fenian days, a p o l i t i c a l f o r c e . " Thus the poem, though s e t i n the p a s t , i s i n f a c t e q u a l l y r e l e v a n t to the f u t u r e , and i s geared to v i o l e n t r a t h e r than p e a c e f u l change. I t i s worth remembering t h a t P l u n k e t t was one i n s u r r e c -t i o n i s t who a c t u a l l y d i d j o i n n a t i o n a l i s m and r e v e l a t i o n i n a p o c a l y p t i c a c t i o n , but P l u n k e t t ' s sense of impending apocalypse owes more to h i s r e a d i n g of the C h r i s t i a n m y stics than t o the r e v i v a l . N e v e r t h e l e s s , i t can be seen t h a t the r e v i v a l , as w e l l as p r o v i d i n g the poet i n s u r r e c t i o n i s t s w i t h a n a t i o n a l i s t imagery, i m p l i e d a l s o a sense of impending t r a n s i t i o n a l v i o l e n c e . T h i s i n f e r e n c e might w e l l have been drawn by the i n s u r r e c t i o n i s t s . AFTERMATH.: In r e t r o s p e c t i t seems a p p r o p r i a t e t h a t the concerns of a l i t e r a r y movement were i n g r e d i e n t s i n a n a t i o n a l i s t R i s i n g which was i t s e l f i n many ways a dramatic c o n s t r u c t i o n . I t i s as a dramatic event, a l s o , t h a t the R i s i n g changes from being a m i l i t a r y f a i l u r e i n t o becoming an i n s p i r a t i o n a l success, at l e a s t i n n a t i o n a l i s t eyes. I t s c o n c e p t i o n i n c l u d e d a s t r o n g b e l i e f i n the value of i t s e f f e c t as a p r o t e s t — the romantic i d e a of the v a l u e o f a gesture a g a i n s t the oppressor. When seen i n these terms, i t s importance i n I r i s h h i s t o r y i s more r e a d i l y apparent. Before the R i s i n g , few of those i n v o l v e d seemed to h o l d many i l l u s i o n s about the chances of i t s m i l i t a r y success. Pearse's w r i t i n g b e f o r e the event, f o r example, shows a c o n s i d e r -a b l e p r e - o c c u p a t i o n w i t h death; and s e v e r a l of h i s works can be i n t e r p r e t e d as d i r e c t statements of h i s planned d e s t i n y , i n c l u d i n g 10 8 the e x t r a o r d i n a r y poem 'Renunciation': ... I have turned my face To t h i s road b e f o r e me, To the deed t h a t I see And the death I s h a l l die.83 P l u n k e t t r e v e a l s some of the same d e s i r e f o r s e l f - i m m o l a t i o n i n 84 the poem quoted e a r l i e r , and a l s o — having l i v e d i n search of B y r o n i c romantic a c t i o n and now dying anyway of t u b e r c u l o s i s --r e q u i r e d f o r h i s l i f e a s u i t a b l e f i n a l e . In the case of the more hard-headed r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s , whatever i n i t i a l hopes they may have e n t e r t a i n e d must have faded f a s t i n the d i s o r g a n i s a t i o n which immediately preceded the R i s i n g , r e s u l t i n g not i n the envisaged countrywide rush t o arms but i n a c u r t a i l e d and r a t h e r desperate a c t i o n c o n f i n e d t o D u b l i n . Connolly, not the type of t h i n k e r to r e l y on the e f f e c t of i n s p i r a t i o n a l g e s t u r e s , s u r e l y s p e c u l a t e d on some p o s s i b l e m i l i t a r y success i n the e a r l y p l a n n i n g , but even he, on the morning of the R i s i n g , i s r e p o r t e d 8 5 to have commented on the c e r t a i n t y of h i s f a t e . T h i s c o n c e p t i o n of the R i s i n g as a f u t i l e m i l i t a r y engagement, but a dramatic success because of the n a t i o n a l i s t s a c r i f i c e , turned out t o be remarkably a c c u r a t e . The d i s r u p t i o n and d e s t r u c t i o n caused by the R i s i n g i n i t i a l l y made i t s p e r p e t r a -t o r s unpopular -- a l l the major I r i s h newspapers condemned i t — but the c o n f u s i o n and bewilderment of many I r i s h people changed t o dismay wi t h the e x e c u t i o n of f i f t e e n of the l e a d e r s w i t h i n the f i r s t few weeks of May (Roger Casement was executed i n August). B r i t i s h heavy-handedness, too, impinged d i r e c t l y on the l i v e s of D u b l i n c i t i z e n s because of the i m p o s i t i o n of m a r t i a l law, and of widespread and o f t e n f o r c e f u l searches f o r rank-and-f i l e r e b e l s and other accomplices. The i n d e l i c a c y of these 109 operations increasingly began to arouse a n t i - B r i t i s h f e e l i n g , and the opinion began to grow that the i n s u r r e c t i o n i s t s should have been treated as prisoners-of-war -- they had engaged i n an open and honest f i g h t within the accepted rules of warfare. The discovery, also, that among the leaders of the Rising were i n t e l l e c t u a l figures well-known to the general public increased the impact of the executions. The view increasingly gained adherents that these were not unthinking men s p o i l i n g for a f i g h t , but instead were concerned men faced, i n t h e i r perception, by only one strategy. I t would have been one thing for the authorities to shoot professional revolutionaries: i t i s another to shoot poets. I r i s h n a t i o n a l i s t s , too, have never been slow to r e a l i s e the emotional importance of martyrdom, as more recent events have also indicated. A considerable c u l t was b u i l t up around the commemorative Masses said for those who died, and the memories of t h e i r actions were not allowed to die with them. Having been inspired himself by the f u t i l e gestures of Wolfe Tone and Robert Emmet, Pearse had understood well the i n s p i r a -t i o n a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s of his s a c r i f i c e . One i s l e f t to ponder the relevance of a section of a poem he once wrote: The lawyers have sat i n council, the men with the keen, long faces, And said, 'This man i s a f o o l ' , and others have said, 'He blasphemeth'; And the wise have p i t i e d the f o o l that hath striv e n to give a l i f e In the world of time and space among the bulks of actual things, To a dream that was dreamed i n the heart, and that only the heart could hold. 110 0 w i s e m e n , r i d d l e me t h i s : w h a t i f t h e d r e a m c o m e t r u e ? W h a t i f t h e d r e a m c o m e t r u e ? a n d i f m i l l i o n s u n b o r n s h a l l d w e l l I n t h e h o u s e t h a t I s h a p e d i n my h e a r t , t h e n o b l e h o u s e o f my t h o u g h t ? L o r d , I h a v e s t a k e d my s o u l , I h a v e s t a k e d t h e l i v e s o f my k i n O n t h e t r u t h o f T h y d r e a d f u l w o r d . D o n o t r e m e m b e r my f a i l u r e s , B u t r e m e m b e r t h i s my f a i t h . 86 I n i t s e s s e n t i a l s , h i s p r o p h e c y w a s c o r r e c t , a n d h i s p l e a w a s n o t i g n o r e d . T h e e x e c u t i o n s p l a y e d t h e i r p a r t i n r e t u r n i n g S i n n F e i n i n t h e 1918 G e n e r a l E l e c t i o n , a n d i n j e c t e d t h e f l a g g i n g m i l i t a n t n a t i o n a l i s t m o v e m e n t i n t h e r e s t o f t h e c o u n t r y w i t h t h e e n e r g y n e e d e d t o c o n d u c t a g u e r r i l l a c a m p a i g n o f c o n s i d e r a b l e s t a m i n a a g a i n s t t h e C r o w n f o r c e s f r o m t h e m i d d l e o f 1919 u n t i l t h e e n d o f 1921, e n d i n g i n t h e A n g l o - I r i s h T r e a t y w h i c h b r o u g h t t h e I r i s h F r e e S t a t e i n t o e x i s t e n c e . S i n n F e i n i n t h e f i r s t m e e t i n g o f t h e o u t l a w e d D u b l i n p a r l i a m e n t i n e a r l y 1919- m a d e t h e c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e R i s i n g e x p l i c i t b y r e a s s e r t i n g t h e D e c l a r a t i o n o f I n d e p e n d e n c e r e a d b y P e a r s e f r o m t h e P o s t O f f i c e . I t i s a c u r i o u s p a r a d o x o f I r i s h h i s t o r y t h a t I r i s h n a t i o n a l i s m w h i c h h a d g a i n e d s o m u c h o f i t s i n i t i a l s t r e n g t h t h r o u g h d i s p u t e s o v e r a n u n j u s t s y s t e m o f l a n d t e n u r e i n r u r a l a r e a s i n f a c t r e a c h e d i t s m o s t i n t e n s e c l i m a x l a r g e l y w i t h i n 8 7 t h e c o n f i n e s o f t h e c i t y o f D u b l i n . T h i s w a s p a r t l y d u e t o t h e c o n f u s i o n s o f t h e w e e k p r e c e d i n g . E a s t e r M o n d a y : a s h o c k e d l e a d e r s h i p o f t h e l e g i t i m a t e I r i s h V o l u n t e e r s r e c o g n i s e d t h a t t h e i r o r g a n i s a t i o n h a d b e e n u s e d a s a f r o n t b y t h e s e c r e t R e p u b l i c a n B r o t h e r h o o d a n d c o u n t e r m a n d e d a l l c a l l s t o r e b e l l i o n ( w h i c h w o u l d o t h e r w i s e h a v e b e e n m o r e w i d e s p r e a d ) ; a n d a G e r m a n s h i p m e n t o f a r m s t o t h e K e r r y c o a s t i n s o u t h - w e s t I r e l a n d ( u n d e r I l l the supervision of Roger Casement) was captured by the B r i t i s h . But i t was also due to the i n s p i r a t i o n behind the Rising i t s e l f : the.leadership of the revolutionaries included s u r p r i s i n g l y few whose nationalism represented the age-old grievances on the land, but included instead a considerable number whose nationalism was c u l t u r a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l , or at least so i n c l i n e d . In f a c t , among the sixteen men executed, only Thomas Kent i n Cork seems 8 8 to have had a connection with a c t i v i t y over r u r a l grievances. Among the others, Thomas Clarke, Edward Daly and Sean MacDermott represented the old Fenian revolutionary t r a d i t i o n , and James Connolly was the lone s o c i a l i s t . But as well as Pearse, MacDonagh and Plunkett, Eamonn Ceannt, William Pearse (brother of P a t r i c k ) , Cornelius Colbert and Michael O'Hanrahan appear to g have had a strong romantic or c u l t u r a l base to t h e i r nationalism. An i n t e l l e c t u a l reaction against his c o l o n i a l experiences, es p e c i a l l y as B r i t i s h consul i n the French Congo, was important i n the commitment of Casement, and other prominent revolutionaries with strong c u l t u r a l or romantic foundations to t h e i r nationalism included Countess Markiewicz and Eamon de Valera, teacher of mathematics and Gaelic enthusiast, and Prime Minister and l a t e r 90 President of Ireland aft e r independence. The implications of t h i s i n terms of h i s t o r i c a l process are suggestive. The great m a t e r i a l i s t force behind I r i s h nationalism — the l e v e l of bare subsistence and the r e a l i t i e s of e v i c t i o n and famine f u e l l i n g the desire for change i n the system of r u r a l land tenure — expressed i t s e l f through the p o l i t i c a l party working i n Westminster for Home Rule through peaceful c o n s t i t u t i o n a l t r a n s i t i o n . But the v i o l e n t revolutionary nationalism which 112 burst on the I r i s h scene i n 1916 had few li n k s with the land disputes, and instead a major input from an involvement with romantic l i t e r a r y and c u l t u r a l movements. Even the support from James Connolly's m i l i t a n t Dublin working-class movement i s c l e a r l y outweighed by the emphasis on c u l t u r a l nationalism, perhaps nowhere more apparently than i n the p o l i c i e s of the newly-emerging nation-state aft e r 19 21. What had occurred was that a revolutionary movement i n many ways a d r i f t from the r e a l i t i e s of I r i s h l i f e had seized the n a t i o n a l i s t i n i t i a t i v e . Also worthy of consideration i s the manner i n which the mood of t h i s i n i t i a t i v e spread to the rest of the country. There was less a change i n the a c t u a l i t i e s of the s i t u a t i o n than a s t a r t l i n g transformation i n I r i s h assumptions about what was 91 possible, and the change i n the d i r e c t i o n of violence was very largely due to the increasingly romantic aura which the r e b e l l i o n (aided by Plunkett's marriage and Pearse's poetry written i n t h e i r l a s t hours before execution) was quickly achieving. It was the l a t e r harnessing of the power of the old r u r a l nation-a l i s t emotions which subsequently allowed Sinn Fein and the r u r a l g u e r r i l l a s to achieve prominence, but i t would probably never have been possible except for the c u l t u r a l v i s i o n of a small number of Dublin romantics moving i n the wake of a c u l t u r a l and, as we have examined here, a l i t e r a r y movement i n such a way as to f i r e the imagination of a considerable portion of an entire nation. David F i t z p a t r i c k has c a l l e d the i n s u r r e c t i o n i s t s "visionary outcasts", by which he means that they were very d i f f e r e n t from the vast mass of r u r a l Irishmen. It i s the r e v i v a l separation from the r e a l Ireland appearing once more, 113 but i t also emphasises that the Easter Rising was almost exactly the opposite of a mass movement f u e l l e d by material resentment. It was instead a small movement, of the imagination — yet i t became a p i v o t a l point of I r i s h history. The contribution of the l i t e r a r y movement to t h i s c u l t u r a l nationalism originated i n the common growth shared by the l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l and the c u l t u r a l r e v i v a l i n the eighteen-nineties, and continued through the inte r a c t i o n between the writers and the n a t i o n a l i s t s a f t e r the turn of the century. It i s a contribution to I r i s h history, as well as to I r i s h culture, which has not always been f u l l y r e a l i s e d . Perhaps the spectacular nature of the arguments between the l i t e r a r y move-ment and the n a t i o n a l i s t movement has obscured the underlying s i m i l a r i t i e s . Possibly the lower l e v e l of excitement i n l i t e r a r y a c t i v i t i e s around Dublin a f t e r the death of Synge (and with Yeats keeping a lower p r o f i l e as the more raucous and narrow-minded sections of Dublin opinion began, at least temporarily, to d i s i l l u s i o n him) has diverted attention from the importance of the e a r l i e r years i n the formation and dissemination of ideas. But these ideas, i f we have had any success i n t h e i r sometimes elusive pursuit, can be seen to form an important t r a i n of thought i n the ideology which prompted the Rising. Yeats' concern with h i s t o r i c a l events as they unfolded from the eighteen-nineties onwards i s a powerful force • in his ar t : i t i s f i t t i n g that his close contact and the contact of others i n the l i t e r a r y movement with a sense of that history should eventually become an influence i n the unfolding of the history i t s e l f . 114 FOOTNOTES Thomas MacAnna, 'Nationalism from the Abbey Stage' i n Robert O ' D r i s c o l l , ed., Theatre and Nationalism i n Twentieth- Century Ireland, (University of Toronto Press, 1971), p.96. MacAnna comments on how appropriate i t was that Cathleen n i  Houlihan was to have been performed at the Abbey the day of the Rising, but had to be cancelled. 2 quoted i n F.S.L. Lyons, Ireland Since the Famine, (Fontana, 1973), p.105. 3 Ibid, pp.237-238. 4 One of the most important of these was the P a r n e l l i t e newspaper United Ireland, launched in 1881 by Parnell himself under the editorship of William O'Brien (see Lyons, p.173). Parnell was c i t e d i n the O'Shea divorce case i n December 1890 and died i n October 1891. In the period July 1891 to December 1892, Yeats published f i f t e e n a r t i c l e s (including reviews) i n t h i s paper (see Yeats, Uncollected Prose 1, ed. John P. Frayne, (New York, Columbia University Press, 1970). He also published i n United Ireland, four days aft e r Parnell's death, a p a r t i c u -l a r l y p o l i t i c a l poem acknowledging Parnell's stature. The quickness of production of 'Mourn -- and then Onward!' has resulted i n the poem being now confined to The Variorum E d i t i o n  of the Poems of W.B. Yeats, ed. Peter A l l t and Russell K. Alspach, (New York, Macmillan, 1956), pp.737-738: Ye on the broad high mountains of old E r i , Mourn a l l night and day, The man i s gone who guided ye, unweary, Through the long b i t t e r way. Ye by the waves that close i n our sad nation, Be f u l l of sudden fears, The man i s gone who from his lonely station Has moulded the hard years. Mourn ye on grass-green plains of E r i fated, For closed i n darkness now Is he who laboured on, derided, hated, And made the tyrant bow. Mourn — and then onward, there i s no returning He guides ye from the tomb; His memory now i s a t a l l p i l l a r , burning Before us i n the gloom! Such s t u f f , though not t y p i c a l of Yeats, was si m i l a r i n st y l e to much of the p o l i t i c a l verse being churned out i n t h i s period. Another outlet of note was An Shan Van Vocht (translated as 115 The Poor Old Woman, i . e . Ireland), which, although i t was not •founded u n t i l 1896, had an i n t e r e s t i n g career i n that i t became The United Irishman edited by Arthur G r i f f i t h i n 1899, which i n turn became Sinn Fein ( s t i l l under G r i f f i t h ' s editorship) i n 1906 (see V i r i g i n a E. Glandon, 'The I r i s h Press and Revolutionary I r i s h Nationalism', i n Eire-Ireland, Spring 1981, pp..21-33). Unfortunately c i r c u l a t i o n figures for these p o l i t i c a l / l i t e r a r y papers are not ava i l a b l e , except for United Ireland i n 1897 and 1898 (5,000 and 2,000 copies weekly; Source: Dublin Castle, Intelligence Notes, B series, November 189 8) when the paper was i n serious decline. Most of these papers were published i n Dublin, although An Shan Van Vocht was an exception, being printed i n Belfast u n t i l i t became The United Irishman, when i t moved to Dublin also. 5 W.B. Yeats, Essays and Introductions, (New York, Macmillan, 1961), p.248. c Please see page 52. 7 The term Ascendancy refers to the Anglo-Irish a r i s t o c r a t i c governing class i n Ireland ( i . e . the I r i s h estate landlords). Lady Gregory and her son were i n charge of the family estate i n Coole i n Co. Galway, S i r William Gregory (who died i n 1892) having returned there aft e r being Governor of Ceylon. Synge's grandfather had owned extensive estates i n Co. Wicklow, but these had been reduced considerably before his h e i r , Synge's uncle, gained control. They were s t i l l i n the family hands i n Synge's time (see My Uncle John: Edward Stephen's L i f e of  J.M. Synge, ed. Andrew Carpenter, (London, Oxford University Press, 1974), Part One: 1870-1892). Yeats' connections with a r i s t o c r a t i c blood were rather less close; more distant, i n f a c t , than he l i k e d to imagine. Moore i n H a i l and Farewell (ed. Richard Cave, (Toronto, Macmillan, 1976), p.540) t e l l s an anecdote of Yeats' search for n o b i l i t y with r e l i s h : ... we laughed, remembering A.E.'s story, that one day while Yeats was crooning over his f i r e Yeats had said that i f he had his rights he would be Duke of Ormonde. A.E.'s answer was: I am a f r a i d , W i l l i e , you are over-looking your father — a detestable remark to make to a poet i n serach of an ancestry. Even i f Yeats' father had not then been very much a l i v e , the poet would have found his lineage hard to prove. Connections with the Ormondes and the Butlers which were i n his ancestry were complicated, and stretched over several generations. Yeats made up for his lack of Ascendancy blood by instead being i n v i t e d , at least at i n t e r v a l s , to the big houses. Lady Gregory became a very close fr i e n d and kept f a i t h with him even to the extent of f i n a n c i a l help i n his poorer days, and he recuperated from his lovesickness for Maud Gonne at Coole i n the late eighteen-nineties. He also v i s i t e d such houses as L i s s a d e l l , home of the Goore-Booths, where Constance (Countess) Markievicz was born and grew up. 116 ° For a f u l l account of the d i s p u t e s over Synge's p l a y s see Robert Hogan and James K i l r o y , The Abbey Theatre: The Years of  Synge 1905-1909, (D u b l i n , Dolmen, 19 78). A b r i e f summary of some of the major p o i n t s which arose i n the Playboy d i s p u t e w i l l i n d i c a t e the nature of the i s s u e s i n v o l v e d . The hero of the p l a y i s an i n i t i a l l y awkward young man who a r r i v e s i n a s m a l l western v i l l a g e . I t i s not long b e f o r e he allows i t to be known t h a t he has k i l l e d h i s f a t h e r , who had b u l l i e d him i n the l o n e l y c o t tage where they had l i v e d t o g e t h e r . The v i l l a g e r s are f a s c i n a t e d by t h i s , e s p e c i a l l y Pegeen Mike, daughter of the l o c a l p u b l i c a n i n whose premises the a c t i o n i s s e t . Here the two of them spend a n i g h t unchaperoned t o g e t h e r , though i n separate rooms, as Pegeen's f a t h e r goes away t o a wake from which he i s unable to r e t u r n u n t i l the next day. C h r i s t y Mahon, the Playboy, becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y c o n f i d e n t i n the glow o f a t t e n t i o n he r e c e i v e s , and h i s new-found eloquence captures Pegeen Mike's h e a r t . U n t i l , t h a t i s , the supposedly-dead f a t h e r a r r i v e s on the scene. But goaded as an i d i o t by Pegeen and the crowd, C h r i s t y t a c k l e s the f a t h e r once more and again, as the v i l l a g e r s b e l i e v e , leaves him f o r dead. H i s motive: I t ' s Pegeen I'm seeking o n l y , and what'd I care i f you brought me a d r i f t o f chosen females, s t a n d i n g i n t h e i r s h i f t s i t s e l f , maybe, from t h i s p l a c e t o the E a s t e r n World? (The Complete Works of John M. Synge, (New York, Random, 1935), p.75). But o l d Mahon i s a tough man to get r i d of, and y e t aga i n he re-appears. Then, both he and h i s son are suddenly s t r u c k by the g u l l i b i l i t y of the v i l l a g e r s . O ld Mahon l e a v e s , r e l i s h i n g the p r o s p e c t of " t e l l i n g s t o r i e s of the v i l l a i n y of Mayo, and the f o o l s i s here" (p.80), w h i l e C h r i s t y comes t o r e c o g n i s e one o f the morals o f h i s experience. "Ten thousand b l e s s i n g s upon a l l t h a t ' s here," he says as he l e a v e s , " f o r you've turned me a l i k e l y g a f f e r i n the end of a l l , the way I ' l l go romancing through a romping l i f e t i m e from t h i s hour to the dawning of judgment day." T h i s account does no j u s t i c e t o Synge's achievement e i t h e r i n terms of c h a r a c t e r i s a t i o n or o f d i a l e c t , but i t a t l e a s t p r o v i d e s the background f o r the b i t t e r arguments which f o l l o w e d . One o b j e c t i o n was t o the language used i n the p l a y : f i r s t l y , too much use o f the Holy Name i n v a i n ; secondly, and t h i s caused the f i r s t of the r i o t s , although the e f f e c t was probably cumula-t i v e , r e f e r e n c e t o such a r t i c l e s o f c l o t h i n g as " s h i f t s " ( i . e . p e t t i c o a t s ) . Such imagery as i n the e x t r a c t above was a l s o r a t h e r too heady f o r the more m o r a l i s t i c s e c t i o n s of the audience, and i t was u n t h i n k a b l e t h a t an I r i s h g i r l would spend a n i g h t unchaperoned under the same ro o f as a strange man, even i n the s a f e t y of separate rooms. But b e s i d e s sex and r e l i g i o n t h e r e was a more fundamental and s e r i o u s o b j e c t i o n t o the p l a y which some of the p r o t e s t o r s were a l s o making. The v i l l a g e r s i n the p l a y do, as o l d Mahon r e a l i s e s , end up l o o k i n g l i k e f o o l s . They i d o l i s e an i n i t i a l l y c r i n g i n g supposed p a t r i c i d e , which i m p l i e s e i t h e r a g r e a t l a c k of m o r a l i t y or a gr e a t l a c k of 117 excitement. And then they turn on him i n the wake of the second " k i l l i n g " , only to discover that they were incapable of recognising that the old man was only stunned. This hardly r e f l e c t s too well on I r i s h v i l l a g e r s , and i t was a p a r t i c u l a r l y b i t t e r coming from the stage of a l i t e r a r y movement an o r i g i n a l aim of which had been to eliminate the stage Irishman beloved of the English. If the stage Irishman was going to be replaced by the characters of the Playboy many people f e l t that they had to protest. What t h i s b o i l s down to i s the ess e n t i a l contradiction between an exploration of I r i s h i d e n t i t y and a d e f i n i t i o n of I r i s h i d e n t i t y , as mentioned i n the text. One group — the writers — wanted to explore what the I r i s h could be l i k e : the other group — the narrower n a t i o n a l i s t s — wanted to define what the I r i s h should be l i k e . The col o u r f u l exaggerations of Synge 1s play raised the issue with a vengeance: should an I r i s h national theatre serve art, or should i t serve propaganda? The answer, as the r i o t s show, could not be arrived at by debate. 9 Johann A. Norstedt, Thomas MacDonagh: A C r i t i c a l Biography, C h a r l o t t e s v i l l e , Va., University Press of V i r i g i n i a , 1980), p.69. Isabella Augusta Gregory, (Lady Gregory), Our I r i s h  Theatre, (Gerrards Cross, Colin Smythe, 1972), p.5. J.M. Synge, Collected Works, II, ed. Alan Price, (London, Oxford University Press, 1966), esp. pp.341-343. 12 W.B. Yeats, Letters of W.B. Yeats, ed. Allan Wade, (London, Hart-Davis, 1954), p.869. He actually shared rooms with O'Leary (see Yeats, Autobiographies,(New York, Macmillan, 1953), p.126). 13 Richard Ellman, Yeats: The Man and the Masks, (London, Macmillan, 1949), p.113. 14 see Conor Cruise O'Brien, 'Passion and Cunning: An Essay on the P o l i t i c s of W.B. Yeats' i n ed. A. Norman Jeffares and K.G.W. Cross, In Excited Reverie, (New York, Macmillan, 1965), p.212. 15 25 95 2 Intelligence Reports, Dublin Castle, F i l e — | , 23rd December, 1901. 16 Moore, op. c i t . , p.6 82, footnote 57. 17 W.B. Yeats, Collected Plays, (London, Macmillan, 1952), p.81 118 1 8 Red Hugh O'Donnell, Gaelic c h i e f t a i n of Tyrconnell i n Ulster, was one of the main leaders against the English i n the Elizabethan Wars i n the l a s t quarter of the sixteenth-century. But i n 1601, i n a l l i a n c e with other Ulster c h i e f t a i n s and with rather inept and recently landed Spanish forces, he was defeated i n the Battle of Kinsale. This English v i c t o r y opened the way for the h i s t o r i c Ulster Plantation, the a r r i v a l i n the f i r s t decade of the seventeenth century of the Scottish and English s e t t l e r s whose descendants form the Protestant inhabitants of Ulster today. Brian Boru was rather more successful i n his e f f o r t s to oust the foreigner. As High King of Ireland he r i d the country of the Danes at the Battle of Clontarf i n 1014. Personally, however, he was not as lucky as O'Donnell, as the b a t t l e cost him his l i f e — he was k i l l e d as he prayed i n his tent towards evening by a l a s t group of the enemy who somehow i n f i l i t r a t e d the regal camp. Both men are revered as heroes i n I r i s h f o l k - h i s t o r y . 1 9 Yeats, Plays, p.86. 2 0 Ibid, p.88. 21 Stephen Gwynn, I r i s h Literature and Drama i n the English  Language; A Short History, (London, Nelson, 1936), p.159. 2 2 Yeats, Plays, p.85. 23 Gwynn, op. c i t . , pp.158-159. 24 Yeats, 'The Man and the Echo 1 i n Collected Poems, (New York, Macmillan, 1956), p.337. 25 Conor Cruise O'Brien, States of Ireland, (New York, Pantheon, 1972), p.70. 2 6 The text of the Proclamation i s available i n most h i s t o r i e s of Ireland which cover the period. See Lyons, op> c i t . , p.369. 27 Yeats, Letters, p.614. 28 quoted i n Ruth Dudley Edwards, Patrick Pearse: The  Triumph of F a i l u r e , (London, Vi c t o r Gollancz Ltd., 1977), p.335, from Lady Gregory, Seventy Years, (Gerrards Cross, Colin Smythe, 1974), p.549. 29 Edwards, op. c i t . , p.119. 3 0 Ibid,p.122. 119 3 0 I b i d , p.122. 3 1 I b i d , pp.131 and 141. 3 2 I b i d , p.171. 33 I b i d , p.226. 3 4 Edd W i n f i e l d P a r k s and A i l e e n W e l l s P a r k s , Thomas MacDonagh:  t h e Man, t h e P a t r i o t , t h e W r i t e r , ( A t h e n s , Ga., U n i v e r s i t y o f G e o r g i a P r e s s , 1 9 6 7 ) , p.7. 35 I b i d , p. 22. I b i d , p.32. H i s a p p l i c a t i o n a l s o i n c l u d e d l e t t e r s o f r e f e r e n c e f r o m Dr. D o u g l a s Hyde and S t e p h e n Gwynn. 37 I b i d , p . 2 0 . 3 8 N o r s t e d t , op. c i t . , p.152. I b i d . 4 0 I b i d , pp.84-88. 41 Y e a t s , A u t o b i o g r a p h i e s , pp.296-297. 42 N o r s t e d t , op. c i t . , pp.127-128. 4 3 P a r k s and P a r k s , op. c i t . , pp.103-104. The o r i g i n a l q u o t e i s f r o m t h e S t . Enda's s c h o o l p a p e r , An Macaomh, Autumn 1908. 44 Y e a t s , A u t o b i o g r a p h i e s , pp.219-220. 45 Y e a t s , 1 I n Memory o f Eva. G o r e - B o o t h and Con M a r k i e w i c z ' , i n Poems, p.229. 46 Y e a t s , Poems, p.178. 47 Edwards, op. c i t . , p.119. 48 I b i d , p.121. 49 N o r s t e d t , op. c i t . , p.82. 1 2 0 5 0 see William Irwin Thompson, The Imagination of an  Insurrection: Dublin, Easter 1 9 1 6 , (New York, Oxford University Press, 1 9 6 7 ) , p. 1 3 4 . 5 1 Joseph Mary Plunkett, 'I see His Blood upon the Rose', anthologised i n The Mentor Book of I r i s h Poetry, ed. Devin A. Garrity, (New York, Mentor Books, 1 9 6 5 ) , p . 3 2 4 , and elsewhere. 5 2 Plunkett, quoted i n Lyons, op. c i t . , p p . 3 3 5 - 3 3 6 , and Thompson, p. 1 3 7 , and elsewhere. 5 3 Thompson, p. 1 3 7 . 5 4 Yeats, 'The Rose Tree' i n Poems, p. 1 8 1 . 5 5 Plunkett, The Poems of Joseph Mary Plunkett, (London, T. Fisher Unwin, 1 9 1 6 ) , p. 5 4 . 5 ^ Synge died i n 1 9 0 9 . Yeats spent a considerable portion of the next decade l i v i n g i n England, possibly because of d i s -illusionment at the reception the I r i s h had accorded the Abbey t h e a t r i c a l productions. He was out of Ireland at Easter 1 9 1 6 . However, he returned to Ireland for much of the nineteen-twenties and served as a senator i n the f i r s t I r i s h Free State parliament from 1 9 2 2 - 1 9 2 8 (an appointed, not elected, p o s i t i o n ) . I l l -health forced him to seek warmer climates increasingly during the nineteen-thirties u n t i l his death i n 1 9 3 9 i n the south of France. 5 7 Thomas MacDonagh, The Poetical Works of Thomas MacDonagh, (Dublin, Talbot, 1 9 1 6 ) , p . 1 4 8 . 5 8 Norstedt, op. c i t . , pp. 7 6 - 7 7 . 5 9 MacDonagh, op. c i t . , p. 4 1 . Also anthologised elsewhere. 6 0 Ibid, p . 6 5 , and elsewhere. ^ Norstedt, op. c i t . , p. 1 5 2 . 6 2 Patrick Pearse, 'The Singer', i n The L i t e r a r y Writings of  Patrick Pearse, ed. Seamas O'Buachalla, (Dublin and Cork, The Mercier Press, 1 9 7 9 ) , p p . 1 0 0 - 1 2 5 . The l a s t sentences of the play are often quoted, and, considering Pearse's destiny, are extra-ordinary: One man can free a people as one Man redeemed the world. I w i l l take no pike, I w i l l go into b a t t l e with bare hands. I w i l l stand up before the G a l l [the foreigner] as Christ hung naked before men on the tree! 121 ft ^ P e a r s e , 'The W a y f a r e r ' , i n L i t e r a r y W r i t i n g s , p.28. 64 Edwards, op. c i t . , pp.51-52. 6 5 I b i d , q u o t e d p.51. 6 6 Y e a t s , U n c o l l e c t e d P r o s e 2, e d . J o h n P. F r a y n e and C o l t o n J o h n s o n , (New Y o r k , C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s , 1 9 7 6 ) , p.127. 6 7 q u o t e d i n Edwards, p.78. 6 8 P e a r s e , 'On t h e S t r a n d o f Howth', i n L i t e r a r y W r i t i n g s , pp.38-39. 69 P e a r s e , 'A Woman o f t h e M o u n t a i n Keens h e r Son' i n L i t e r a r y W r i t i n g s , p .31. 70 Edwards, op. c i t . , pp.50 and 166. 71 q u o t e d i n G.J. Watson, I r i s h I d e n t i t y and t h e L i t e r a r y  R e v i v a l , (London, Croom Helm, 1 9 7 9 ) , p.23. 72 L y o n s , op. c i t . , p.3 32. 7 3 A.E. The L i v i n g T o r c h , (London, M a c m i l l a n , 1 9 3 7 ) , p.145. 74 Y e a t s , E s s a y s , p.515. 75 q u o t e d i n Y e a t s , A u t o b i o g r a p h i e s , p.257. 7 6 s e e Thompson, op. c i t . , pp.30-32. 77 P e a r s e , C o l l e c t e d Works: P o l i t i c a l W r i t i n g and S p e e c h e s , ( D u b l i n , 1924) . 7 8 q u o t e d i n E l l m a n , Y e a t s : The Man and t h e Masks, p.271. 79 P e a r s e , L i t e r a r y W r i t i n g s , p.35. From t h e G a e l i c 'Mise E i r e ' . 80 Watson, op. c i t . , pp.9 2-94. 122 81 Two p o l i c e m e n o f t h e R o y a l I r i s h C o n s t a b u l a r y w e r e k i l l e d w h i l e e s c o r t i n g a c a r t l o a d o f e x p l o s i v e s f o r a l o c a l q u a r r y a t S o l o h e a d b e g , Co. T i p p e r a r y on 2 1 s t J a n u a r y , 1 9 1 9 , t h e v e r y same d a y a s t h e S i n n F e i n a s s e m b l y f i r s t met and r e - a s s e r t e d t h e D e c l a r a t i o n o f I n d e p e n d e n c e , a f a c t w h i c h was more c o i n c i d e n t a l t h a n d e l i b e r a t e , a l t h o u g h S i n n F e i n a n d t h e I.R.A. w e r e s u b s t a n -t i a l l y i n t e r - c o n n e c t e d . Among t h e I.R.A. men w e r e s e v e r a l f i g u r e s who became n o t a b l e i n t h e f i g h t i n g o f t h e y e a r s w h i c h f o l l o w e d : Seamas R o b i n s o n , S e a n T r e a c y , a n d Dan B r e e n . ( s e e L y o n s , o p. c i t . , p p . 4 1 0 - 4 1 1 . 'The S e c o n d Coming' i s i n Y e a t s , Poems-, pp.184-185.) 8 2 W a t s o n , op. c i t . , p . 9 2 , f r o m Y e a t s , Poems, p . 6 3 , a n d p p . 4 4 9 - 4 5 0 . 83 P e a r s e , ' R e n u n c i a t i o n ' , i n L i t e r a r y W r i t i n g s , p . 3 6 . 8 4 P l u n k e t t , 'The L i t t l e B l a c k Rose S h a l l be Red a t L a s t . ' 8 5 C o n n o l l y i s q u o t e d i n L y o n s , o p. c i t . , p . 3 6 6 , a s s a y i n g : "We a r e g o i n g o u t t o be s l a u g h t e r e d . " 8 6 P e a r s e , 'The F o o l ' , i n L i t e r a r y W r i t i n g s , p . 2 4 . 87 I s o l a t e d o u t b r e a k s o f v i o l e n c e a l s o o c c u r r e d a t A s h b o u r n e , Co. M e a t h ( t h e m o s t s e r i o u s , w h e r e t h r e e c i v i l i a n s a n d e i g h t p o l i c e m e n w e r e k i l l e d — r e b e l c a s u a l t i e s a r e n o t r e c o r d e d ) ; E n n i s c o r t h y , Co. W e x f o r d ; Oranmore a n d G a l w a y , Co. G a l w a y ; a nd i n L o u t h a n d K e r r y ( s e e S i n n F e i n R e b e l l i o n Handbook, ( D u b l i n , The I r i s h T i m e s , 1 9 1 7 ) ) . B u t t h e s e w e r e a l l v e r y m i n o r i n c i d e n t s c o m p a r e d t o t h e f i g h t i n g i n D u b l i n . 88 se e R e b e l l i o n Handbook, p.266. 8 9 s e e 'Who's Who i n T h i s Handbook' i n R e b e l l i o n Handbook, p p . 2 5 9 - 2 7 6 . 9 0 I b i d . D a v i d F i t z p a t r i c k , P o l i t i c s a n d I r i s h L i f e 1 9 1 3 - 2 1 , ( D u b l i n , G i l l & M a c m i l l a n , 1 9 7 7 ) , p . 1 2 8 , p a r a p h r a s i n g A u g u s t i n e B i r r e l l , C h i e f S e c r e t a r y f o r I r e l a n d ( i . e . i n c h a r g e o f I r i s h a f f a i r s i n t h e B r i t i s h G o v e r n m e n t a t W e s t m i n s t e r ) 1 9 0 7 - 1 9 1 6 . 9 2 I b i d , p . 1 2 7 . 123 CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSION I pace upon the battlements and stare On the foundations of a house, or where Tree, l i k e a sooty finger, starts from earth; And send imagination forth Under the day's declining beam, and c a l l Images and memories From ruin or from ancient trees, For I would ask a question of them a l l . -- W.B. Yeats, 'The Tower' Only the fortunate have as dramatic an opportunity as Yeats i n the extract above to pause and r e f l e c t upon what has been discovered, examined, analysed, i n the course of t h e i r explorations. But Yeats owned the tower because i t was a symbol: the academic too can shed l i g h t from his tower, even i f he, no poet, i s unlikely to a t t r a c t the lonely figures of Aherne and Robartes wandering across the darkened Connacht land-scape. Yeats, increasingly hemmed i n by the worsening events of g u e r r i l l a war and l a t e r c i v i l war around that tower at B a l l y l e e , chose to turn from the uncertainty outside to instead ponder more and more the imagination inside. These closing r e f l e c t i o n s here, too, seek to emphasise imagination: the images which constitute place; and the images which contribute to I r i s h nationalism. Place cannot be regarded just as the physical environment; nor can man's inte r a c t i o n with the landscape merely be seen as a s a t i s f y i n g attempt to cope with his physical environment. The experience of place i s instead a deep layer of memory, emotion, 124 a s s o c i a t i o n , i d e a l a n d s y m b o l - - a c o m p l e x p a t t e r n o f f e e l i n g s o f b e a u t y , o f r e g r e t , o f b i t t e r n e s s , o f n o s t a l g i a . P e r h a p s p l a c e i n r o m a n t i c l i t e r a t u r e b r i n g s t h i s home e s p e c i a l l y , b u t i t i s , p r o b a b l y , a t r u t h w h i c h a l l o f u s r e a d i l y t a k e f o r g r a n t e d i n o u r e v e r y d a y l i v e s . I t h a r d l y n e e d s e m p h a s i s , o n e s u s p e c t s , e x c e p t t h a t i t h a s b e e n o b s c u r e d i n g e o g r a p h y b y a n o l d e r c o n c e r n w i t h t h e p h y s i c a l e n v i r o n m e n t a n d w i t h i t s e f f e c t s o n m a n ' s a g r i c u l t u r a l a n d e c o n o m i c a c t i v i t i e s , a n d b y a r e c e n t t e n d e n c y n e v e r t h e l e s s i n t h e same b a s i c t r a d i t i o n t o e n v i s i o n p l a c e a s a c o n s t r u c t o f o b j e c t i v e l y i d e n t i f i a b l e v a r i a b l e s . B u t p l a c e i s n o t m e r e l y a n o b j e c t ; i t i s a s u b j e c t i v e o r i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e e x p e r i e n c e f a s h i o n e d b y u s o u r s e l v e s f r o m t h e i m a g e s a n d m e m o r i e s o f o u r p e r s o n a l a n d c u l t u r a l h i s t o r i e s . P e r h a p s t h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y a p p a r e n t t o many w r i t e r s — B r y a n M a c M a h o n , t h e K e r r y n o v e l i s t , c o u l d s e e h u g e p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n j u s t a p l a c e n a m e : " t h e h a b i t s , t h o u g h t s , a c c r e t i o n s o f f o l k l o r e , h i s t o r y , a n e c d o t e , a n d e x p e r i e n c e o f a p a r t i c u l a r a r e a . . . r e d u c e d t o c o d e o r m i c r o f i l m i n [ i t s ] m e r e m e n t i o n " . " 1 " I n p o e t r y , e s p e c i a l l y , t h e p o w e r o f t h e s e a s s o c i a t i o n s b e c o m e s v i t a l . Y e a t s a n d B e n B u l b e n , K n o c k n a r e a , B a l l i n a f a d : p o e t r y s h o w s m o s t e f f e c t i v e l y o f a l l t h a t p l a c e i s f a r f r o m b e i n g a n i n e r t o b j e c t , t h a t i t i s i n s t e a d a n e x t r a o r d i n a r y c a c h e o f h i d d e n i m a g e s . T h e t r e a t m e n t o f p l a c e i n l i t e r a t u r e i s a g o o d d e m o n s t r a t i o n o f t h e n e e d t o a l w a y s e n v i s i o n t h e m e a n i n g o f p l a c e i n t e r m s o f a s s o c i -a t i o n a n d r e c a l l w h i c h we a l l a c c u m u l a t e t h r o u g h b o t h p e r s o n a l a n d c u l t u r a l e x p e r i e n c e . T h e w r i t e r s o f t h e I r i s h r e v i v a l s e e m e d p a r t i c u l a r l y r e s p o n s i v e t o t h e a s s o c i a t i o n s o f p l a c e — t h e i r a m b i t i o n w a s 125 to create a worthwhile I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e , and to that end the use of I r i s h place was very important. Synge made place an e s s e n t i a l component of his essays on I r i s h r u r a l l i f e ; and Yeats, more than any of the other writers, explored and extracted memories, associations, and symbols, e s p e c i a l l y from the western landscape which so attracted him as a boy. For the r e v i v a l i s t s , landscape r e c a l l e d forgotten myth, evoked mood and emotion, embodied ideals . One senses indeed, out there on the Wicklow moors with Synge on his lonely walks, or with Yeats beside Lough G i l l , just how much these writers r e a l i s e d the suggestive power of the landscapes, how important these landscapes were i n t h e i r decision to become I r i s h writers. Ireland, with the f o l k - t a l e s and superstitions of a peasant people s t i l l c l osely i n touch with the s o i l , provided a landscape which was a remarkable store-house of half-forgotten memories, or wild s t o r i e s , of strange but compelling b e l i e f s . Wandering i n the imagination of the C e l t i c t w i l i g h t , the r e v i v a l writers found more than enough to s a t i s f y t h e i r need for the symbolic and the romantic. This,though, i s to emphasise the passive role of l i t e r -ature i n revealing place, whereas l i t e r a t u r e also has the power to create images of place. As the writers uncovered the obscured memories preserved i n the landscape, they discovered variations from here to there -- stories from the same outline but enlarged and enlivened by transmission through generations of shanachie around the cottage hearth, or over a glass of porter i n a pub The r e s u l t was as much an atmosphere as a set of s p e c i f i c s --but the writers found that t h i s was more an advantage than a disadvantage. They found material with which to work, but vague 126 enough for them to make th e i r own imaginative contribution. The outcome was the emphasis of p a r t i c u l a r themes i n country thought and c e r t a i n moods i n the folk superstition, while the writers themselves — just l i k e the shanachie before them — added a whole new range of t h e i r own associations, symbols, and images. Perhaps i t i s r e l a t i v e l y straightforward to appreciate that l i t e r a t u r e , as well as being r e f l e c t i v e , i s also creative. But the r e v i v a l writers underscore the point through coming to the fo l k imagery with a romantic i n c l i n a t i o n , making the most of the vigour of mixing two t r a d i t i o n s — the romantic not only embraces the peasant, as Thompson has i t , but the of f s p r i n g of the union i s healthy and vibrant. A whole new body of images of Ireland came into being, a whole new imagery and symbolism with Ireland as source. As i n much of the folk thought, landscape and place remained a major feature of the imagery. But landscape and place were used as a new anchor to the romantic i d e a l , and were linked i n many new ways to moods and emotions. We speak of Joyce 1s Dublin, but to an even greater extent the romantics of the r e v i v a l created t h e i r Ireland. Their impact i s f e l t throughout I r i s h place: to be f a m i l i a r with the writings of the r e v i v a l i s to see unavoidably the I r i s h landscape through t h e i r eyes. But the r e v i v a l image of Ireland also had an impact beyond the perceptions of I r i s h culture, because the circum-stances of enthusiastic nationalism allowed t h e i r v i s i o n to become part of the ideology of I r i s h nationalism as well. The r e v i v a l writers created a romantic myth about Ireland, an i d e a l i s e d version of the r e a l place. Sharing a common o r i g i n with the c u l t u r a l nationalism which fed into • < 127 m i l i t a n t nationalism, the r e v i v a l writers had l i n k s with the m i l i t a n t s , and the r e v i v a l v i s i o n of Ireland was absorbed into m i l i t a n t n a t i o n a l i s t ideology. In the case of Pearse i n p a r t i c u l a r , the r e v i v a l imagery and the r e v i v a l themes were es p e c i a l l y important, both to his writing and to his ultimate action. He possessed an i d e a l i s e d v i s i o n founded upon a landscape which was romantic and s p i r i t u a l i n a land with an heroic mythology inhabited by a noble and i d e a l i s t i c people. Years l a t e r Patrick Kavanagh, himself anything but the i d e a l i s e d peasant of the r e v i v a l , was to complain with f e e l i n g about "the notion that ... Ireland, as invented and patented by Yeats, Lady Gregory 2 and Synge, [was] a s p i r i t u a l e n t i t y . " Kavanagh, coming from the harsh l i f e on a farm i n r u r a l Monaghan, could with some ju s t i c e grumble about r e v i v a l heads i n the clouds. But i t was p r e c i s e l y the " s p i r i t u a l e n t i t y " which Pearse 1s imagination grasped. The influence of the l i t e r a r y movement on the n a t i o n a l i s t movement underlines the creative impact which l i t e r a t u r e can have — keeping i n mind that Pearse and his fellow-soldiers, Cuchulain at t h e i r side, greatly altered the course of I r i s h history. But the l i t e r a r y influence also indicates, i n general, the importance to I r i s h nationalism of imagery and ideals, the importance to I r i s h militancy of i t s imaginative content. The r e a l place and people are transformed into abstractions and symbols i n t h i s ideology, and the v i s i o n of an i d e a l i s e d Ireland f l o a t s free from i t s moorings i n a c t u a l i t y . Thus I r i s h nationalism requires a d e f i n i t e f a i t h — one must believe i n the v i s i o n — very often r e s u l t i n g i n intense commitment to i t s cause. This f a i t h and 128 t h i s idealism make those involved unusually prone to emotional and symbolic acts: the seizing of the Post O f f i c e , the u n i l a t e r a l assembly of the f i r s t D a i l and the reassertion of the Declaration of Independence. Such acts force dramatic response, leading to a s e l f - f u e l l i n g cycle: the seizure of the Post Office r e s u l t s i n great damage to Dublin centre, the imposition of martial law and the execution of the i n s u r r e c t i o n i s t leaders, which i n turn i s countered by a massive swing to Sinn Fein i n the 1918 e l e c t i o n . The impact of such events adds to the emotionalism already present i n the n a t i o n a l i s t f a i t h ; and together with the pattern of gesture and response, I r i s h nationalism i s made into a p e c u l i a r l y l a s t i n g force within a t r a d i t i o n symbolically k n i t around i t s past and i t s idealism. Shaped around a v i s i o n , and never p a r t i c u l a r l y a pragmatic movement responsive to outside conditions, i t has become increasingly possessed of an unrelenting force of i t s own. Thus the idealism of the Anglo-Irish War leads to the f r a t r i c i d e of the C i v i l War, and to the destruction i n Ulster today: We have fed the heart on fantasies, The heart's grown brutal from the fare; More substance i n our enmities Than i n our love ... We can see i n that ideology of 1916 and i t s development i n the subsequent f i v e years many clues to the passion and i n t r a c t a b i l i t y of attitudes i n contemporary Ireland, and to the dismaying excesses of those involved. Unfortunately, too, the drama of the eventual path which I r i s h independence did take has obscured, or even worse made us despise, the e f f o r t s of those who sought a peaceful solution to the I r i s h desire for self-determination through c o n c i l i a t i o n and compromise. What has happened i s that 129 m i l i t a n t I r i s h nationalism has constructed i t s own set of myths which people are s t i l l loth to question; and a reliance on an imagic and symbolic idealism makes t h i s nationalism unamenable to r a t i o n a l argument. This thesis has been suggesting, therefore, that the v i s i o n of the men of 1916, responsible for the events and the subsequent development of t h i s I r i s h m i l i t a n t mythology, r e l i e d substantially on the romantic frame of reference provided by the I r i s h l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l , and on the romantic r e v i v a l v i s i o n of Ireland the place. The r e v i v a l i s t s , looking through a romantic f i l t e r , allowed themselves to become emotionally involved i n the landscape, embodied i n i t memories and i d e a l s , and peopled i t with characters owing much to the r e v i v a l imagination. The r e s u l t was a r e v i v a l Ireland, a v i s i o n created from folk memories and romantic values, becoming, p a r t i c u l a r l y through Pearse, a c a l l to action, an important influence i n the development of the emotions shaping events. This i d e a l i s e d v i s i o n of Ireland, and the dramatic impact of the actions which i t prompted, f u e l l e d an I r i s h mythology which has remained powerful ever since. But the mythology i n i t i a l l y started from a v i s i o n which originated with the l i t e r a r y movement, a v i s i o n of place, and of people i n place. "I count the l i n k s i n the chain of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , " Yeats wrote to a f r i e n d shortly a f t e r the Rising, "and I wonder i f any of 4 them ends i n my workshop." A reply came from an important source, from P.S. O'Hegarty, a member of the Supreme Council of the I r i s h Republican Brotherhood and h i s t o r i a n of Sinn Fein. "Ireland i n the coming times.will understand," he wrote, "that the great poet who worked for a national culture was during the whole of his l i f e 130 one of the most revolutionary influences i n Ireland. He worked for a revolution of the s p i r i t , and i t i s the s p i r i t that moves 5 the body." If nationalism consists of a bond between people and place, then I r i s h nationalism consists of a s p i r i t u a l bond between the I r i s h and t h e i r romantic v i s i o n of place — and the responsi-b i l i t y for that v i s i o n of place can be traced to the writers of the I r i s h l i t e r a r y r e v i v a l . 131 FOOTNOTES 1 Bryan MacMahon, 'Place and People i n t o Poetry' i n I r i s h  Poets i n E n g l i s h , ed. Sean Lucy, (Dublin and Cork, M e r c i e r , 1973), p. 62. 2 P a t r i c k Kavanagh, S e l f - P o r t r a i t , (Dublin, Dolmen, 1964) , p.11 3 W.B. Yeats, 'Meditations i n Time of C i v i l War' i n C o l l e c t e d  Poems, (New York, Macmillan, 1956), pp.202-203. 4 quoted i n Peter C o s t e l l o , The Heart Grown B r u t a l , ( D u blin, G i l l and Macmillan, 1977), pp.2-3. 5 I b i d , quoted p.4. O'Hegarty i s echoing a poem Yeats wrote i n the e a r l y e i g h t e e n - n i n e t i e s as the i n t e r e s t i n c u l t u r a l n a t i o n a l i s m was b e g i n n i n g t o re-awaken: 'To I r e l a n d i n the Coming Times' (Poems, pp.49-50) Know, t h a t I would accounted be True b r o t h e r of a company That sang, to sweeten I r e l a n d ' s wrong, B a l l a d and s t o r y , rann and song. ... I c a s t my h e a r t i n t o my rhymes, That you, i n the dim coming times, May know how my h e a r t went wi t h them A f t e r the red-rose-bordered hem. 132 SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY A.E. (Russell, George William), The Candle of Vision. (London, MacMillan, 19 81). . Collected Poems. (London, MacMillan, 1928) . . Deirdre. (Dublin, Maunsel, 1907). . The Interpreters. (London, MacMillan, 19 22) . . Letters from A.E. Selected and ed. Alan Denson, (London, Abelard-Schuman, 1961) . The Li v i n g Torch. (London, MacMillan, 1937) . . The National Being. 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