Máirtín Ó Cadhain


Life
1906-1970 [var. Uí Chadhain]; b. Cois Fharraige, nr. Spiddal, Connemara, Co. Galway [Connemara Gaeltacht], ed. National School, and St. Patrick’s Training College, Drumcondra; Irish language native and schoolteacher, dismissed for membership of IRA, in which he served as recruiting officer in the 1930s, and recruited Brendan Behan; involved in establishment of Co. Meath Gaeltacht (Ráth Cairn); trans. Kickham’s novel Sally Cavanagh, 1932; issued Idir Shúgragh agus Dáiríre [Between Jest and Earnest] (1939); arrested 1939, and interned at the Curragh, 1940-44, where he taught Irish to fellow prisoners, entering internment with only a story if Gorky in a French translation found in a book-barrow (‘That’s what my own people do except they have different names’); joined Translation Dept. of Oireachtas, 1948;
 
issued An Braon Borghach [The Dirty Drop] (1948); lectured to Folklore society [An Cumann le Béaloideas Eireann], 1950; protested that it was not Irish ‘peasants’ but a qualified poetic class who had preserved Irish oral literature; appt. Modern Irish lecturer, TCD, 1956, though continuing to speak of ‘the war for the repossession of Ireland’; appt. Professor of Modern Irish, TCD, 1969; elected Fellow of TCD 1970; Guest Lect. QUB; contrib. to German Encyclopaedia of World Literature; issued Bás nó Beatha? (1963), trans from the Welsh of Saunders Lewis; contrib. “Stoc na Cille”, a work in progress, in in Irish Press, afterwards published as Cré na Cille (1949), a novel, the first printing of 3,000 selling out in a month; chosen by UNESCO for translation into several languages; issued An tSráith ar Lár (1667), winning the Butler Family Prize;
 
other works short story collections An Braon Broghach (1948), Idir Shúgradh agus Dháiríre (1939), Cois Caoláire (1953), Mr Hill, Mr Tara (1964); An Aisling (1967), An tSraith Dhá Tógáil (1970) and An tSraith ar Lár (1970); among elegies by Irish poets is a noble example provided by Seán Ó Díreáin (‘Bile a Thit: Ómós do Mháirtín Ó Cadhain’); delivered speech proposing that Irish speakers should undertake the reconquest of Ireland (‘athghabháil na hÉireann’), echoing James Connolly, Aug. 1969; Cré na Cille was dramatised on Raidió na Gaeltachta in 1973, and published on CD at the author’s centenary in 2006 [8 CDs]; also filmed separately by Robert Quinn (2006). DIW DIB DIH FDA OCIL
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Works
Fiction
  • Idir Shúgragh agus Dháiríre (1939), stories;
  • Cré na Cille: aithris i ndeich neadarlúid (Sáirséal agus Dill 1949), ill. [líníocht le Charles Lamb]; Do. [2nd edn.] (Baile Atha Cliath: Sáirséal agus Dill 1965, 1970, 1979), 364pp., ill. [Charles Lamb, RHA], and Do. [3rd edn.] (Baile Atha Cliath: Sáirséal Ó Marcaigh 1996), 321pp., and ed. Cathal Ó Háinle [3rd edn.] (Baile ́Átha Cliath: Sáirséal Ó Marcaigh 2007), 347 p., ill.
  • Cois Caoláire (Baile Atha Cliath: Sáirseál agus Dill 1953, rep. 1977) [contents];
  • An Aisling (Baile Ath Cliath: Choiste Cuimhneacháin Náisiúnta 1967), and Do. [rep.] (Dublin: United Irishman [1970]), [2], 31pp.;
  • An tSraith ar Lár (1970), stories and novella;
  • An Braon Borghach (Baile Átha Cliath: Oifig an tSoláthair 1948, 1957), 240pp.; and Do. [new edn.] (Baile Átha Cliath: Oifig an tSoláthair, 1968 ), vi, 192pp.;
  • Selected Poems (Kildare 1984).
Prose
  • Ar Céalacan, ar Stailc Ocrais (S.n.; [1966]), 3pp. [on language politics];
  • Páipéir Bhána agus Páipéir Bhreaca (An Clóchamhar Tta. 1969) [criticism];
  • As an nGéibheann (1973) Litreacha Chuig to Tomás Bairéad le Máirtín Ó Cadhain [internment letters] (Baile Átha Cliath: Saírseál agus Dill 1973), 213pp.;
  • Athnuachan (Baile Átha Cliath: An Clóchomhar 1969; rep. Coscéim 1995), 396pp. [unpublished autobiographical novel].
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Miscellaneous
  • ‘Irish Prose in the the Twentieth Century’, in J. E. Caerwyn Williams, ed., Literature in Gaelic Countries (Cardiff 1971), pp.[137]139-151;
  • ‘Tuige nac bhfuil litríocht na Gaeilge ag fás?’, in Feasta 11, 8 (1949), pp.8-12, 20-22;
  • ‘Conrad na Gaeilge agus an litríocht’, in Seán Ó Tuama, ed., The Gaelic League Idea (Mercier 1972), pp.52-62;
  • ‘Saothar an Scríbheora’, in Scríobh 3 (1978), pp.73-82;
  • Caiscín: Altanna san Irish Times 1953-56 (Baile Átha Cliath: Coiscéim 1999), 459pp.
 

See also Ríonach Uí Ógáin, ed., Faoi Rathaí na Gréine: Amhrain a Phobail Tiomsaithe ag Máirtín Ó Cadhain (Coisceim q.d.); Seán Ó Laighin, ed., An Ghaeilge Bheo - Destined to Pass (Baile atha Cliath: Coiscéim 2002), 312pp.; Liam de Paor, Faoin mBlaoisc Bheag Sin (1992) [bibliography]. Query, Tone Inné agus Inniu (Coiscéim q.d.).

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Rep. editions
  • Eoghan Ó Tuairisc, ed., The Road to Brightcity: Short Stories [infra; trans. by various hands] (Dublin: Poolbeg Press 1981) [stories from Idir Shúgradh agus Dáirire, 1939, and An Braon Broghach, 1948];
  • Barbed Wire, arna chur in eagar ag [ed.] Cathal Ó Háinle (Dublin: Coiscéim 2002), 501pp.
  • Dhá Scéal / Two Stories (Arlen House / Cúirt Fest. 2006), 183pp. [“An Strainséara / The Stranger” & “Ciumhais an Chriathraigh / The Edge of the Bog”, both from Cois Caoláire, with trans. by Louis de Paor, Mike McCormack & Lochlainn Ó Tuarisg].
Translations
  • Joan Trodden Keefe, trans., Churchyard Clay / Cré na Cille ([1984]; Ann Arbor: UMI 1988), xlix, 410pp.
  • Ole Munch-Pedersen, trans., Kirkegardsjord: genfortaelling i ti mellemspil [Cré na Cille] (Arhus: Husets Forlag 2000), 347pp.
  • Alan Titley, The Dirty Dusty [Cre na Cille] (Harvard UP 2015), q.pp.
Discography
  • Cré na Cille [Leagan Drámatuil; RTÉ Na Gaeltacht audio version] (Cló Iar-Chonnachta 2006) [8 audio CDs; 25 episodes];


See also anthology: Alfred Bammesberger, A Handbook of Irish [Sprachwissenschaftliche Studienbucher; Erste Abteilung] (Heidelberg: C. Winter 1982-1984), 3 vols. ill. [maps], 20 cm., contains Deoraíocht; Dúil; Cré na cille; Lig sinn i gcathú [with chapters on Irish grammar].

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Bibliographical details
The Road to Brightcity: Short Stories, ed., Eoghan Ó Tuairisc [from Idir Shúgradh agus Dáirire, 1939, and An Braon Broghach, 1948] (Dublin: Poolbeg 1981), 111pp.”; CONTENTS: Introduction, pp.7-12 [see infra]”; Stories: “The Withering Branch”; “The Year 1912”; “Tabu”; “Son of the Tax-King [see Notes, infra]”; “The Road to Brightcity”; “The Gnarled And Stony Clods”; “Of Townland’s “Tip”; “The Hare-lip”; “Floodtide””; “Going On”.

Cois Caoláire (Baile Atha Cliath: Sáirseál agus Dill 1953), 208pp. CONTENTS: “Glantachán Earraigh”; “An Pionta”; “Fios”; “Ciumhais an Chriathraigh”; “An Seanfhear”; “Clapsholas Fómhair”; “Smál”; “An tOthar”; “An Strainseára”. [Errata slip provided.]

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Criticism
  • David Greene, ‘Talk of the Dead’, review of Cré na Cille (Irish Times, 27 Bealtaine 1950);
  • Tomás Ó Dalaigh, ‘Cré na Cille’, in Irisleabhar Muighe Nuadhat (1966), pp.33-36;
  • Oliver Snoddy, ‘Notes on Literature in Irish Dealing with the Fight for Freedom’, in Éire-Ireland, 3, 2 (Summer 1968), pp.138-48 [infra];
  • Seán Ó Díreáin An bile a thit: omos do Mháirtín Ó Cadhain (Dublin: Preas Cloistín na Trionoíde [Trinity Closet Press] 1974), [4]pp.; 19cm.
  • Gearóid Denvir, Cadhain Aonair, Saothair Eiteartha Mháirtín Uí Chadhain (An Clóchomhar 1975);
  • Alan Titley, Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Clár Saothair (An Clóchomhar 1975);
  • Breandán Ó hEithir, ‘Cré na Cille’, in John Jordan, ed., The Pleasures of Gaelic Literature (Cork 1977), pp.72-88;
  • Caoilfhionn Nic Pháidin, ‘Cré na Cille mar Úrscéal Grinn’, in Comhar (Iúil 1978), pp.21-22;
  • [q. ed.,] ‘Máirtín Ó Cadhain 1906-1970’, in Comhar [Special Issue] (Deireadh Fómhair 1980);
  • Seosamh Ó Murchú, ‘An Chill agus a Cré, in Irisleabher Mhá Nuad (1982), pp.5-20;
  • Gearóid Denvir, ‘An Fuine Daona – Léamh ar Fuíoll Fuine Mháirtín Ó Cadháin’, in Macalla (1982), pp.120-23;
  • Declan Kiberd, ‘Cré na Cille, Ó Cadhain agus Beckett’, in Nua-Aois (1984), pp.9-24;
  • Breandán Ó Doibhlin, ‘“Oblomov na Gaeilge”, an Ea?’, review of Mo Dhá Mhicí, in Comhar (Samhain 1986) [B], pp.31-33;
  • An tSr Bosco Costigan, Seán O’Curraoin, De Ghlaschloich an Oileáin, Beatha agus Saothair Mháirtín Uí Chadhain (Gaillimh: Cló Iar-Chonnachta 1987);
  • Ailbhe Ó Corráin, ‘Grave Comedy: A Study of Cré na Cille by Máirtín Ó Cadhain’, in Birgit Bramsbäck & Martin Croghan, eds., Anglo-Irish and Irish Literature: Aspects of Language and Culture [Proceedings of 9th IASAIL Conference, 1986; Studistica Anglistica Upsaliensia No. 65] (Uppsala 1988), pp.142-48;
  • Declan Kiberd, ‘Caint na nDaoine mar Bhonn Liteartha’, in Léachtaí Uí Chadhain I, 1980-1988 (Dublin 1989), pp.92-115;
  • Robert Welch, ‘Máirtín Ó Cadhain: “Repossessing Ireland”’, [chap.] in Changing States: Transformations in Modern Irish Writing (London: Routledge 1993), pp.187-203;
  • Declan Kiberd, ‘All the Dead Voices: Cré Na Cille’, [chap.] in Irish Classics (London: Granta 2000), pp.574-89;
  • Aindrias Ó Cathasaigh, Ag Samhlú Troda Máirtín Ó Cadhain 1905-1970 (BÁC: Coiscéim 2003), 332pp.;
  • Louis de Paor, Faoin mBlaoisc Bheag Sin (q.d.);
  • Máire Ní Annracháin, ed., Saothar Mháirtin Uí Chadhain (An Sagart [Maynooth]: 2007), 232pp.
  • [...]
  • Kevin Barry, review of Alan Titley’s translation of Cré na Cille by Máirtín Ó Cadhain as The Dirty Dust, in The Guardian (15 April 2015) [see extract].
  • See also Máirín Nic Eoin, An Litríocht Réigiúnach (An Clóchomhar Tta 1982) and Brendán Ó Doibhlín, Aistí Critice agus Cultúir II (Belfast: Lagan Press 1998); Philip O’Leary, Irish Interior: Keeping Faith with the Past in Gaelic Prose 1940-1951 (UCD Press 2009), 656p. [deals with Ó Grianna, Seán Mac Maoláin, Máirtín Ó Cadhain, et al.]

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    Commentary
    Oliver Snoddy, ‘Notes on Literature in Irish Dealing with the Fight for Freedom’, in Éire-Ireland (Summer 1968), pp.138-48, remarks of An Aisling (1967) that it ‘combines a deep analysis of aspects of the Revolutionary period, a criticism of the succeeding years, especially the more recent, and a restatement of the hopes and beliefs of Republicans.’ (p.148.)

    Séan Ó Riordáin: ‘Ní aigne Béarlóra ag cur Gaeilge de réir Béarla ar shaol a bhí tomhaiste de réir Béarla i seo ach aigne na Gaeilge féin ag sealbhú réimsí nua agus ag seasamh a cirt féin inti. Athéiriú na hÉireann a bhí ar bun aige. Níor fhág sé mar a dúirt sé Baile Atha Cliath ina pháipéar bán. Stath sé saol béarlaithe na hÉireann as múnla an Bhéarla agus neadaigh i múnla na Gaeilge é. [This is not the mind of an English speaker putting Irish in accordance with English on a life that was measured in English, but the Irish mind taking possession of new regions and doing justice to itself through Irish. He was re-lrelanding Ireland. He did not leave Dublin a blank page either. He uprooted the Anglicised life of Ireland from the mould of English and settled it in the mould of Irish.]’ (“Útamáil Ui Chadhain” [Obituary], The Irish Times, 10 Oct. 1971; cited in Géaroid Denvir, ‘Decolonizing the Mind: Language and Literature in Ireland’, in New Hibernia Review, 1, 1 (Spring 1997), pp.44-68, p.64.

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    Eoghan Ó Tuairisc, The Road to Brightcity: Short Stories of Máirtín Ó Cadhain ((Poolbeg 1981), Introduction, pp.7-12: ‘As Maurice has les Landes, so Ó Cadhain has Cois Fharraige’ - Maire Mhac a’ tSaoi [quoted here, p.9]. The real difficulty of the tongue, and its prime attraction for a modern writer, is its unique mixture of the muck-and-tangle of earth existence with a cosmic view and a sense of ‘otherword’. This otherworld sense as Ó Cadhain presents it is a very complex combination of a fundamentalist Christianity, emphasising the Fall of Man, with a large share of the old pagan nature religion. ‘Ghost’, ‘phantom’, ‘fairy’, ‘the dead’, ‘the changeling’, are practically identical terms, and all of them, along with the living, are implicated in a conflict of good and evil, light and dark. Such a worldview is the opposite of romantic, for in it almost all aspects of wild nature - not only sea and storm, but the blue sky, the butterfly, the fine-weather sparkles on the water, the hazelnuts - are felt as hostile, always inhuman, at times malicious. Among the few friendly forces are eggs, fire, greying hair and, oddly enough, hendirt. [10-11; …] It is like being confronted with a Roualt Christ where one had expected to see a Jack B. Yeats ‘Blackbird Bathing in Tir-na-nOg’. [11]; Certain critics have compared Ó Cadhain in Irish to Joyce in English, regarding them as the two giants of twentieth-century prose fiction in Ireland. It is too soon for that kind of dictum, for where is the critic equipped to read both Joyce and Ó Cadhain with equal acumen? Yet the comparison is of some interest. Both men were realists with mythic minds, the were both intoxicated with words, both had a sense of life at once comic and compassionate and saw mankind as forever in exile blundering bout in worlds half-realised. I am not sure whether in fact Ó Cadhain won’t be seen to be il migglior fabbro, having learned in the last resort to keep the myth to himself. [12]; Ó Cadhain’s language is cool and classic, and free of the self-conscious mannerisms and melancholic word-music of the Synge-song school. [END 12; see also under Ó Tuairisc, infra.

    Ailbhe Ó Corráin, ‘Grave Comedy, A Study of Cré na Cille by Máirtín Ó Cadhain’, in Birgit Brämsback & Martin Croghan, eds., Anglo-Irish and Irish Literature; Aspects of Language and Culture, [Proc. of 9th Internat. Conference of IASAIL Uppsala, 4-7 Aug 1986] Vol. 2 (Uppsala 1988), pp.143-48, quotes Ó Cadhain: ‘The most important thing now in literature is to reveal the mind, that part of a person on which the camera cannot be directed. Speec is much more capable of this than observations about his clothes, his complexion, his tongue, the furniture of his house ... It is not that which is extraneous to a person which is important, but that which he is walking about with in his head.’ (Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Páipéir Bhána agus Páipéir Bhreaca, BAC: Cumann Merriman 1969, pp.30-31) [trans.]; also, ‘I could have written in English as Patrick McGill [sic] or Liam O’Flaherty did. I had a choice at some point. But I feel a satisfaction in handling my native language, the speech handled by generations of my ancestors. I feel I can add something to that speech, make it a little better than it was when I got it. In dealing with Irish I feel I am as old as New Grange, the old Hag of Beare, the great Elk.’ (OÓ Cadhain, ‘Irish Prose in the 20th Century’, in Literature in Celtic Countries, Taliesin Congress Lectures, ed. J. E. Caerwyn William (Cardiff 1971), p.151. Cites also Breandán Ó Doibhlin, ‘Athléamh ar Chré na Cille’, in Léachtaí Cholm Cille V, ed. Pádraig Ó Fiannachta (Má Nuad: An Sagart 1974), pp.46-47 [dealing with the similarity between Cré na Cille and writings by Beckett, which, acc. Ó Corráin, can only be coincidental and contingent.]

    Seán O’Tuama, ‘The Other Tradition: Some Highlights of Modern Fiction in Ireland’, in Patrick Rafroidi and Maurice Harmon, eds., The Irish Novel in Our Time (Publ. de l’Université de Lille 1975-76), pp.31-45: ‘Máirtín Ó Cadhain was the most remarkable example in modern Ireland of the writer engagé. ... [T]he main purpose of his life and work was that of rescuing the very language he was writing in - and therefore the nation it belonged to - from oblivion. [...] Ó Cadhain wrote the most consciously patterned and richest-textured prose that any Irishman has written in this century, except Beckett and Joyce. For all that what seemed to give him greatest pleasure was not that he was widely regarded by Irish critics as a writer of stature but that parts of his writing, such as his novel Cré na Cille, were being avidly read by the ordinary people of his own district, Cois Fharraige.’ (p.43; see quotations, infra.)

    Alan Titley, in The Irish Times (1 Feb. 1992): ‘The most important single critical work on Máirtín Ó Cadhain has been Gearóid Denvir’s Cadhan Aonair. Louis de Paor, Faoin mBlaoisc Bheag Sin (Coiscéim 1992) is more a psychological investigation of some of the characters in Ó Cadhain’s stories, partly in response to that author’s mistaken assertion that the greatest lack in contemporary Irish writing was the influence of Freud.’

    Robert Welch, Changing States: Transformations in Modern Irish Writing (London: Routledge 1993): ‘No other writer in modern Irish literature has Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s mixture of rage and compassion. No one else conveys the texture of life in the Gaeltachts of the western seaboard with the agonised intimacy he does. His accounts of this life carry the salt sting of harsh reality. His work, though intensely alive to particulars of all kinds, is not reportage: it is an anatomy of a culture, done from the inside, but of a culture which is in its death throes. His analysis mixes despair and love; but there is comedy too, the wild, shocking comedy of the Gaelic world, which is identical to that in all of Irish life when the layers of respectability are peeled off. So that reading him in Irish one is amazed at the familiarity of the thought and speech patterns he has set down, because they are the thought and speech patterns of the great majority of Irish people in all of Ireland, even when they are speaking English. Reading him one is made aware of how much Irish writing in English, for all its linguistic and intellectual energy, excludes: the intimate flow of Irish speech, its twists and turns; its capacity for holding back information until [188] the drama of the sentence has been allowed to accumulate its readiness to make use of rapid emphasis; its swift rhetorical point of view. And so on. This speech is the method and substance of Cadhain’s novel Cré na Cille (1949); but his short stories, from Idir Shúgradh agus Dáiríre (1939) onwards, delineate the mentality and outlook of which this speech is both the expression and source.’ (pp.188-89.)

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    Kevin Barry, review of Alan Titley’s translation of Cré na Cille by Máirtín Ó Cadhain as The Dirty Dust, in The Guardian (15 April 2015): ‘[...] One is immediately taken with the sweet simplicity of the novel’s setup: the dead can talk, and they continue to do so, with cacophonous energy, beneath the clay of a graveyard in a townland somewhere in Connemara. The life of the townland thus persists even after death has waggled its bewitching fingers. The freshly buried Caitriona Paudeen is as close to a central character as the novel provides, and she’s a ferocious old weapon. Immediately, in the book’s first lines, she castigates the living for their cheapskatedness: “Don’t know if I am in the Pound grave, or the 15 Shilling grave? Fuck them anyway if they plonked me in the Ten Shilling plot after all the warnings I gave them.” / The novel is rendered almost entirely in dialogue: there are great skittering reams of the stuff as old feuds are rekindled, old enmities rejoined. The dead are eager for news of the living, and Caitriona voluminously provides it, sparking further storms of insult and dispute. Slivers of stories from the townland emerge, and sometimes they cohere into fuller narratives, but more often they disappear into the ether. As a writer, Ó Cadhain has the attention span of a gnat, and curiously this lends the book a fragmented and contemporary feel. / It’s useful to note that this novel was written in the mid-to-late 1940s, when Flann O’Brien, Ireland’s late-modernist godhead and the arch upsetter of our sacred literature, was writing daily in the Irish Times, and often in Irish, as Myles na gCopaleen, spraying his manic invention all over the innocent newsprint. It’s important to remember how pervasive O’Brien’s influence was at this time – he essentially defined for a couple of decades the humour of the Irish cognoscenti, and I think the shadow of his porter-spattered overcoat falls on every page of The Dirty Dust. / This is most evident in the novel’s brief “Interludes” [...] with Ó Cadhain lampooning the fine writing typically employed when the Swoonful Scribe is exposed to the noble Irish west and excited into a dazzle-burst of award-winning prose: “A tubercular tinge has crept into the crepuscular sky. Milk is indurating in the udders of the cow while she seeks shelter in the inglenook of the ditch. The voice of the young swain who tends the sheep on the hills is suffused with a sadness which cannot be silenced.” / And so forth. But it’s the insane babble of the dead that holds the true poetry, and Ó Cadhain’s great accomplishment, it seems to me, was to achieve a perfect synthesis of style and subject.’ (See full-text version in RICORSO Library, “Criticism > Reviews”, via index, or attached.)

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    Quotations
    Autobiography: ‘I am now a longer period in Dublin now than I ever had been in my native place. I had to garner a very accurate knowledge of the city, a knowledge more accurate than many true Dubliners have, when I was an active member of the IRA. There are more of my near relations in Dublin than at home. Very many of my neighbours and people from my native district are living quite close to me. We are a kind of ghetto, perhaps. Kafka and Heine, to mention only two of those whose work I know, both came from ghettos. As far as I can see Dublin consists entirely of ghettos. One could not say that it has been a community since Joyce’s day, when the town was very much smaller, more integrated, more dynamic. It was Joyce who wrote the first of Dublin’s novels, and perhaps the last. Neither of them is a novel of conflict or action. Ulysses is of the picaresque type, a type which is not at all dissimilar to Diarmaid [sic] and Gráinne [...]. I feel that a large labyrinth like Dublin lends itself easily to picaresque storytelling.’ (‘Páipéir Bhána agus Pápéir Bhreaca’, in Eriu, XIII (Dublin 1972), pp.242-48.) Further, ‘Irish is a new, though narrow medium, and it is to me a challenge. It is my own, and this I cannot say about any other medium. In the desolation of my heart I hear - I still hear: “The cry of the blackbird of Leiter Laoigh/and the music made by the Dord Fiann.” I am as old as the Hag of Beara, as old as Brú na Bóinne, as old as the great deer. There are two thousand years of that stinking cow which is Ireland revolving in my ears, my mouth, my eyes, my head, my dreams.’ (All cited in Ó Tuama, op. cit., 1975-76, p.44.)

    Famine: ‘That sodden pulp of Famine fields, those nights of reeking coffin ships are bone of our bone, we carry them about with us still as rancorous complexes in our breasts.’ (An Ghaeilge Bheo - Destined to Pass, Dublin: Coiscéim 2002, p. 4; quoted in Fionntán de Brún, ‘Expressing the Nineteenth Century in Irish: The Poetry of Aodh Mac Domhnaill (1802–67)’, in New Hibernia Review/Iris Éireannach Nua, Spring 2011, pp.81–106.

    Irish models?: ‘In matters of form and style, we were greatly handicapped by having no proper models of the kind we needed badly, that is, some authoritative poet attempting to deal with contemporary problems in contemporary style. If our poetry had been at full flood, rather than at an ebb, from, say, 1900 onwards, such apoety would have existed and the cahnge would not have appeared so strange when it came.’ (Quoted [& trans.], in David Greene, Writing in Irish Today [Irish Life and Culture Series], XVIII, Cork: Mercier 1972, pop.39-40; cited in Frank Sewell, ‘Seán Ó Ríordáin, ‘Joycery-Corkery-Sorcery’, in The Irish Review, 23, Winter 1998, p.43.)

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    Wild geese: ‘There would be neither name nor surname on a rough bit of board in the churchyard by the Fiord for generations to come. The voyage - that immensity, cold and sterile - would erase the name from the genealogy of the race. She would go as the wildgeese go.’ (Road to Bright City, p.28.) ‘The mother realised she was but the first of the nestlings in flight to the land of summer and joy: the wildgoose that would never again come back to its native ledge.’ (p.39; End.)

    Ghetto Ireland: ‘We are in a kind of ghetto, perhaps. Kafka and Heine, to mention only two whose work I know, both came from ghettos. As far as I can see, Dublin consists entirely of ghettos. One could not say that it has been a community since Joyce’s day, when the town was very much smaller, more integrated, more dynamic.’ (Quoted in Sean Ó Tuama, Repossessions, p.10; cited in Frank Sewell, ‘James Joyce’s Influence on Writers in Irish’, in Geert Lernout, et al., eds., The Reception of James Joyce in Europe, Thoemmes/Continuum 2004, p.472.)

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    References
    Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day Co. 1991), Vol. 3: selects An Braon Broghach, poems; and Cré na Cille [pp.857-60]; BIOG & COMM, 933; REMS, pp.815-16: the five volumes of stories by Martín Ó Cadhain (1906-70) give substance to the tradition of the short story in Irish. ‘An Bhearna Mhíl’ (‘The Harelip’) is exemplary of much of his fiction, in that it combines the telling of a simple story of young love blighted by ineluctable social convention with his passionate concern to explore and exploit the resources of the Irish language. Liam Ó Flaithearta had advised him to prune his writing mercilessly, but Ó Cadhain’s purpose to remould the language and the natural convolutions of is imagination determined his distinctive style.’ [Eoghan Ó hAnluain, ed.].

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    Notes
    Translations: A translation of Cré na Cille by Joan Trodden Keefe was originally undertaken as for a post-graduate degree award in the University of California, viz., Joan Trodden, Churchyard Clay (1984). Note, Michael Cronin calls for an English translation of Cré na Cille, in The Irish Times, 7 April 2001).

    Class act: Éamon Ó Cíosáin, Buried Alive: A Reply to The Death of the Irish Language [by Reg Hindley] (Dáil Uí Chadain 1991), pamph., cites Ó Cadhain’s writing of acute class differences in Gaelteacht areas in ‘Irish Above Politics’, and ‘Gluaiseacht ar Strae’. (p.9).

    Leg-pull: Stan Gébler Davies, James Joyce: A Portrait of the Artist (London: Davis-Poynter 1975), thanks ‘Martin O’Cadhain [sic] for (probably) pulling my leg about the derivation of the name Barnacle’ (Acknowledgements; p.319). In commenting on the sentence ‘God becomes man becomes fish becomes barnacle goose becomes featherbed mountain’ in the “Proteus” chapter of Ulysses, Davies speaks of it as a strange way to introduce the name of one’s wife adding that Joyce, always curious about words, had gone to the trouble of finding out the curious derivation of the name, viz., Barnacle as a name rare even in Galway and retales a ‘strategy worthy of that sometimes cunning race [the Catholic Irish]’ according to which the barnacle goose was categorised as ‘a mature form of the sea-creature known as a barnacle’ and therefore considered edible in Lent. Davies’s footnote reads: ‘At least I presume he had done so. I got the explanation from the late Martin O’Cadhain, Gaelic scholar, whose name derived from the Irish for barnacle goose, as do O’Kane and Kane.’

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    The Son [of the]Tax-King (in Road to Brightcity) features a ruined castle very much in the mode of the castle of the O’Donoghues [in Charles Lever’s novel of that name], riven by lightning, and a monument to Irish history and its depredations: ‘[T]he castle still stood. Those massive piles of stone encrusted with moss and lichens seemed to stand of set purpose, corporeal images, reminders of a wrong once done and then again undone. / Among the Burke castles Clonbeg was one of the most delapidated. It had once been a spacious building [...] The violent thunderstorm of a few years back had down for the greater part of it. It had knocked the east gable to the ground, the sidewalls unsupported had followed soon after and lay in shattered masses scattered about. It was a wonder to all that the fierce lightening flash which had struck the castle had left even a stone standing … But the west gable which had its back to the [44] bleakness of the irrational West, and faced the fertile cultivated Plain - that gable still stood, last of its warlike phalanx, loath to relinquish its immemorial watch on the Galway Plain. [...] The crows had made their own of this “bare ruined choir” [...] ‘ [45]

    Stamped: An Irish stamp [based on chalk port. by Sean O’Sullivan?] was issued with a portrait of Ó Cadhain in 2006 (48 cent), in the same series as Johann Casper Zuess.

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