J. M. Synge

Robert Skelton

1972
85 pages
ISBN 0-8387-7769-4
Contemporary Irish Writers

J. M. Synge is another outstanding contribution to the Irish Writers Series. These monographs have been designed to treat in individual volumes the significant Anglo-Irish writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. The Studies will prove helpful to both literary scholars and to students of literature. When complete the series will constitute a significant history of modern Anglo-Irish literature, and will encompass discussions of more than 50 writers.

The present volume treats in detail the beloved Irish playwright whose Riders to the Sea and The Playboy of the Western World have remained in repertories for years. Mr. Skelton brings to bear on his famous subject contemporary critical insights, attitudes, and techniques. The language of Synge's plays is discussed in detail, along with, of course, plot, character, and action.

Not overlooked are Synge's other works, including much of his verse. The author also demonstrates from excerpts from Synge's diaries how his introduction to Darwin's theory of evolution early in life had an important effect upon his beliefs and attitudes. The author shows, also, how Synge was affected by his stay on the rugged Aran Islands. In short, this is a fine brief analysis of a major playwright, whose influence upon playwrights and poets has reached far beyond Ireland itself.

About the author:

Robert Skelton is Professor of English at the University of Victoria, British Colombia, and the editor of the international Literary quarterly, the Malahat Review. He is the author or compiler of over forty books including number relating to Anglo-Irish Literature. The General Editor of the Oxford University Press edition of Synge's Collected Works, he is also the author of the critical book The Writings of J. M. Synge, the biography J. M. Synge and His World, and the editor of The Collected Plays of Jack B. Yeats.

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