"All art is a collaboration"

On a bit of a culture jag this morning.. bear with me.. First up, another in the occasional series the Guardian appears to be running on John Millington Synge. This time a marvellous short story by Joseph O’Connor – The playboy of Glenageary – it’s an extract from Synge: A Celebration, edited by Colm Tóibín.

  • Denny Boy

    A “marvellous short story”? Well, not really. It’s written well but seems to me to be little more a factual retelling of a portion of Synge’s life.

    I came across a lovely little story built around Synge about ten years ago in a book of short stories by David Kiely. It was written in the “Synge-song” and was very effective, and of course very unusual because of this. It was entitled To Love a Stranger.

    A minor detail but did Synge have a goatee? I’ve only ever seen pictures of him wearing an imperial.

  • peteb

    Everyone’s a critic.

  • Denny Boy

    Well, DID he have a goatee or didn’t he? 🙂

  • fmk

    i think the gruan are trying to claim synge. it’s the cententary of the articles he and the yeats brother wrote for them, isn’t it?

  • peteb

    Good point, fmk.. I must go find that article..

  • peteb

    Here we go –

    Historic Guardian series recalled

    including these pertinent lines –

  • Denny Boy

    “Synge complained that the “dirty skunks” in Manchester paid him far less than Yeats got for his illustrations.”

    Synge had every right to complain. His articles on life in De Wesht were very competent, which is more than could be said of Yeats’s illustrations. Jack improved in later years though, to his credit.

  • fmk

    “Synge had every right to complain. His articles on life in De Wesht were very competent, which is more than could be said of Yeats’s illustrations. Jack improved in later years though, to his credit.”

    are you saying yeats was incompetent in his pen and ink days? workmanlike, competent and nothing out of the ordinary maybe, but seriously, incompetent? as an illustrator, jack actually got worse as the years went on, becoming more and more espressionistic and less realistic.

    as for synge and his whinge – the guy got good value out of the work he did for the gruan. it proved to be useful research for his plays.

  • Denny Boy

    “are you saying yeats was incompetent in his pen and ink days?”

    Nah, I’m saying he was not very competent, which I guess is not quite the same thing.

    I always thought that Synge’s journalism was a sight better than his playwriting, but shhh! De Yabbey might hear me say that 🙂

  • peteb

    THe Guardian’s Angelique Chrisafis seems to believe that both Synge and Yeats were underpaid by the Guardian for their work –

    [Added emphasis]

    Although that may be an axe being ground… who knows???