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by Andrew McNeillie

  • ISBN: 1901866807
  • Category: History
  • Author: Andrew McNeillie
  • Subcategory: Europe
  • Other formats: mobi lrf rtf docx
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: The Lilliput Press Ltd (February 27, 2002)
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • FB2 size: 1792 kb
  • EPUB size: 1985 kb
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Votes: 611
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An Aran Keening marks out and occupies its own territory-it caught me in its spell. This transience distances him from his place

An Aran Keening marks out and occupies its own territory-it caught me in its spell. -Tom Paulin, author of The Wind Dog. "A commemoration of island life; of poverty and deprivation, but also the beauty and the unique spirit of the place. -Sarah-Jane O’Brian, The Dubliner. This transience distances him from his place. Certainly, this short book lacks the overwhelming erudition of Tim Robinson's hefty and valuable academic investigations of the island, but its lightweight quality itself's too ephemeral.

An Aran Keening effortlessly attracts the reader with its sharp self-assessment and rueful comedy, but above all with its intelligent and considered evocation of creatures . Andrew McNeillie is Literature Publisher for Blackwell in Oxford

An Aran Keening effortlessly attracts the reader with its sharp self-assessment and rueful comedy, but above all with its intelligent and considered evocation of creatures and weather and a community living on the edge of the world. John Fuller In November 1968, at the age of twenty-two, Andrew McNeillie left his job and his girlfriend in Wales and travelled to Inishmore. He was not a tourist: he stayed eleven months in Aran, living alone in a tiny house. Andrew McNeillie is Literature Publisher for Blackwell in Oxford. He was born and raised in North Wales and b.

An Aran Keening is a richly lyrical memoir of that time, a celebration of the island and its people, a lament for a way .

An Aran Keening is a richly lyrical memoir of that time, a celebration of the island and its people, a lament for a way of life that was infused with a deep sadness then and that no longer exists. Based closely on a contemporary journal and on letters home – which are quoted at length, and which show the author to have been an immensely gifted young writer – An Aran Keening tells of a time before electricity and landing strips, a time of true poverty for many.

ISBN 10: 0753198401 ISBN 13: 9780753198407. Publisher: Isis Large Print Books, 2003. In November 1968, at the age of twenty-two, Andrew McNeillie left his job and his girlfriend in Wales and traveled to Inishmore, one of the isolated Aran Islands off the Atlantic coast of Ireland. He was not a tourist; he stayed eleven months on Inishmore, living alone in a tiny house.

An Aran Keening - Andrew McNelliie. For Diana, Gail and James. A book may have undone me and poets brought me down, but to be bespectacled by books has never been sufficient unto the day thereof for me. Much study is a weariness of the flesh, I remember reading. And so the end of my eighteenth summer saw me at Holyhead, with my holiday wages in my pocket, on the rocky road to Galway from my native Wales, intent on following the wake of . Synge, to visit Aran.

In November 1968, at the age of twenty-two, Andrew McNeillie left his job and his girlfriend in Wales and travelled to Inishmore. An Aran Keening is a richly lyrical memoir of that time, a celebration of the island and its people, a lament for a way of life that was infused with a deep sadness then and that no longer exists.

He was born at Hen Golwyn in North Wales, 12 August 1946, and educated at the primary school there, at Colwyn Bay Grammar School, and from the age of thirteen at John Bright Grammar School, Llandudno. He read English at Magdalen College, Oxford, as a mature student, 1971-1973.

Based on a journal and his letters home, Andrew McNeillie writes about his time in Aran, and island life. Other Titles of Interest.

In November 1968, at the age of twenty-two, Andrew McNeillie left his job and his girlfriend in Wales and travelled to Inishmore. He was not a tourist: he stayed eleven months in Aran, living alone in a tiny house. An Aran Keening is a richly lyrical memoir of that time, a celebration of the island and its people, a lament for a way of life that was infused with a deep sadness then and that no longer exists. Based closely on a contemporary journal and on letters home - which are quoted at length, and which show the author to have been an immensely gifted young writer - An Aran Keening tells of a time before electricity and landing strips, a time of true poverty for many. Island life was, in both mind and body, more stark and dramatic then than now; it stood closer to the candle- and horse-powered nineteenth century than to the digitized twenty-first. McNeillie fished and trapped for his food - his accounts of his methods are among the most dazzling passages in the book - and writes with great love, but without a trace of romanticism, about the natural world of Aran. With extraordinary sensitivity and subtlety, he recounts the awkward, sometimes fraught, but ultimately enriching interactions between the green outsider he was and the people of Inishmore. An Aran Keening commemorates both the immortality of youth, in all its courage, folly and quick tenderness of heart, and the passing of a world. It is a singular addition to the literature of Aran and, in this age, of two-a-penny memoirs, one of the finest works in that genre to come out of these islands in recent decades.
Reviews about An Aran Keening (2):
Arlana
This memoir has been painstakingly crafted and perhaps over-written. In smaller sections, it captivates you with a sense of what it was like, in 1968, just before this then-isolated island got an airport and electric hookups to the global village, to spend a wet and windy winter on the edge of the Atlantic. But, as a whole, the authorial smugness and arch prose drag down a book in which nearly nothing happens. Not that this itself is a downfall, for in parts you realize what it'd be like to face yourself, as a young person shy, awkward, and introspective, who has taken yourself out of urban life nearly entirely for long stints. The pleasure of this account, in fact, is in its lack of the picturesque, the quaint, or the predictable travelogue produced by so many Irish visitors, short or long-term. The writer's failure to come to terms with even a fair try at the Irish language prevents him from appreciating more than a superficial understanding into a very crucial element of the Aran mentality. This transience distances him from his place. Certainly, this short book lacks the overwhelming erudition of Tim Robinson's hefty and valuable academic investigations of the island, but its lightweight quality itself's too ephemeral. (By the way, consulting Robinson's island map and comparing it to McNeillie's whereabouts, he seems to have boggled his true location, perhaps to protect the identity of his host family.)

It reminds me of another outsider who came to stay for a time in the West of Ireland, Lawrence Millman's They'll Never See Our Like Again, which also added little but likewise floundered when the writer tried to assume a bit too hubristic attitude when it came to one who thinks he knows better than the daytrippers once he's mistaken by them for a native. Not everyone who well-intentedly visits a foreign place can afford to live there for a year, and such condescension diminishes the authority of those who stay longer but still (as McNeillie to his credit admits) will never really "go native" at least in the eyes of the real inhabitants. Very few of Inis Mór's natives seem to establish any rapport with McNeillie. This ironically draws for me a truer picture than many tourists hoodwinked by pub chatter and conniving characters into thinking they've gained some profound insight into Ireland.

So, while his intent can be admired, this product nevertheless fails to live up to its intent. Far too often the pages float by with little ballast. He writes well about nature, but this could have been an essay, since it has no reason to be so drawn out for so little substance. If McNeillie wrote it to warn off his children against their father's example, it's not apparent here what harm this mundane sojourn one winter had on the author. He spends time in a drafty cabin, gets seasick, gets really sick, fishes, helps with farm chores, daydreams, drinks, and keeps a diary. Eventually he has to go back home come summer. Full stop.
ALAN
Let me begin by saying that this is a great book! McNeillie brilliantly captures the whole island mentality of isolation, seclusion and to some degree violence and also the inhabitants own form of self-government. I had the pleasure of meeting McNeillie personally and I must honestly admit that he sent shivers down my spine as he described the Galway and the Claddagh area of 1968, the year I was born. It really is a world removed from what I know now not to mention the Aran Islands, which I visited in 1998. His bravery in sticking the whole episode through of life on the island, to its conclusion is reason enough to buy this book. I could go on but it's simple, buy the book.

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