2 Replies to “Friday, 7 August: Yeats International Summer School Lectures and Seminar”

  1. Tonight’s performance of Yeats’ play “Calvary” was definitely the most unconventional dramatic performance I’ve ever seen. I really enjoyed the respective dialogues between Christ and Lazarus and Christ and Judas, and I always like seeing how women perform in pants roles (Lazarus did quite well in my opinion). Although I definitely didn’t understand everything about the performance, I thought it was reflective of Yeats’ increasing disenchantment with traditional Christianity and, more particularly, Catholicism. However, I could also see it being indicative of a fascination with more traditional religions even as his own beliefs became more radical. I would definitely be interested to know more about the context of the play and what sort of personal mindset Yeats was in when he wrote it.

  2. We spent a weekend in Connemara, which didn’t have the most ideal living conditions. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful area in which I actually got a lot of shopping done. Additionally, I was able to interview a local about the Gaelic language. The Gaelic language still holds a bit more of a presence in Connemara. I met a man named Dominic who was able to give me more insight. He told me that his mother spoke Gaelic, but he did not speak much. Although learning Gaelic is mandatory for Irish kids growing up, the vast majority forget the language and find it too cumbersome to learn. I was able to get more insight on this topic in Sligo, from a shopkeeper who was fluent in Gaelic.
    A shopkeeper in Mullarney’s was able to give me a greater insight on the Gaelic language. He told me how his grandfather spoke the language, which is how he learnt it. He believed that the cause of most students dreading learning the language was that it was not taught to them properly. Additionally, he told me where to find Tagore’s statue in Sligo. We had a wonderful conversation about the parallels of British imperialism on both Irish and Pakistani culture, which helped a lot with my project. But more than that, it was amazing to be able to talk to a local about the issue without feeling any sort of discomfort: and it was amazing to see how his sentiment paralleled with my own.
    Visiting Knocknarea was one of the biggest highlights of my time in Sligo. Initially, I was afraid of the hike (I don’t have the best balance). However, I found it to be quite doable with some focus and also the help of proper footwear. It was definitely worth it, especially with the lovely view we got at the top. I feel pretty lucky to be able to explore so many areas that Yeats went to.
    This week I was enrolled in Joseph Valente’s seminar. I was actually pretty intimidated by the idea of this. He came across as a professor who would be incredibly strict or difficult. However, he was an extremely kind professor full of interesting ideas. I found his seminar to be a bit more lecture based (instead of discussion based), but this was a good change of pace for me.

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