L’exil dans les autobiographies gaéliques des Îles Blasket

Danielle Jacquin

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Abstract :
This article explores the theme of exile – that is “emigration”; - in the three famous Blasket autobiographies, The Islandman, by Tomás O’Crohan, Twenty Years A-Growing, by Maurice O’Sullivan, Peig, by Peig Sayers. In a deliberately factual way, a first part investigates the answers each text offers to such questions as : who leaves ? where to ? what for ? what are the feelings of those who leave ? of those who stay ? is the emigrant the same person when he comes back ?… A second part deals with the interpretation of exile — the problem of representation — with occasional reference to the Irish of the original text. It contends that while O’Crohan’s narrative conveys a conservative vision of a close-knit community where the individual has to abide by tradition, O’Sullivan’s provides the vision of youth mingling playful innocence and a drive towards the future, while Peig’s life story evinces the muffled clash between individual desire and the pressures of the social group. The three texts render the trauma entailed by a changing world that brings a community to its demise.
Published : 2008-07-09


Danielle Jacquin, « L’exil dans les autobiographies gaéliques des Îles Blasket », Cycnos, 2008-07-09. URL : http://epi-revel.univ-cotedazur.fr/publication/item/373