Similarities

0
Have your say

In an article which he wrote a few years ago Liam Ó Muirthile tells of a visit to Canada and he makes reference to the French Canadian poet, Émile Nelligan. (Rogha Alt,1989-2003),

In an article which he wrote a few years ago Liam Ó Muirthile tells of a visit to Canada and he makes reference to the French Canadian poet, Émile Nelligan. (Rogha Alt,1989-2003),

I think that it is interesting to compare Nelligan and the well- known Donegal writer, Seosamh Mac Grianna.

Nelligan was born in 1879. His father, David Nelligan (ÓNiallagáin) was from Dublin. His mother was Canadian, of Irish extraction. Émile was a child prodigy. He was an avid reader. He was not interested in a regular occupation: he had a couple of jobs before he decided to become a full time writer. He wrote 170 poems and songs between the ages of 16 and 20. Then he had a nervous breakdown and he spent the rest of his life in a mental hospital under the care of the Brothers of Charity in Montreal. He died in 1941. He has a distinctive place in French literature. He had a great influence over the other poets of his generation: he examined his own thoughts and feelings and did not compose the sort of patriotic poems which were popular at the time.

‘Seosamh Mac Grianna tries to give a contemporary view of Gaeltacht life and does not confine himself always to the traditional idealistic view.’ (Nollaig Mac Congail). Unlike other Gaeltacht writers at that time, Mac Grianna tries to create realistic characters and to expose thoughts and feelings, rather than produce two dimensional characters. He gave up teaching and began to write full time. He got work as a translator with the government publishing company, an Gúm, but this gave him very little money. His wife committed suicide and his son died through drowning. He suffered dreadful stress and had to go into St. Conall’s Hospital in Letterkenny, where he spent 31 years, until his death in 1990.

When these two writers fell ill ‘the well dried up’ and world literature was poorer as a result.