Writing the Past

  • Máiréad Nic CraithEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literary Anthropology book series (PSLA)


In this chapter, Nic Craith debunks the myth that Tomás Ó Criomhthain (like many “peasant writers”) was unlettered. She explores the influence of European literary giants such as Pierre Loti, Knut Hamsun and Maxim Gorky on Ó Criomhthain, and explores his storytelling journey. Through a phenomenology of writing, Nic Craith examines the process and implications of handwriting a memoir. With reference to three subsequent Irish-language editions, Nic Craith queries the representative nature of the published texts and the denial of agency to an island author who was moving along a continuum from oral to literary expressions.


Editions of the Memoir

  1. Ó Criomhthain, Tomás, An tOileánach. Seán Ó Coileáin a chuir in eagar. Baile Átha Cliath: Cló Talbóid, 2002.Google Scholar

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  2. O’Crohan, Tomás. The Islander: A Translation of an tOileánach by Garry Bannister and David Sowby. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 2012.Google Scholar


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Heriot-Watt UniversityEdinburghUK

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