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KCI등재 학술저널

Drama as Creative Ethnography: Revisiting J. M. Synge’s Riders to the Sea

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Modern reassessment of J. M. Synge’s portrayal of subsistence lifestyles in rural Ireland has proven his vision to be more accurate than that of the nationalists, Gaelic Leaguers and contemporary critics. In this context, Riders to the Sea (1904) is significant in that it gives a voice to a marginalized, unvoiced society, and its female members in particular. This paper revisits this dramatization of a pre-Western community’s struggle against extreme nature, poverty, local gender norms, and loss, cross-reading Synge’s The Aran Islands as the play’s creative ethnographic paratext or pre-text. As a result, Synge emerges as an amateur scientist/artist of the enlightenment type, versed in western literature, objective data collection, and the Gaelic language. His representation of the islanders, along with his use of modern technology, anecdotal evidence, and personal reflection, combines modern and postmodern methods of ethnographic research. The study demonstrates that Riders to the Sea satisfies an ethnographic as well as artistic function, being an effective social, cultural state-of-the-nation play that is universal in its focus on issues of poverty and exclusion.

1. Introduction

2. Ethno-Beginnings

3. Riders to the Sea : Ethno-Drama

4. Conclusion