Tomás O'Crohan [Tomás Ó Criomhthain]

Island cross-talk, pages from a Blasket island diary

Oxford university press

Oxford, 1986

bibliothèque insulaire
parutions 2005
Island cross-talk, pages from a Blasket island diary / Tomás O'Crohan ; translated from the irish by Tim Enright. - Oxford : Oxford university press, 1986. - XII-208 p. : ill., map ; 20 cm.
ISBN 0-19-281909-7


In 1928 appeared the book which I have attempted here to render into English, Allagar na hInise — Island Cross-Talk, Pages from a Diary by a fisherman, Tomás O'Crohan. It was a wonder to the Gaelic world for it had been written from within the oral tradition, capturing the moment of transition from speech to writing. Living speech would be the hallmark of the series of books by Islanders which it was to inaugurate. […]

Island Cross-Talk was a selection, approximately a third, from the diary Tomás O'Crohan wrote between 1918 and 1923. It was, with hesitation, undertaken at the suggestion of Brian O'Kelly from Killarney, a student of Gaelic, who had spent most of the year 1917 sitting at the feet of Tomás, titled « the Master » by the other Islanders, themselves masters of their language and lore. Their culture was oral : story and song, poem, proverb, and prayer passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation. The poetry which they quoted at will helped to sharpen and refine their everyday speech.

Tomás, born as he tells us on St Thomas's day 1856 [?], was taught English at the Island school but it was late in life that he learned how to read and write his own language. Now, out of fondness for his pupil who was leaving the Great Blasket and as a means of continuing their lessons together, he embarked upon the diary. Pens, ink and paper were supplied by Brian O'Kelly to whom the manuscript was sent out in batches. When he understood the value of the material reaching him he suggested publication.


Introduction, pp. 1-2

Tomás O'Crohan [Tomás Ó Criomhthain, 1856-1937]
Les îles Blasket
  • Robin Flower, « The western island, or, The Great Blasket », Oxford : Oxford university press, 1978
  • Muiris Mac Conghail, « The Blaskets, a Kerry island library », Dublin : Country house, 1988
  • Séan O'Crohan [Seán Ó Criomhthain], « A day in our life », Oxford : Oxford university press, 1992
  • Micheál O'Guiheen, « A pity youth does not last », Oxford : Oxford univeristy press, 1981
  • Séamus Ó'Scannláin (ed.), « Poets and poetry of the Great Blasket = Filí agus filíocht an Bhlascaoid Mhóir », Cork : Mercier press, 2003
  • Elisabeth O'Sullivan [Eibhlís Ní Shúilleabháin], « Lettres de la Grande Blasket », Brest :, 2011
  • Maurice O'Sullivan, « Vingt ans de jeunesse », Rennes, 1997
  • Peig Sayers, « Peig : Autobiographie d'une grande conteuse irlandaise », Le Relecq-Kerhuon : An Here, 1999
  • Pádraig Tyers (ed.), « Blasket memories : the life of an Irish island community », Cork : Mercier press, 1998

mise-à-jour : 21 février 2011