Imatge de l'autor

Doireann Ní Ghríofa

Autor/a de A Ghost in the Throat

6+ obres 442 Membres 15 Ressenyes 1 preferits

Sobre l'autor

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Obres de Doireann Ní Ghríofa

A Ghost in the Throat (2020) 408 exemplars, 14 ressenyes
Lies (2018) 12 exemplars, 1 ressenya
Clasp (2015) 10 exemplars
To Star the Dark (2021) 8 exemplars
Un fantasma en la garganta (2023) 3 exemplars
Oighear 1 exemplars

Obres associades

The Dublin Review 70: Spring 2016 (2018) — Col·laborador — 1 exemplars
Paper visual art, Journal Vol. 9 — Col·laborador — 1 exemplars


Coneixement comú

Data de naixement
Lloc de naixement
Galway, Ireland
Llocs de residència
County Clare, Ireland



[b:A Ghost in the Throat|51498568|A Ghost in the Throat|Doireann Ní Ghríofa||76159117] stunned me with the beauty of its writing and its passion. The author/narrator is a young wife with four children under the age of six consumed by her exploration of an 18C Irish Gaelic poet named Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill. The book is a paean to research as she scours the archives for information almost impossible to find on women of that era, on the "female text." She has to look at the men around Eibhlín Dubh to imagine what was happening with the poet as she tragically faced the murder of her husband. Much of the book is Ní Ghríofa's fantasies of the poet's life alternating with her own memoir of the last decade, another female text composed while sleepless, nursing and performing innumerable chores, "a dirge and a drudge-song, an anthem of praise, a chant and a keen, a lament and an echo, a chorus and a hymn."
"O my belovèd, steadfast and true!
The day I first saw you
by the market's thatched roof,
how my eye took a shine to you,
how my heart took delight in you,
I fled my companions with you,
to soar far from home with you.
And never did I regret it..."
… (més)
featherbooks | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | May 7, 2024 |
A book of creative nonfiction that straddles genres, the work is, above all, what Irish poet Ní Ghríofa says it is in its first sentence, in its final sentence, and throughout: a female text. It is about women's desire and women's disappearances. In it she pursues and makes connections with the hidden life of Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, the 18th century poet and composer of the esteemed "Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire", an oral lament she composed following the murder of her husband while pregnant with their third baby.

Desire features strongly at first. Eibhlín's desire for Art is present in the first lines of her lament:
The day I first saw you
by the market's thatched roof,
how my eye took a shine to you,
how my heart took delight in you,
I fled my companions with you,
to soar far from home with you.

She sees in the wives of the city merchants their own desire for her handsome, fearless husband when he walks down the streets:

How well, they could see
what a hearty bed-mate you'd be,
what a man to share a saddle with,
what a man to spark a child with.

This desire is further powerfully expressed in the language of the flesh when she discovers his dead body, Art having been shot while on horseback:

Love, your blood was spilling in cascades,
and I couldn't wipe it away, couldn't clean it up, no,
no, my palms turned cups and oh, I gulped.

Ní Ghríofa was captivated by this description of female desire from school age, and now as an adult, married with several children, in passionate love with her own husband, she identifies with and sees its connection to her own life. While we have many descriptions and musings on male desire, how welcome for a forthright depiction of female desire to get a turn.

Once the burden on my breasts diminishes, my inner clockwork clicks back to its usual configuration, bringing with it a hormonal swerve I hadn't expected. Desire returns, slamming open the door. Desire flings me to my knees, makes me tremble and beg, makes me crawl and gasp in the dark. Desire leaves me sprawled over beds and over tables, animal, throbbing, and wet. Every time I come, I weep. I missed it, desire, blissful and ordinary. I can't remember a time when I felt so relieved, or so happy.

Rediscovering this poem, making this connection, Ní Ghríofa now becomes intent on learning more about Eibhlín's life, and is aghast to find it largely missing. We don't know what became of her after Art's murder, how long she lived, where she lived, what she did, where she died, even where she is buried. The texts we have from that time are almost entirely about men, and even though Eibhlín's nephew was the political leader Daniel O'Connell, with lots of scholarship dedicated to his life and family, little of Eibhlín has survived. Ní Ghríofa decides to pursue the physical record and physical remains to retrieve what she can of the female life that lies hidden, that has disappeared.

The back and forth in the work between Ní Ghríofa's own life and her attempts at a reconstruction of Eibhlín's life seeks to build echoes between the two women's lives, and perhaps in a sense the lives of all women. Knowing all the details of her own life, and few of the details of Eibhlín's, it's a work that leans on poetic language and imagining what is not known based on what is. It's also a work of exhaustion, of frustration, before a final letting go of mysteries and language.
… (més)
lelandleslie | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Feb 24, 2024 |
Amazing story of a young Irish mother who from her schooldays has been obsessed with a long poem [ballad?] "Keen [Lament] for Art O Laoghaire". She admires the heroine of the poem, Eibhlin Dubh [Eileen the Dark], Art's wife, who has eloped with him and now tells his story, mourning him after he is killed. The author spends a long time researching the poem, translating it from the Gaelic to English and finding out all she can about Eibhlin and her extended family. Exquisitely written, and very poignant. She includes bilingual versions of this extended poem.… (més)
janerawoof | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Feb 23, 2024 |
when it's good, it's very good ; when it is bad, it tries too hard, falls flat, and is kind of conventional and corny and very much in the spirit of this age.
It gets a bit lost towards the second half, meandering around in the author's thoughts and musings which are not strung together in a way that is clear to follow.
She overdoes it a bit too and it's a bit embarrassing in parts. I saw an interview with her in which she admitted that her favorite part of the book has to do with Airt O' Leary's horse. : ( I thought that was among the corniest and most embarrassing parts of the book.… (més)
puabi | Hi ha 13 ressenyes més | Aug 13, 2023 |



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