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In the same preface Synge argues that modern European literature is unable to offer the contemporary dramatist a model because it is a 'literature of towns'. Mallarme and Huysmans are decadent writers who produce books unrelated to 'the profound and common interests of life'; Ibsen and Zola may concern themselves with life but they do so in 'joyless and pallid words'. ' The term 'joy' is a complex one. Synge clearly associates it with the vitality of the imagination in somewhat the 38 Synge and the Theatre same manner as Coleridge in the famous 'Dejection: An Ode': Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloudWe in ourselves rejoice!

Yeats was attracted - and puzzled - by this aspect of Synge's art. 41 J. M. ' (Poems, p. xxxiv) Synge differs from Yeats also in that he never wavered in his belief that the Irish dramatic movement and the Abbey Theatre should seek to develop an Irish tradition of playwrights and acting. When Yeats, in 1906, raised the possibility of developing the Abbey Theatre along the lines of continental municipal theatres which performed the great classics, Synge objected forcibly: So far our movement has been entirely creative - the only movement of the kind I think now existing - and it is for this reason that it has attracted so much attention.

Mallarme and Huysmans are decadent writers who produce books unrelated to 'the profound and common interests of life'; Ibsen and Zola may concern themselves with life but they do so in 'joyless and pallid words'. ' The term 'joy' is a complex one. Synge clearly associates it with the vitality of the imagination in somewhat the 38 Synge and the Theatre same manner as Coleridge in the famous 'Dejection: An Ode': Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloudWe in ourselves rejoice! And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight, All melodies the echoes of that voice, All colours a suffusion from that light.

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