The Stars of Ballymenone
AUTHOR: Glassie, Henry
PUBLISHER: Indiana University Press
Also available at Amazon.com
In the time of the Troubles, when there were bombs in the night and soldiers on the road, Henry Glassie journeyed to the Irish borderland to learn how country people endure. He settled into the farming community of Ballymenone, beside Lough Erne in the County Fermanagh. He asked questions, and he listened. For a decade he heard and recorded the stories and songs in which they outlined their culture, recounted their history, and pictured their world--a world which, in their view, was one of love and defeat and uncertainty, demanding faith, bravery, and wit.
In his award-winning Passing the Time in Ballymenone, Henry Glassie set out to write a comprehensive ethnography of the community. Now, after decades of work in Asia, in Turkey and Bangladesh, in India and Japan, Glassie has returned to Ireland, using his skills as an observer, a listener, a writer, in an effort to understand how poor people in rural places suffer and laugh and carry on while history happens. Glassie's task in The Stars of Ballymenone is to set the scene, to sketch the backdrop and clear the stage, so that Hugh Nolan and Michael Boyle, Peter Flanagan, Ellen Cutler, and their neighbors can tell their own tale.
The Stars of Ballymenone is an integrated analysis of the complete repertory of verbal art from a community where storytelling and singing of quality remained a part of daily life. The book includes a CD so the voices of Ballymenone can be heard at last.
PUBLICATION DATE: 4/4/2006
CATEGORY: Social Science