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Geniuses and Subalterns "[The holy well] is small and unpretentious . . . in the well itself [is] a mat of pondweed, called in Irish luibh gan athair gan mháthair (“fatherless motherless plant”) because of its seeming lack of roots." Nuala ni Dhomnaill, "Holy Wells and Psychic Depths" "Yes, there is great melancholy in a deserted land, though the beauty remains untouched—miles and miles of Killarney—the lake water lapping at the stones . . . And we went to the wishing well, where there are broken cups as offering & half a rosary . . . How ramshackle and squalid the Irish life is, how empty and poverty stricken." Virginia Woolf, in her diary, on a visit to Kerry, 1934

In my manuscript Dark White (my "Irish book," though it is more than that), I quote Virginia Woolf writing about Ireland in a letter: "It is a lovely country, but very melancholy, except that the people never stop talking."  

For more context, I have been reading Woolf&#…

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