“In the Heart of the Roman Metropolis”: an Italian Prologue to Synge’s Investigative Journalism
This article explores Synge’s trip to Italy and his sojourn in Rome in 1896. It will document his immersion into Italian culture as well as touching on the significance of his trip to Rome in light of his successive artistic career. The outcomes of Synge’s Italian journey translated into a newspaper report for the Irish Times which discusses the riots in Piazza Montecitorio caused by Prime Minister Francesco Crispi’s resignation after the Italian defeat by the Emperor of Ethiopia Menelik, during the first Italo-Abyssinian war. This essay will read Synge’s newspaper report “The Demonstrations in Rome (by an eyewitness)” as an antecedent to his travel narratives for the nuanced portrayal of the rioting crowd and his methodological approach from the field – hallmarks of his subsequent prose as evident, for example, in The Aran Islands (1907) and in the Manchester Guardian series “In the Congested Districts” (1905).