The Presence of France in the Irish Literary Imagination
A talk by Thomas McCarthy, Poet
Venue: Alliance Française de Cork Galerie
Date: Wednesday 26th November 2014
The idea of France, it’s emotional depth and presence, has been a permanent feature of the Irish sense of self, both political and literary. It has been said that more than a quarter of a million Irishmen fought in the armies of France between 1600 and 1750; and Irish regiments in the service of France became as legendary as the great Irish vineyards of St. Estephe and St. Julien. Our Irish attachment to France has maintained its profound duality over the centuries: once it was French kings and Catholicism; after the Revolution it became a deep attachment to French ideas of Liberty and Equality. It is through France that we are attached to the idea of Europe; and a Europe that is not completely French is less a Europe in our eyes. How has this attachment been shown through the years? How have writers expressed the profound admiration and love that educated Irish people still feel towards France and French life? Thomas McCarthy has found some of the answers in the work of Irish fiction writers and poets. In this talk he will provide a personal map of books to read and poets to remember.
Admission free – all welcome!