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Sins of the Flesh: Tracing a Filiation between France and Ireland

Eamon Maher,
Structure de recherche associée à la MRSH : ERIBIA
Enregistré le : 18/06/2021 - Durée : 25mn32s - Réalisation : Université Caen Normandie
Lieu : En visioconférence

Dr Eamon Maher is Director of the national Centre for Franco-Irish Studies in TU Dublin and General Editor of two book series with Peter Lang, Reimagining Ireland and Studies in Franco-Irish Studies. His main area of interest is the depiction of Catholicism in 20th-century fiction and he is currently preparing a monograph on the Catholic Novel. His most recent publication, co-edited with Eugene O'Brien, is Reimagining Irish Studies for the Twenty-First Century, which is the landmark 100th book in the Reimagining Ireland series.

Abstract

For centuries, Ireland looked to France as an ally in the struggle against British rule and as a Catholic country with which it shared many principles and preoccupations. In addition, numerous Irish writers lived in France for protracted periods and found they could express views there that were not easily articulated in Ireland. Because of their duty as creative artists to portray the human condition in as truthful a manner as possible, Irish novelists in the 20th century often found themselves at variance with the teachings of the powerful Catholic Church, especially when it came to their depictions of sexuality. Many had their novels banned for containing material that was perceived as posing a danger to public morality and some were forced to flee the country to make a living abroad. Eamon Maher discusses how Liam O’Flaherty (1896-1984) exhibited a similar sensibility to Julien Green (1900-1998) in his negative depiction of human sexuality. Whereas the Nobel Laureate François Mauriac was a more obvious source of inspiration for Irish writers, Green’s Jansenism is also seen to a high degree in O’Flaherty’s fiction, particularly The Puritan (1931). The two writers shared enough preoccupations to allow us at the very least to trace a filiation.

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