Ireland and France, a Bountiful Friendship
Literature, History and Ideas. Essays in honour of Patrick Rafroidi
21.6 x 13.8 cm. xii, 221 pp. 1992 Irish Literary Studies series (ISSN 0140-895X) volume 42
Ireland and France, A Bountiful Friendship: Literature, History and Ideas is a collection of essays looking at 'Irish matters' in a new and exciting way. Accepting the historical significance of France as a catalyst for Irish genius and a fertile field for missionaries, wild geese and assorted Irish expatriates, the book explores compatibilities and contrasts between the Irish and the French. Has French republicanism come to life again in the IRA? Are Paisley and Le Pen mirror images of each other or of `national' impulses? If Irish intellectual history is imbricated with the Enlightenment and the counter-reformation, how do we read Edmund Burke?
If Irish writers from Wilde to Beckett seem equally at home in French and in English perhaps this suggests the value of tracing the footsteps of others: Charles Maturin, John Banim, James Stephens, Denis Devlin and Derek Mahon, whose work in varying ways draws upon and mediates French influence. On the other hand, a French perspective on things Irish, as in several essays included here, provides new insights and assessments, new versions of understanding.
The inspiring presence of this book is the late Patrick Rafroidi, whose study of Irish romanticism has become a standard work and who has proven himself among the best French commentators on Irish culture in recent times. As Rafroidi's family history and career exemplified Irish-French interactions, so these essays in his honour celebrate the fruitfulness of a long-standing affaire.