Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Priest in Fiction: an exploration by Eamon Maher


Eamon Maher

 The closing lecture in our spring series will be given by Dr Eamon Maher, who is lecturer in French and director of the National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies at the Institute of Technology Tallaght. 

The dominant focus of Eamon Maher’s work is the cultural, literary and historic links between France and Ireland.  In connecting the two countries, and setting their literary art in parallel, he has richly illuminated our understanding of their shared artistic and religious concerns.  Just two examples: in his early publications on French priest and writer Jean Sulivan (1913-1980), he identified a parallel between the rural Brittany of Sulivan’s roots, and the Ireland of the 1950’s.  In later work on John McGahern, Maher explored the profound influence of 19th century French novelist Flaubert on the Leitrim writer.

Eamon Maher’s own books include his translation of Jean Sulivan’s memoir,  Anticipate Every Goodbye (Veritas, 2000)  and  The Church and its Spire: John McGahern and the Catholic Question (Columba Press, 2011).  He has also edited or co-edited over twenty monographs, and publishes widely in newspapers and periodicals such as The Irish Times, Doctrine and Life, The Month and √Čtudes Irlandaises. In 2013, he broadcast five short presentations on Jean Sulivan for RTE Radio as part of the Living Word series. His guiding interest in the influence of faith on 20th century literary culture is evident in work such as his 2014 article exploring Catholic sensibility in the early novels of Edna O’Brien.  

He is currently contributing a series of articles on depictions of priests in fiction to the journal Spirituality. He will draw on this research for his talk in the Central Catholic Library. Entitled "Life in a Roman Collar: some clerical figures in modern fiction", the talk begins at 6.30pm on Tuesday 28th April, and all are welcome.