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Eamon Maher and Grace Neville

France – Ireland: Anatomy of a Relationship, with a Preface by Professor Joe Lee, is a selection of essays that seeks to explore the many links (spiritual, literary, cultural and historical) that exist between these two Gallic cousins. Figures dealt with in the book include John McGahern, Kate O’Brien, Oscar Wilde, John Broderick, George Moore, Maria Edgeworth, Daniel O’Connell, Wolfe Tone on the Irish side and Barthes, Derrida, Balzac, Flaubert, Julien Green, François Mauriac, Jean Sulivan, Paul Féval, Lamennais, Jean-Pierre Droz, Montalembert, Germaine de Staël among the French. Irish involvement in philosophical debates in France and their military exploits on French soil are also discussed. There is something in these essays for anyone with even a passing interest in Irish or French history, politics and literature.
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Eamon Maher, Grace Neville and Eugene O'Brien

French writers and intellectuals were to the forefront when it came to theorizing the concepts of modernity and postmodernity, and thus such a theme was considered appropriate for this, the second volume in the Studies in Franco-Irish Relations series. The postmodern Irish socio-cultural paradigm is interrogated through the lens of French thought. What is equally interesting is that Irish contexts can also help shed light on the French situation as the processes of secularisation and multicultural diversity, part of the French experience since the 1950s, begin to take root in a society that has become one of the most globalised in the Western world. The interchange and dialogue between the two cultures throws up a panoply of insights that have the capacity to be enriching for both societies.
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Eamon Maher, Grace Neville and Eugene O'Brien

Reinventing Ireland Through a French Prism explores concepts of Irish history, literature, culture and social development by subjecting them to a French perspective. Instead of using the monofocal lens that examines the effects of colonisation and postcolonialisation and Ireland’s problematic relationship with Britain, this book analyses Ireland in the context of the role the country has played in the broader European context, with particular reference to France. The book contains contributions in English and French.
Comme le dit Michel Déon dans sa Préface : « Ces deux pays, l’Irlande avec sa diaspora si puissante, la France avec l’étendue des territoires restés francophones, représentent dans le monde actuel deux havres de paix qui ne souffrent d’aucun malentendu historique et ne peuvent que s’enrichir en se parlant, en s’écrivant en s’écoutant. »
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Yann Bévant, Eamon Maher, Grace Neville and Eugene O'Brien

When one considers issues that are crucial to the evolution of French and Irish culture and behaviour, it is doubtful if there is anything more pertinent than globalisation and secularisation. Clearly, the experience of these concepts in both countries varies greatly: for example, while the French demonstrate a certain ‘méfiance’ – even ‘mépris’ – towards the globalistion project, which they associate with Hollywood, Microsoft, McDonalds and very little that is positive, the Irish, particularly during the Celtic Tiger years, were enthused by the possibilities it offered in terms of material gain and liberation from the excessive control of the Roman Catholic Church. In relation to the latter, many commentators argue that globalisation brought a more secular mindset to Ireland in recent decades, whereas in France the term ‘laïcité’ is strongly identified with the Republican ideology that dates back to the French Revolution. Clearly, therefore, the theme is a revealing one.
Cet ouvrage, qui contient des articles rédigés en anglais et en français, est composé des Actes du 4e Colloque franco-irlandais qui a eu lieu à l’université Rennes 2 en mai 2008 sous l’égide du NCFIS.