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Patrimoine/Cultural Heritage in France and Ireland


Edited By Eamon Maher and Eugene O'Brien

This collection of essays explores the concept of patrimoine, a French word used to denote cultural heritage, traditional customs and practices – the Gaelic equivalent is dúchas – and the extent to which it impacts on France and Ireland. Borrowing from disciplines as varied as sociology, cultural theory, literature, marketing, theology, history, musicology and business, the contributors to the volume unearth interesting manifestations of how patrimoine resonates across cultural divides and bestows uniqueness and specificity on countries and societies, sometimes in a subliminal manner.

Issues covered include debt as heritage, Guinness as a cultural icon of «Irishness», faith-based tourism, the Huguenot heritage in Ireland, Irish musical inheritances since Independence, Skellig Michael and the commodification of Irish culture.

With a Foreword by His Excellency M. Stéphane Crouzat, French Ambassador to Ireland, this collection breaks new ground in assessing the close links between France and Ireland, links that will become all the more important in light of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.

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11 George Moore: A Case of Dúchas/Patrimoine in Flux? (Mary Pierse)


Mary Pierse

11 George Moore: A Case of Dúchas/Patrimoine in Flux?

This paper posits that, from the viewpoint of George Moore (1852–1933), national heritage is an ever-evolving store of riches. His interests in, and attitudes towards, dúchas/patrimoine can certainly be discerned in many of his writings. Moore’s texts portray dúchas as intrinsically multifaceted, and as embracing time and place, arts and architecture, music, religion and folklore. In addition, his literary works intimate that aspects of received wisdom concerning such heritage are less ‘set in stone’ than they are reflective of ongoing and ineluctable sociological and political constraints, and of manipulation. When dúchas or patrimoine is labelled as an exercise in historical imagination, that description is far from exclusively negative or disparaging. Instead, and particularly relevant for the Moorian approach, the vibrancy and richness of creativity may enhance appreciation of a true cultural inheritance, partly by subjecting its features to literary scrutiny. Rather than any idea of imagination being inimical to authentic tradition, George Moore’s diverse methods of depicting heritage in its various forms tend to endorse the nature and value of the subjective and artistic approach. Today, that attitude and pattern would receive widespread, approving intellectual assent even as actual practices continue to diverge.1

A noteworthy aspect of Moore’s differing modes of engagement with manifestations of the concept of heritage or tradition is that they continue to appear in his writings over several decades. To illustrate both ubiquity and...

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