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Patrimoine/Cultural Heritage in France and Ireland

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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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12 ‘I don’t think I could have made a decent living without the French’: An Analysis of Reviews of Irish Literature in Le Monde, 1950–2017 (Grace Neville)

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Grace Neville

12 ‘I don’t think I could have made a decent living without the French’: An Analysis of Reviews of Irish Literature in Le Monde, 1950–2017

‘I don’t think I could have made a decent living without the French’: this dramatic statement comes from acclaimed Dublin-born writer, Colum McCann. ‘I was very lucky in France from very early on, more than twenty years ago’, he continues. ‘They adopted me after This Side of Brightness, which was a New York novel, but also it was written by someone who was European, so it somehow bridged the gap’.1 To date, McCann has been published in no fewer than thirty five languages; he has garnered to himself a veritable harvest of literary awards including the National Book Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Rooney Prize, the Irish Novel of the Year award, the Ireland Fund of Princess Grace of Monaco Memorial Literary Award, the Deauville Festival Literary Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin prize and a Guggenheim fellowship. He is a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres and holds several honorary degrees. The thought that such an illustrious career might never have taken off had it not been for French support at its outset, when McCann was still in his late twenties is, to put it mildly, arresting and even perturbing. Similar gratitude for French help in her career is acknowledged by Nuala O’Faolain. This is how O’Faolain’s French publisher, Sabine Wespieser, recalls their first meeting:←237 | 238→

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