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France and Ireland

Notes and Narratives


Una Hunt and Mary Pierse

The rich association between Ireland and France is embodied in music, art and creative writing from both countries and this collection provides a tantalising selection of these interweaving influences. The book presents a vivid picture of interactions between composers, performers, poets and novelists on each side of the Celtic Sea. Surprises abound, with music unexpectedly linking Ireland and France through George Alexander Osborne and Frédéric Chopin, through Thomas Moore and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, through Irish-inspired French opera and a French-directed Irish orchestra. Words and music meet in a Kate O'Brien novel, a musical interpretation of Verlaine and a selection of Paula Meehan's poetry, while the encounter between wine and music creates new possibilities for artistic and cultural expression. Exploring the works and influence of a wide range of figures including James Joyce, Marcel Proust, Jacques Derrida, J.M. Synge, Hélène Cixous, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Hector Berlioz, Maurice Ravel, Neil Jordan and John Field, the essays collected here uncover a wealth of artistic interconnections between France and Ireland.
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Wine and Music: An Emerging Cultural Relationship


Food and wine have always been synonymous with the arts. At times, they have acted as subject, sometimes as muse and more recently even as the art form itself. In recent years, Western society has become more and more exposed to endless streams of gastronomically-related material from all forms of media. Formerly considered as a subject that was the preserve of an aristocratic class, gastronomy has now become somewhat democratised and has assumed a greater importance and visibility in many aspects of quotidian lives. In the past, a subject like gastronomy was sometimes seen as less cerebral than other areas of study. However, gastronomy can now be viewed differently as it increasingly becomes more associated with the ‘upper senses’. These senses include hearing and sight and are reputed to allow more considered objective contemplation. There are many contemporary examples of food and wine intersecting with the art world and displaying a symbiotic relationship that is considerably more complex than the traditional dynamic that was the norm between subject and artist. This chapter will explore how food and wine have been seeping into traditional cultural fields of art and now even into music.

Food and drink were historically often associated with servitude. A burgeoning hospitality industry in the twentieth century certainly led to food and drink preparation and service being viewed in a somewhat negative light. Indeed, the topic of food and drink has been condemned in the past by Roger Scruton for being associated with the...

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