Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thomas Kilroy opens Cúirt Festival and explains the Galway Vibe

There were about fifty people in the foyer of the Galway Museum on Tuesday at 6pm, when Thomas Kilroy officially opened this year's Cúirt International Festival of Literature. He caused a few to laugh out loud (and a very few to frown a little), when he said that one of the attractions of the West of Ireland to artists and creative spirits was the way that the Irish language was never too far here, regarding and sometimes jostling its Anglo-Saxon counterpart, "knocking some of the rigidity out of English, getting the English language to throw off its clothes and run around all over the place naked." (More of this transcript is in the Galway Advertiser).

15 July 1989, John Updike to Thomas Kilroy
And then he mentioned two items from his archives:  a letter from John Updike, regretting he couldn't come to the George Moore symposium in County Mayo (1989), and another from Doris Lessing, whom Kilroy had met and invited to Cúirt in 1994, but who couldn't attend. Both express an interest in, and affection for the West of Ireland, and regret they cannot come. 

Kilroy also told us that Doris Lessing had at one difficult juncture in her life planned to stay in the West, but that after an unconclusive search (from Clare to Sligo) for a place to stay, she returned to London. Who knows what would have happened to her English if she had carried that plan out? The Cúirt Festival continues until Sunday.

Vera Orschel

No comments:

Post a Comment