This one-day event includes a performance of a comedic piece, ‘A Question of Style’, penned by playwright Conor Montague and directed by David Clare (MIC). Set in Coole Park, the play is based on the ill-fated collaboration between Moore and Yeats to create a dramatic reimagining of the legend of Diarmuid and Grania for the Irish Literary Theatre in 1901.
In December 2020, the writings of Mayo man George Moore (1852-1933) will be honoured once more at the 11th George Moore International Conference at MIC, University of Limerick. Focusing on the concept of home in the life of Moore (was it Paris, Dublin, Mayo, London, the world of letters?) the event will be an investigation and celebration of the incredible literary legacy of Moore, its ground-breaking patterns, and the utter relevance of his approaches for the 21st century.
In his lifetime, Moore was honoured by artists and writers – and feared and condemned by a puritanical public for his honesty. Recognised as importer of French modernism into English literature, as the most significant influence in introducing impressionist paintings to England, as trailblazer for modern autobiography and memoir, Moore also excelled in several other genres: Émile Zola and Guy de Maupassant ‘borrowed’ from Moore’s A Modern Lover (1883); the structure of his short story collection The Untilled Field was the model for James Joyce’s Dubliners and the conclusion of ‘The Dead’ is reminiscent of Moore’s Vain Fortune (1891). The trail of connections and influences and cultural circles stretches from Mayo to Paris, London and Hollywood (with Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs, the 2012 film of Moore’s atmospheric story).
While Moore faded temporarily from general memory, it was because England viewed him as a little dangerous, too French, too Irish and too Catholic, while bourgeois Ireland also feared him but saw him as insufficiently Irish and Catholic, and Mayo remembered unwelcome disclosures of contemporary unorthodoxy! More recently, Moore is much appreciated for his pertinence and artistry. More than a century ago, Moore identified the perils of clerical dominance, embraced the European novel, supported women, sympathetically understood the multiple complexities of human sexuality, and wove visual art and music into the novel. Those paths are the routes frequently now chosen by writers, and such qualities are appreciated by today’s readers.
In approaching the topic of home, it is timely to remember a wise counsel, that Moore studies should “think through the interlinked intellectual cross-currents between his work and that of his contemporaries both as part of a process of canonical reappraisal and as recognition of the impossibilities of placing the truly individual artist into neat categories or movements.” (Heilman and Lewellyn 2014, 16).
Proposals for short papers are invited from individual speakers and from themed panels. Topics could include, but are not limited to:
- Paris, Dublin, London: the George Moore Networks
- George Moore and his Irish female contemporaries: Emily Lawless, Lady Gregory, Hannah Lynch, Elizabeth Bowen, Kate O’Brien
- Moore’s Literary Inheritances and Legacies
- George Moore and the New Woman
- Moore’s intersections and collaborations with writers
- Moore and Magazines, Periodicals, Victorian and Modernist Print Cultures
- Reception of George Moore
Abstracts (200 words) for papers proposed (20 minutes maximum delivery time) should be accompanied by a short biographical note (100 words), plus full address, institutional affiliation and email. Please send abstracts to Kathryn Laing (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mary Pierse (email@example.com) by 31 May 2020.