Seamus Deane will be talking about “Dumbness and Eloquence – Mastery and Incompetence in writing and talking; an account of their affinity” at our Friday Gathering on Friday 2nd March. Here is his introduction to his talk:
My hope is to address a general issue that is manifest in literature, particularly Irish literature in English, and try to explain how it can be looked at – for instance, the question of dumbness and eloquence – as a trope that is often presented in Irish writing – and as an historical relationship between the two languages, Irish and English. This is a rather baroque way of regarding the function of the ‘talking cure’.
The material will largely be from Irish writing. Among the authors, I’ll mention or draw examples from are Joyce, Synge, Beckett, Brian Friel. Maybe from France, Proust, de Maupassant. Maybe from Irish, Blasket island writers like Tomás O Criomtháin. But mostly, I’ll talk about a pattern of behaviour, gesture and response. Writing as therapy.