WILLIAM CARLETON AND HIS TIMES
AII Carleton’s best work is true to that medieval texture of lrish Catholic life, where the same breath that utters a Hail Mary suffices to shoo the chickens off the floor or the cat from the jug of cream.
Patrick Kavanagh (1945)
Following last year’s consideration of Carleton’s place in lreland’s continuing literary tradition, the theme for this year is William Carleton and His Times. This is in part suggested by the fact that 1995, one year after the bicentenary of Carleton’s birth, is the bicentenary of the founding of Maynooth College and of the Orange Order.
Contrary influences these institutions might be but both impinged on Carleton’s life and feature in his writings. lnterestingly, it will be a Maynooth scholar, Professor W J Smyth, who will speak on the Orange Order.
In addition to the more academic contribution, many of lreland’s leading writers will read from work published or in progress. Amongst these, we welcome again one of our patrons, John Montague, who was recently presented with the American lreland Fund literary award for his major contribution to lrish literature.
The elegant eighteenth century house, now the Clogher Valley Rural Centre, will again be the venue for the School. This is in Clogher: village in size but city by virtue of the elegant but unpretentious Cathedral of St MacCartan, of 12th century foundation. Clogher is one of a cluster of small towns or villages marking out the Valley. Surrounding them is some of the most gently pastoral country in lreland and, overlooking all, is the wooded height of Knockmany, sacral hill for Carleton pilgrims.
During the period of the Summer School, the following events will also be taking place:
. Sketching in the Valley with Margaret Hadden
. Exhibition of Paintings by Sam Craig
. Exhibition of Orange Order memorabilia
. Traditional Music Evenings in local pubs
. The Spolian Fair (Clogher Community Festival – Thursday)