7 March 2012

It's Only Criminal...

Last evening we spent an intense session in Maynooth College in the company of some of the top Irish crime writers. I've already promised a short piece about ghost estates and the collapse of the building trade in Ireland for Peter Rozovsky, so it should take some time before photos and reflections get uploaded on Widgetinghour.

There was much discussion about "Ireland" and the current sense of social, fiscal and even moral collapse, but since Irish people have a sense of drama that could not be outdone by any other group that I have met so far, it was helpful to just sit and wonder if what we were discussing was actually "true". True Crime genre was discussed and the body of rapt listeners were probably as relieved as I was to have Gene Kerrigan tell us that there is not that much gore in the stories he writes and that it is really all about the people and their motivations.

I have to admit that it was all a bit wearing. Mostly I ended up wondering why this little island is perceived to be so dismal when, in fact, so many people live dull enough lives and just go shopping from time to time. Perhaps they are the ones who read crime novels and thrillers?

Some of the chat on Detectives Beyond Borders would drive one to drink if the image of Ireland as a blasted heath with psychopaths at every turn were to be taken to heart. Fiscal deficit and the lives of the working poor are global realities at the moment.

I came away wondering (yet again) if Irish people have taken out a monopoly on hardship. Flower Pot at Imma, High Saturation

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Blogger Rob Kitchin said...

Hi. I was searching for you earlier, but in vain. I don't think any of us argued that Ireland had more hardships than anywhere else. Or that it was more dismal. What we said was that crime fiction by focusing on the human drama and the social and political contexts of crime opens up a window through which Irish society can be viewed and understood. That stories help people reflect on society that are different but complementary to journalism, radio debates, academic papers and so on.

3/07/2012 7:22 pm  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Why Ireland? Or France? Or Sweden? Or Chicago, New York. Los Angeles, London, Sicily, or Cape Town? Probably because all have a literary tradition, a fair share of human drama, and access to distribution networks. But I have to think that the main reason lots of good crime fiction comes from Ireland is that lots of good crime writers come from Ireland.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

3/07/2012 8:59 pm  
Blogger Photographe à Dublin said...

I think that the mention of the current fiscal recession at the beginning of the session set the tone for what followed, or at least that was the case in my mind.

It was really worth the effort to go out to one of the chilliest spots in Ireland to hear so many fine writers share their work.

As for posing question as to the whys and wherefores, I tend to stick to the idea that Ireland is packed with writers because there is such a grim climate most of the year round.

3/08/2012 5:58 pm  
Blogger seana said...

Gorgeous photo, by the way.

3/09/2012 4:42 am  
Blogger Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

Thank you.

3/09/2012 9:41 am  

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