Academic journal article Estudios Irlandeses - Journal of Irish Studies

Celebrating Benedict Kiely 2007 Benedict Kiely Weekend Keynote Address

Academic journal article Estudios Irlandeses - Journal of Irish Studies

Celebrating Benedict Kiely 2007 Benedict Kiely Weekend Keynote Address

Article excerpt

Abstract. Benedict Kiely (1919-2007) has an annual weekend devoted to his memory as one of Ireland's leading writers in the modern period. The sixth such event was held in the newly-built Strule Arts Centre in Omagh in September 2007. Kiely lived most of his life in Dublin, pursuing a career as a journalist and a writer, but his roots were in County Tyrone. Educated by the Christian Brothers in Omagh, he embarked on a Jesuit novitiate in the Irish Midlands but this was cut short by a spinal injury, which meant a year of confinement on the broad of his back. Subsequently, he went on to read English and History at University College Dublin. His journalistic career took him first to the Irish Independent and then to the Irish Press, where he was literary editor. In the 1960s he took up visiting professorships at several North American colleges in Oregon and Tennessee. On his return he became well-known on Irish radio for talks and discussion programmes, and he was a regular contributor to Sunday Miscellany. A sharp observer of the Northern scene, he was particularly disturbed by the upsurge in violence in the recent Troubles, airing his grievances in imaginative works such as Proxopera (1977) and Nothing Happens in Carmincross (1985). He died in Dublin on 9 February 2007 after a short illness, and after Requiem mass in Donnybrook he was laid to rest in the Dublin Road Cemetery in Omagh. The following is the text of the opening address I was invited to give at the sixth annual weekend. I spoke about Kiely's sense of connection running through his writings.

Key Words. Benedict Kiely, traditional music, rivers and the natural world, the North of Ireland, the oral tradition of storytelling, recitation, Robbie Burns, the sympathetic imagination, the Troubles.

Resumen. Benedict Kiely (1919-2007), uno de los principales escritores de Irlanda de la epoca moderna, cuenta con un fin de semana anual dedicado a su memoria. La sexta convocatoria se celebro en el recien construido Centro Strule Arts de Omagh en septiembre del 2007. Kiely vivio la mayor parte de su vida en Dublin, donde desarrollo la actividad de periodista y escritor, pero sus raices estaban en el Condado de Tyrone. Educado por los Hermanos de la Doctrina Cristiana en Omagh, emprendio un noviciado con los jesuitas en la region central irlandesa, que abandonaria al sufrir una lesion de la columna vertebral que le mantuvo confinado en cama durante un ano. Posteriormente, se licencio en Ingles e Historia en University College Dublin. Su carrera periodistica le llevo inicialmente al Irish Independent y luego al Irish Press, del que fue redactor literario. En los anos 60 enseno como profesor invitado en varias universidades norteamericanas en Oregon y Tennessee. A su regreso alcanzo popularidad en la radio con charlas y programas de debate, asi como con sus contribuciones para el Sunday Miscellany. Observador agudo de la escena norirlandesa, se sintio particularmente afectado por el estallido de la violencia en el reciente conflicto, y manifesto su malestar en obras de caracter imaginativo tales como Proxopera (1977) y Nothing Happens in Carmincross (1985). Murio en Dublin el 9 de febrero del 2007 tras una breve enfermedad, y despues de una breve misa de Requiem en Donnybrook sus restos fueron enterrados en el Dublin Road Cemetery de Omagh. Lo que sigue es el texto de la conferencia inaugural que fui invitado a pronunciar para la sexta convocatoria anual. Hable del sentimiento de conexion que se percibe en toda la obra de Kiely.

Palabras Clave. Benedict Kiely, musica tradicional music, rios y naturaleza, el Norte de Irlanda, la tradicion oral, recitar, Robbie Burns, la imaginacion comprensiva, el conflicto norirlandes.

It's a great pleasure to be here in Omagh for the Benedict Kiely Weekend. It's also a great honour and a privilege to give this opening keynote address and to welcome you all to the first Benedict Kiely weekend to be held since his death in February this year. …

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