Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Talbot's Box"

For a different perspective of Matt Talbot than from his biographers, there is a play written by Thomas Kilroy, titled "Talbot's Box." It was first performed at Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in 1977 and first published in 1979. The following is from the publisher and appears on the back cover of the book:

Catholic ascetic Matt Talbot, the "workers' saint" (1856-1925), provokes Kilroy's ingenious examination of the idea of sanctity in the modern world. The very incorporation of penance and spiritual search, his conversion from alcoholism to prayer, fasting and self-mortification is sketched in the textured resonances of the idiom of the Dublin streets and in the soaring lyrical versions of the final visions -- all while Talbot's coffin remains on stage. in the words of the playwright, Talbot's Box is "a play about aloneness, its cost to the person, and the kind of courage required to sustain it."

Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish date: Mar 1997, New Edition
ISBN-13: 9781852351984
ISBN-10: 1852351985
Format: Paperback , 64 pages

In the book by Thierry Dubost, The Plays of Thomas Kilroy: A Critical Kilroy (2007), which includes interviews with the playwright, Thomas Kilroy notes that he was an agnostic when he wrote this play (and is one now), and his purpose in writing this play was to attack Matt Talbot and"to write a work of satire, of mockery." He claims that "what emerged was something entirely different." What that "difference" is, you, the reader, will decide.

On February 1, 2008, Kilroy was awarded the Irish Pen/AT Cross Literary Award for a lifetime of literary achievement.