Irish Independent columnist and author Martina Devlin has been banned not once – but twice – for attempting to attend a séance to research her latest novel, Edith.
The biographical novel, which was launched by Lilliput Press at the James Joyce Center in Dublin on Thursday night, is based on the life of West Cork writer Edith Somerville, who was best known alongside her writing partner Violet Martin – who used the pen name Martin Ross – in the publish The Irish RM Series like Somerville and Ross, which later became a popular television series in the 1980s.
But Mrs. Martin’s death in 1915 did not stop literary collaboration, and Mrs. Somerville joined the then-popular spiritual movement and attended séances and engaged in automatic writing to “channel” the late writer from beyond the grave. “co-published” such novels as The Great House of Inver in 1925.
Ms Devlin said she tried her hand at automatic writing but failed to “channel any spirits” as she set out to write her ninth novel. “It’s just all the nonsense in your brain,” she blurted out.
And her attempt to go to a séance through a spiritual society in Dublin was also a false start.
“I was trying to go to a séance and they thought I was an undercover journalist to cast doubt and slander their séance so they wouldn’t let me in,” she said.
“So I tried a second time with a pseudonym and they recognized my voice for some weird reason and just wouldn’t let me. I was expelled from the sessions,” said Ms Devlin, whose partner is RTÉ journalist David Murphy.
“I said I’ll do my own séance then, but David said ‘over my dead body'”.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books/book-news/writer-martina-devlin-reveals-she-was-barred-twice-from-attending-seance-as-she-tried-to-research-new-novel-41644687.html Writer Martina Devlin reveals she was twice banned from attending a séance while trying to research a new novel