Tom McGurk: Politics of the North framed Friel’s work

Tom McGurk: Politics of the North framed Friel’s work
Brian Friel

Accounts of Brien Friel’s life and work have failed to appreciate the importance of the Northern nationalist experience in his writing

‘But remember that words are signals, counters. They are not immortal. And it can happen – to use an image you’ll understand – it can happen that a civilisation can be imprisoned in a linguistic contour which no longer matches the landscape of . . . fact.” These lines from Brian Friel’s play Translations circle around the play’s endless searching for a resolution to the many questions of language. To name things is to know...

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