Blair's Reviews > Translations

Translations by Brian Friel
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Sep 28, 14

bookshelves: historical, poetry-and-plays, favourites, 1980s-90s-release
Read in January, 2002

Studied at college, which I'm thankful for, because I wouldn't have loved it as much, I'm sure, without all the breaking down and taking apart and criticising. Responsible for innumerable favourite lines and passages which my best friend and I still quote to each other to this day.

***

Doalty: Ignari, stulti, rustici - pot-boys and peasant-whelps - semi-literates and illegitimates.

Yolland: It wasn't an awareness of direction being changed but of experience being of a totally different order. I had moved into a consciousness that wasn't striving nor agitated, but at its ease and with its own conviction and assurance... I may learn the password but the language of the tribe will always elude me, won't it? The private core will always be hermetic, won't it?

Hugh: Yes, it is a rich language, lieutenant, full of the mythologies of fantasy and hope and self-deception - a syntax opulent with tomorrows... But remember that words are signals, counters. They are not immortal. And it can happen that a civilisation can be imprisoned in a linguistic contour which no longer matches the landscape of.. fact.

Manus: But when I saw him standing there at the side of the road - smiling - and her face buried in his shoulder - I couldn't even go close to them... The wrong gesture in the wrong language.

Jimmy: I am a barbarian in this place because I am not understood by anyone.

Hugh: Everything seemed to find definition that spring - a congruence, a miraculous matching of hope and past and present and possibility. Striding across the fresh, green land. The rhythms of perception heightened. The whole enterprise of consciousness accelerated. We were gods that morning... And it was there that we got homesick for Athens, just like Ulysses. The desiderium nostrotum - the need for our own. Our pietas was for older, quieter things... My friend, confusion is not an ignoble condition.
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Quotes Blair Liked

Brian Friel
“Even if I did speak Irish, I’d always be considered an outsider here, wouldn’t I? I may learn the password but the language of the tribe will always elude me, won’t it? The private core will always be ...hermetic, won’t it?”
Brian Friel, Translations


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