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Translations A Play

ISBN: 9780571117420 | 0571117422
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pub. Date: 3/16/1995

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The action takes place in late August 1833 at a hedge-school in the townland of Baile Beag, an Irish-speaking community in County Donegal. In a nearby field camps a recently arrived detachment of the Royal Engineers, making the first Ordnance Survey. For the purposes of cartography, the local Gaelic place names have to be recorded and rendered into English. In examining the effects of this operation on the lives of a small group, Brian Friel skillfully reveals the far-reaching personal and cultural effects of an action which is at first sight purely administrative. Brian Frielwas born in Omagh, County Tyrone (Northern Ireland) in 1929. He received his college education in Derry, Maynooth and Belfast and taught at various schools in and around Derry from 1950 to 1960. He is the author of many plays that have taken their place in the canon of Irish Literature, includingPhiladelphia, Here I Come!(1964),Lovers(1967),Translations(1980),The Communication Cord(1982), andDancing at Lughnasa(1990). In 1980 he founded the touring theatre company, Field Day, with Stephen Rea. Deemed a "modern classic" by theDaily Telegraph,the playTranslationstakes place in late August 1833 at a hedge-school in the townland of Baile Beag, an Irish-speaking community in County Donegal. In a nearby field camps a recently arrived detachment of the Royal Engineers, making the first Ordnance Survey. For the purposes of cartography, the local Gaelic place names have to be recorded and rendered into English. In examining the effects of this operation on the lives of a small group, Brian Friel skillfully reveals the far-reaching personal and cultural effects of an action which is at first sight purely administrative. "Translations . . .engages the intellect as well as the heart, and achieves a profound political and philosophical resonance through the detailed examination of individual lives, of particular people in particular place and time."The Daily Telegraph "This is Brian Friel's finest play, his most deeply thought and felt, the most deeply involved with Ireland but also the most universal: haunting and hard, lyrical and erudite, bitter and forgiving, both praise and lament."The Sunday Times

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