Irish Dramatist Brian Friel (1929-2015), a man many considered among the greatest living English-language playwrights, passed away this morning at the age of 86. Friel is best known for his award-winning playsPhiladelphia, Here I Come!, Translations, and Dancing at Lughnasa, as well as many of his other 30+ works written during a six-decade career. Friel was often cited as “an Irish Chekhov” who brought to the stage the causes and themes most important to the Irish people. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the British Royal Society of Literature, and the Irish Academy of Letters.
Today’s Words of Wisdom are excerpted from Translations, a play set in a 19th century rural Irish village, which focuses primarily on the power of language:
“It is not the literal past, the ‘facts’ of history, that shape us, but images of the past embodied in language.”