Literary Birthday – 9 January – Brian Friel

Brian Friel was born 9 January 1929 and died 2 October 2015.

Seven Quotes

  1. But remember that words are signals, counters. They are not immortal. It can happen that a civilisation can be imprisoned in a linguistic contour which no longer matches the landscape of fact.
  2. To remember everything is a form of madness.
  3. It is not the literal past, the ‘facts’ of history, that shape us, but images of the past embodied in language.
  4. A fact is something that happened to me or something I experienced. It cam also be something I thought happened to me, something I thought I experienced. Or, indeed an autobiographical fact can be pure fiction and no less true or reliable for that.
  5. Maybe that’s the important thing for a man: a named destination… Women’s illusions aren’t so easily satisfied – they make better drifters.
  6. Yes, it is a rich language, Lieutenant, full of the mythologies of fantasy and hope and self-deception – a syntax opulent with tomorrows. It is our response to mud cabins and a diet of potatoes; our only method of replying to… inevitabilities.
  7. Some of you people aren’t happy unless you’re miserable, and you’ll not be right content until you’re dead.

Brian Friel was an Irish dramatist, author and director. He was one of the greatest English-language dramatists. Friel wrote more than 30 plays including Dancing at Lughnasa.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 9th January 2015