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Translations: A Play (Faber Paperbacks) Paperback – March 16, 1995


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Product Details

  • Series: Faber Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; 1ST edition (March 16, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571117422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571117420
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Translations is a modern classic. It 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."--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."--Sunday Times

About the Author

Brian Friel was 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, including Philadelphia, Here I Come! (1964), Lovers (1967), Translations (1980), The Communication Cord (1982), and Dancing at Lughnasa (1990). In 1980 he founded the touring theatre company, Field Day, with Stephen Rea.

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Customer Reviews

That was one such performance, and this is that fine a play.
Arthur from Brooklyn
Being Irish, I feel that it captures the very essence of Irish culture, and the hatred portrayed by Manus toward the English soldiers, is caught so well by Friel.
Natasha Martin
Must read for anyone challenging the relevance of everything we know to be real.
"janejukes69"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Arthur from Brooklyn on April 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
I felt moved to add a review of Translations after reading several of the reviews other readers have left. Brian Friel has a feel for language that is nothing short of miraculous. This play in particular is a delicate and wonderful portrait of the universality of human experience. If you care enough to read these reviews you owe it to yourself to read this play. I am a long time admirer of Mr. Friel and I saw a remarkable production of this play in London several years ago. There are times - rare times - when a person leaves a theater and doesn't feel the ground under his feet because of the transport of the experience. That was one such performance, and this is that fine a play.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Natasha Martin on November 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
Over the past few nights I have directed this play at my college. I am studying the book as part of my English 'A' Level course, and you'd think I'd get bored of it, but no, I love this book. Being Irish, I feel that it captures the very essence of Irish culture, and the hatred portrayed by Manus toward the English soldiers, is caught so well by Friel. Definitive and Encapsulating, I love this story. Tragedy or no, it's one of the best books I have read about the fall of one's culture through Language. It challenges the typical stereotype of the Irish, and shows how pompus the English could be! BUY IT!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By bdoyle@banta-im.com on May 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
What a wonderfully light read for such a potentially heavy topic.
As a native of Ireland that is constantly reminded of the legacy of the crass 'Anglosizing' of our country, I found this a very incisive read. It is a wonderful snapshot of a period in our history which has scarred our language and lanscape forever. An example would be a town built on the site of an old monastery 'Mainstir na Fir Maoi' or The Monastery of the Yellow Men was translated to Fermoy, a meaningless name with no relevance to the look or history of the area. Or even the fact that I am more comfortable writng this review in English than in Gaelic.
Yet this is not a bitter book but a clever 'fly on the wall' account of the subtle changes being stamped on Ireland. This book of the play has developed wonderful characters which give us a great insight to what it must have been like for all the people who lived through that time.
There is no agenda in this book. It is a nicely humorous account of the times from an accomplished playwright and author.
If ever you plan to visit Ireland or if you live here and have wondered where places like Donegal got their names then this is book will give you enlightenment woven subtly into a wonderful story.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
I had the privilege of performing in this play, and I must say that it is one of the most unspeakably beautiful pieces of theatre I have ever read. It challenges the reader/actor with its language, seduces him/her with its emotional power, and teaches an amazing lesson of love and change. I think it must be seen to be appreciated, but every time I read it I am staggered by its intelligence and poetry. (I did see a terrible production of it on Broadway, but a true interpretation of the play reveals it to be the masterpiece it is.)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
Usually I pay scant regard to books which raise fewer questions than they answer.It was then with some surprise that I found myself giving this book 4 stars (even more surprising that I nearly gave it five). However anyone who dares to delve deep enough into this book will be rewarded with the desire to meet the author personally.I say that because even now weeks after I read "Translations", I find myself wondering how much Friel really meant. Without going too far into the plot (how important is it?) I can say that this book is about the Anglicising of Ireland.However it goes much deeper than this, investigating the very origins of culture and language. In this hectic world it is easy to do things just because your use to them, but in this book I personally have rekindled the desire to analyse what it means to be human.In terms of its prowess as a piece of literature Friel's style is exceptional, wonderfully caccooning his deeper message in the modern tragedy which is Ireland. It would be impossible to simply list the points he wishes to make, but for the purpose of summary I would say that two of the most important themes are: 1)What is culture, and how does it come about? 2)How does language concur with that culture, and what happens when it doesn't? This superb book has left me realising that a word does not qualify existance, and infact many of the truths (immemorial or otherwise) that we hold dear, are intrinsically twisted by reality and myth. All of that and a damned fine read too, what more can you ask? How do I change it to FIVE STARS?!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Caponsacchi HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'll admit I had expected this play to be another political statement about disappearing languages and the hegemonic powers that threaten them--either that or a celebration of Irish Gaelic (I'm more with Joyce than Yeats when it comes to provincial sentimentality about a nation's older tongue). But Friel manages to make the reader/spectator ponder the seriousness of what can be lost in the translation of the marginal language into the majority discourse. In some instances, the signifer and signified, the sign and its referent are irrevocably separated. In such cases, the resulting loss is not merely to the "richness" of a country's culture but to human consciousness itself. What we can't say we can no longer know or even think.
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