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Historical legacies and unhomely cultural memories in Brian Friel’s The home place

McMullan, A. (2014) Historical legacies and unhomely cultural memories in Brian Friel’s The home place. Nordic Irish Studies, 13 (1). pp. 189-203. ISSN 1602-124X

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Official URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24332400

Abstract/Summary

Brian Friel’s history plays, such as Translations, Making History and Dancing at Lughnasa, focus not only on crucial moments in Irish history, but on how they have been remembered or narrativised in the present. Friel’s 2005 play, The Home Place, set in Donegal in the 1890’s, comments on the significance of inherited histories of British colonisation, the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy and Irish nationalist militant resistance for contemporary individual and collective identities. While the play raises issues of ethnic and racial classifications and hierarchies that can be related to diverse historical and contemporary global contexts, this essay focuses on the relevance of The Home Place to ‘post-conflict’ Northern Ireland. It suggests that Friel uses a mixture of naturalism and stereotype to suggest the limitations of historical narratives of ‘victims and perpetrators’, and to articulate the continuing need in the north for a shared ‘listening space’ where antagonistic cultural memories might be heard and new legacies forged.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Beckett studies
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:68966
Publisher:Dalarna University Centre for Irish Studies

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