Review by Choice Review
This comprehensive yet penetrating study of the mind and art of Ireland's major playwright examines in turn Friel's short stories, radio plays, 20 stage dramas (categorized as plays of love, freedom, and language), and recent work with the Field Day Theatre Company. But it is really in Friel's ideas that Pine is chiefly interested: his psychological themes of displacement and lack of wholeness, his obsessiveness with the interconnectedness of map-making and communication, his artistic debt to Chekhov and professional debt to Tyrone Guthrie, his psychological immersion in questions of time, place, and community--all three of them subject to special contortion in Ireland. Pine's style is characterized by allusiveness and erudition. He searches for answers to Friel's habitual problems of identity and the psychology of place both in Irish authorities (e.g., Seamus Heaney and Richard Kearney) and in extra-Irish ones (e.g., R.D. Laing, George Steiner, and Oscar Lewis). Despite a willful occasional reliance on buzzwords, Pine's complex and original work eclipses the earlier studies by D.E.S. Maxwell (Brian Friel, CH, Apr '74) and U. Dantanus (Brian Friel: A Study, CH, Jul '88) while summarizing and relying on them. Recommended. -R. J. Thompson, Canisius College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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