Article Title

Irish Babel: Brian Friel's Translations and George Steiner's After Babel


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Literary history sometimes provides us with the opportunity to observe the supernova-like flash that appears when one imagination catches fire from another, when two natures die into each other's embrace and emerge in the beautiful new light of another world. We witness such brilliance at the intersection of Shakespeare and Plutarch, of Schiller and Goethe, of Kant and Coleridge, of Hegel and Marx. Contemporary critics refer to this phenomenon in lusterless technological jargon as intertextuality. Recently one of these rare flashes has resulted from the intersection of George Steiner's scholarly text on language and translation with the dramatic skill and imagination of Brian Friel. The play Translations was the beautiful new world that flared into existence when Steiner's After Babel intruded into Friel's orbit and penetrated a dark Irish world that appropriated its energy, assimilated its mass, and drew its orbit into its own.

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.