“What fascinates me about that memory is that it owes nothing to fact…atmosphere is more real than incident and everything is simultaneously actual and illusory.”
Dancing at Lughnasa, by Brian Friel
The imagined figures of Irish playwright Brian Friel reflect the real movements of centuries of Irish emigrants. Through departures and homecomings these dislocated must reconcile the pieces of the past and the shape of the present.
Like the double-faced Roman god Janus, simultaneously looking in and out to both future and former, the emigrant straddles multiple physical and metaphysical realms. But what of a blind-spot? What of the periphery? What does it mean to be exiled amongst the ruins of yesterday, amputated by time? The firm borders give way and facts are contaminated by idealized fiction.
In This Doubtful Paradise the waters that ferry the displaced flood our vision. Waves render the memory of home a lost illusion.