NEW BOOK: Brian Friel’s Models of Influence

The Brian Friel Papers at the National Library of Ireland are a record of a life’s work in progress. They represent a way of working and of making art over a period spanning more than fifty years. This book is the first of its kind in its attempt to interrogate the role of the Brian Friel Papers in Friel’s legacy as a working artist with a richly developed creative practice. By means of an unprecedented focus on Friel’s artistic process, Kuczyńska asks not only how and by whom Friel was being influenced and inspired, but also how and for whom Friel’s praxis might come to be an inspiration. Combining forensic archival scholarship with original, collaborative practice-based research, this study remains focused on the ‘how’ of influence, showcasing an approach to literary archives that foregrounds live practices of access in the spirit of creative encounter. Whether uncovering forgotten source materials for Friel’s plays or working with current practitioners in the arts, Kuczyńska reveals how an approach to literary archives grounded in artistic practice might provide the tools for setting a major creative legacy not in stone but rather in motion.

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Zosia Kuczyńska is an academic and poet with a research interest in archival practices. She was an IRC postdoctoral research fellow at University College Dublin, Ireland. Her work on Brian Friel has appeared in Irish University Review. She is the curator of ‘Don’t Anticipate the Ending‘, a digital exhibition at the Museum of Literature Ireland.