Don't anticipate the ending
Brian Friel penned this note to self whilst writing Dancing at Lughnasa (1990). That these words reappear elsewhere in Friel’s notes suggest that they functioned as a kind of mantra, reminding him not to let the play’s sombre ending influence the tone of the whole piece.
From MS 37,104/1, National Library of Ireland; copyright Brian Friel Estate, reproduced by permission.
Don’t think in elegaic terms.
All these people are spirited – even fiery – full of fight.
Don’t anticipate the ending.
In the final scene I see Fr. Jack + Rose and understand their presence. But Gerry’s reasons for being there aren’t so evident.
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Friel scholar Zosia Kuczyńska explores some key ideas around archives and archival access.
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Friel scholar Zosia Kuczyńska gives an overview of some of the distinctive features of playwright Brian Friel’s creative process as revealed by his literary archives at the National Library of Ireland.
Mixed interview, extract 1
Zosia Kuczyńska, Jessie Keenan, and Robbie Blake talk about the meaning of the phrase ‘Don’t anticipate the ending’.
Don't think in elegiac tones.
In this note, we see the reappearance of Friel’s mantra: ‘Don’t anticipate the ending.’