The OF Blog: Forgotten Friday Author Spotlight: Flann O'Brien

Friday, June 27, 2008

Forgotten Friday Author Spotlight: Flann O'Brien


For my second contribution to the Forgotten Friday feature that many blogs are doing, I decided to go with one of my favorite 20th century authors, Brian O'Nolan (1911-1966), who wrote a few novels under the pseudonym of Flann O'Brien. O'Brien's works included At Swim-Two-Birds and The Third Policeman.

O'Brien had a gift for creating truly bizarre, often comic situations out of quotidian concerns in the newly-independent Irish Free State, Irish mythology, existential philosophy, and bicycles, with sometimes most of those being mixed together in a haphazard fashion that created creative chaos that was a delight to read.

Last year, Everyman's Library released an omnibus collection of all of his novels, Flann O'Brien: The Complete Novels, so hopefully others here will be willing to sample his works at once.

6 comments:

Jen said...

He was published fairly recently here, and I've always thought his name and book titles sounded very interesting.

Larry said...

Well, hopefully the next time you see one of his books, especially The Third Policeman, you'll remember how much I loved reading it and buy it, right? ;)

Liviu said...

I put the complete novels on reserve at my library so I should get them next week. I also found some excerpts from 3 novels - 3rd policeman, dalkey archive, at swim-two-birds - and they look interesting though considering how many books I am reading or wanting to, right now, I do not know where they will be on the priority list.

But when I get the library book, I will decide for sure and most likely I will get a complete novels volume for me since it runs at 16$ or so at Amazon.

Larry said...

I paid $16 as well for it, as I did buy it from Amazon. I think the variety of styles in those books ought to have at least something that should appeal to you.

Liviu said...

Just started to read from At Swim and The Third Policeman and both look very interesting and short too; I got an arc of Gargoyle too which I was looking too for a while, so now just to find the time :)

Larry said...

Hope you enjoy them! Some of O'Brien's humor is very "Irish," but most of it translates well for others, I believe. But knowing Irish mythology certainly helps with At Swim-Two-Birds.

 
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