Flann O’Brien and the purloined absurd

Neil Cornwell

in The Absurd in Literature

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780719074097
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700969 | DOI:
Flann O’Brien and the purloined absurd

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This chapter takes a look at Brian O'Nolan, who was also known as Flann O'Brien and Myles na Gopaleen in the literary world, introducing each of O'Nolan's literary personas, from the novelist and short-story writer (O'Brien), to the author of the funniest newspaper feature (na Gopaleen). From there the discussion focuses his two main novels, At Swim-Two-Birds and The Third Policeman. It notes that At Swim-Two-Birds was written through the second half of the 1930s and that it follows from the early writings of that decade. The Third Policeman, on the other hand, has lesser elements than the other novels, but is considered as more concentrated and serious.

Keywords: Flann O'Brien; literary personas; Swim-Two-Birds; Third Policeman

Chapter.  13701 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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