In a letter to a literary agent, Flann O’Brien described his first novel as “a very queer affair, unbearably queer perhaps.” The book in question was At. Flann O’Brien’s innovative metafictional work, whose unruly characters strike out their own paths in life to the frustration of their author. O’Brien found his novel branded as the book you read for more of the same after you had finished Finnegans Wake. Since few survived the Wake, and even.

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Summarizing At Swim-Two-Birds flxnn difficult but worth attempting. Thus, no birds were asked to swim in the river here. Sep 10, Petra rated it liked it.

At Swim-Two-Birds

I recognized good writing, so I don’t know how to adequately review this book. Bamboozling at points, tedious for longer than I’d like, but always, always, a lure to the next and the next and the next.

So how to describe this novel-thing. Then, I can assure you, you’ll have an awful lot to think about in terms of cast and creator and everything in between, and swimm-two-birds that not all we can ask for? This decree strikes me as wonderfully post-postmodernist. In what manner did he resolve these doubts? His humor is more forthright, his means of expression less oblique, his experimentation more playful.

Dec 22, knig rated it liked it Shelves: Unless, of course, he picked up the book and read it himself: Flann O’Brienwas too much his swlm-two-birds man, Ireland’s man, to speak in any but his owntongue. He is a little man that the namc of Rousseau will always recall to me” O’Brien otien only pulls it off, he is ah funny, with a command of the language that is unmatched by any other author that I know.

Love your picture—beautiful—captures the layers of storytelling in the book perfectly. There are several possible explanations for this. But that stuff seems to be a lot of camping about, like Carry On Weird Ass.

I am going to deconstruct the entire novel and build it up again, expanding upon the work where I see fit. Despite the fact that the book has a complicated frame within a frame-story structure yeilds a very strange matrioshka-type novel, the tone is comical throughout and one is left to wonder how such an irreverent, deliberately funny story can manage to accomplish such an ambitious structure.


Conclusion of the foregoing. Quotes from At Swim-Two-Birds. The magisterial influence of Joyce also an architect of labyrinths, also a literary Proteus is undeniable, but not disproportionate in this manifold book.

Oriej, I’m quite willing to believe that other readers might find all of this hilarious. Such instances show that nonsense can only be wt through its realization within a context of meaningful discourse. For Lecercle, nonsense relies on the exhaustion of lists and series.

Jan 03, Justin Evans added it Shelves: At the same time, the throat is dry.

Open Preview See a Problem? That character creates another character whom he impregnates, giving birth to an adult son, who also wishes to write a novel.

Need I say it? Sounds kind of strange, and it is, but O’Brian has enough rhetorical gusto to keep everyhthing running smoothly. The first swim-two-irds the “Pooka MacPhellimey, a member of the devil class”, another involves “Mr John Furriskey, who had the distinction of being born at the age of twenty-five, entering the world with a memory but swim-two-nirds a personal experience to account for it”, while the final opening features Ireland’s legendary hero Finn MacCool, a man not only skilled in declaiming vast tracts of Irish epic verse, but absolutely hellbent on doing so.

You are commenting using your Facebook account. William Gass, who is exponentially more intelligent and learned than I could ever hope to be, categorically says so in his introduction. If there is some explanation for what a character is thinking, we might be informed as to the subject of their thought process, but not shown precisely how they think.

A boisterous and boozy and far too long abed heart, to be sure, but here there is a heart bulleting its way to the soul of the fiction of the time, the odes and cowboys and morality gimmicks and all the poor charactered creations succored away from their easy nonexistence and spit out onto a stage of the so called author’s making.

Nonsensical repetition is also to be found in the list of body parts at the end of the scene. These juxtapositions will perhaps confuse or even alienate many readers.


The best novels: No 64 – At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien () | Books | The Guardian

It was undemocratic to compel characters to be uniformly good or bad or poor or rich. A one-chapter book with multiple beginnings, multiple dimensions, and a quick organic flow. A satisfying swim-two-birdw is the contending of a river with the sea. Nova Dick, Philip K.

This is a seriously lovely inch perfect parabola of joy which everyone ought to at least try. The novel was included in TIME magazine ‘s list of the best English-language novels from to Some examples stolen from a website I found: Visit our Beautiful Books page and find lovely books for kids, photography lovers and more. The convoluted logical labyrinths of this metafictional classic would surely have delighted […]. Introduction 1 The issue of mapping parameters of meaning can be broached from two different angles and at different levels.

Please say you’ll be tryin Flann O’Brien His book is more fun Than a big currant bun And I said hey babe, take a walk on the weird side Hey honey – take a walk on the weird side And all the Goodreaders sing Do do do do do do do do Do do do do do do do do Do do do do do do do do Do do do do do do do do Y “Piteous Though Such Fraud Be” The epigraph in Greek script at the beginning of the novel reads “for all things change, making way for each other”.

It’s a fabulous linguistic showpiece, and I’m willing to keep it and give it another shot in a few years.

In its earliest days, storytelling almost always partook of the magical. Joyce and FlannO’Brien assault your brain with words, style, magic, madness, andunlimited invention. Because it is fucking hilarious and a slammin’ piece of writin’.