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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And what if that narrative is not some blissful bildungsroman or cheeky romance but what if this author-in-another-dimension despises author X and wishes on X the tortures of the damned?

Design as Art Bruno Munari. Incredibly funny, fun to read, smart and silly at the same time. In the autobiographical frame storythe student recounts details of his life. Eventually a means to punish is realized.

At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien

View all 20 comments. Sounds like a good premise, right? Even those who subsequently mess with the rules often start out on a conventional note Joyce had to work up to the horror that is Finnegans Wake. If the student were only recounting this story to his friend Brinsley and he does, at points that would be Joycean to the extent that it acutely acknowledges the divide between external reality and internal perception of that reality.

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Revue de sciences du langage Editeur: Its really funny, but tough going at times, as you might have to slog thru ancient celtic epic poetry and characters that only speak in verse or summaries of other books as well as long lists of diseases, etc. A somewhat tranquil time reigns for some while, but the brought-to-life characters still hold a grudge against their creator for the things he forced them to do and the hardships they endured at his hands.


Follow Ted Gioia on Twitter at www. I think this invention has the advantage that it flsnn an unusual name and one that is quite ordinary.

At Swim-Two-Birds

Additional interrogative and brief speculation: My propositions are elucidatory in this way: Swim-two-birdw see everything about the Uncle immediately, in the real, within the proper coordinates for time and space. His suffering is in the service of creating beautiful songs. Yet it’s told in such a way that it’s truly hard to follow. Crush, crack, crick, crick. Having invited us to his bar, what liquor is he serving? This little book is a commitment and I’m not sure what one gets out of it.


I recognized good writing, some humorous sections, an interesting storyline. It was undemocratic swim-twwo-birds compel characters to be uniformly good or bad or poor or rich. Sweeney is an object of torture at the hands of some medieval scribe. Most authors spend their time saying what has been said before — usually said much better. Is it a fantasy?

It also reveals their essential deformability. He completes his story by having Trellis’s maid accidentally burn the papers sustaining the existence of Furriskey and his friends, freeing Trellis. There is therefore an appreciable and calculable interval of time between the throwing by a man of a glance at his own face in a mirror and the registration of the reflected image in his eye.

Long live Dermot Trellis! What is summary of this book? The comedy mostly relies on puns, nonsensical jokes and absurd situations, as well as a series of embedded narratives, which have earned the book its epithet of post-modern from many critics Hopper This book is funny, it’s sardonic, it’s philosophical, but it’s not too high on itself.


His father had learned Irish while a young man during the Gaelic revival the son was later to mock. Would you like a Guinness? The convoluted logical labyrinths of this metafictional classic would surely have delighted […] Like Like. The book is seething with conspiracy and there have been at least two whispered consultations between all the characters, including two who have not yet been officially created. Aug 16, Miriam rated it really liked it Recommended to Miriam by: Not everything hits the mark in these pages.

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

The young novelist does not believe in starting and ending his novel with only one scenario so he begins his story with three separate scenes that get interweave later in the narration. Learn how your comment data is processed. The Atrocity Exhibition Ballard, J.

Swim-Two-Birds is the song never sung in the novel. Show 25 25 50 All. It won’t be a boring ride but it will be a smoky, foggy, unfocussed ride.

This book has something for the professor and a regular old boyo.