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The Absurd in Literature$
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Neil Cornwell

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719074097

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719074097.001.0001

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Flann O’Brien and the purloined absurd

Flann O’Brien and the purloined absurd

(p.251) 9 Flann O’Brien and the purloined absurd
The Absurd in Literature

Neil Cornwell

Manchester University Press

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

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