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View Diary: What are you reading? Oct 23, 2013 (80 comments)

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  •  Flan O'Brien (10+ / 0-)

    The Third Policeman. This is his second novel, the first was At Swim Two Birds.

    Very funny, inventive, lots of word play. Some of the dialogue could be from Monty Python.

    •  'At Swim-Two-Birds' is my favorite novel - I have (10+ / 0-)

      his collected works, and enjoy them all. The Third Policeman is his second best work (though some prefer it).

      I love his originality, his quirky humor, the Irish poetry in him. I find At Swim-Two-Birds more Joycean parody/fairy-tale and The Third Policeman more dreamlike and lateral illogic, like Lewis Carroll.

      Here's a bit of wikipedia on At Swim-Two-Birds:

      Dylan Thomas, in a remark that would be quoted on dust-jackets in later editions of the book, said "This is just the book to give your sister – if she's a loud, dirty, boozy girl". Anthony Burgess considered it one of the ninety-nine greatest novels written between 1939 and 1984. Graham Greene's enthusiastic reader's report was instrumental in getting the book published in the first place:
      It is in the line of Tristram Shandy and Ulysses: its amazing spirits do not disguise the seriousness of the attempt to present, simultaneously as it were, all the literary traditions of Ireland. [...] We have had books inside books before now, and characters who are given life outside their fiction, but O'Nolan takes Pirandello and Gide a long way further.
      O'Nolan's friend Niall Sheridan gave James Joyce an inscribed copy of the book. Joyce declared it the work of a "real writer" who had "the true comic spirit" and attempted to get the book reviewed in French periodicals, although without success. It is thought to have been the last novel Joyce ever read. Anthony Cronin has written of the effect the novel had on him as a seventeen-year-old in 1940s Dublin, praising its "umistakable sheen of the avant-garde", describing it "breathtakingly funny" and noting "the deadly accuracy of the ear for lower middle class Dublin speech".

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 05:10:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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