Modern Classics At Swim Two Birds

Modern Classics At Swim Two Birds

by Flann Obrien
     
 

Flann O'Brien's innovative metafictional work, whose unruly characters strike out their own paths in life to the frustration of their author, At Swim-Two-Birds is a brilliant impressionistic jumble of ideas, mythology and nonsense published in Penguin Modern Classics. Flann O'Brien's first novel tells the story of a young, indolent undergraduate, who lives with his

Overview

Flann O'Brien's innovative metafictional work, whose unruly characters strike out their own paths in life to the frustration of their author, At Swim-Two-Birds is a brilliant impressionistic jumble of ideas, mythology and nonsense published in Penguin Modern Classics. Flann O'Brien's first novel tells the story of a young, indolent undergraduate, who lives with his curmudgeonly uncle in Dubin and spends far too much time drinking with his friends. When not drunk or in bed he likes to invent wild stories peoples with hilarious and unlikely characters - but somehow his creations won't do what he wants them to. A dazzling work of farce, satire, folklore and absurdity that gives full rein to its author's dancing intellect and Celtic wit, At Swim-Two-Birds is both a brilliant comic send-up of Irish literature and culture, and a portrayal of Dublin to compare with Joyce's Ulysses. Brian Ó Nualláin, (1911-1966), better known by his pseudonym Flann O'Brien, was born in Strabane, County Tyrone, and studied at University College Dublin before joining the Irish Civil Service. Ifyou enjoyed At Swim-Two-Birds, you might like Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'This is just the book to give your sister if she's a loud, dirty, boozy girl' Dylan Thomas 'That's a real writer, with the true comic spirit' James Joyce, author of Ulysses 'A brilliant, beer-soaked miniature masterpiece' Time

Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
“At Swim-Two-Birds is both a comedy and a fantasy of such staggering originality that it baffles description and very nearly beggars our sense of delight.”
Washington Post
“'Tis the odd joke of modern Irish literature—of the three novelists in its holy trinity, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Flann O'Brien, the easiest and most accessible of the lot is O'Brien. . . . Flann O'Brien was too much his own man, Ireland's man, to speak in any but his own tongue.”
New Republic
“At Swim-Two-Birds is a marvel of imagination, language, and humor.”
Graham Greene
“At Swim-Two-Birds has remained in my mind ever since it first appeared as one of the best books of our century. A book in a thousand . . . in the line of Ulysses and Tristram Shandy.”
Anthony Burgess
“Flann O'Brien is unquestionably a major author. His work, like that of
Joyce, is so layered as to be almost Dante-esque. . . . Joyce and Flann
O'Brien assault your brain with words, style, magic, madness, and unlimited invention.”
Philip Toynbee
“If I were a cultural dictator in England I would make At Swim-Two-Birds compulsory reading in all universities.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780141182681
Publisher:
Penguin UK
Publication date:
02/22/2000
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.51(d)

What People are saying about this

James Joyce
"That's a real writer, with the true comic spirit. A really funny book."
Philip Toynbee
"If I were a cultural dictator in England I would make At Swim-Two-Birds compulsory reading in all universities."

Meet the Author

Flann O'Brien, whose real name was Brian O'Nolan, also wrote under the pen name of Myles na Gopaleen. He was born in 1911 in County Tyrone. A resident of Dublin, he graduated from University College after a brilliant career as a student (editing a magazine called Blather) and joined the Civil Service, in which he eventually attained a senior position. He wrote throughout his life, which ended in Dublin on April 1, 1966. His other novels include The Dalkey Archive, The Third Policeman, The Hard Life, and The Poor Mouth, all available from Dalkey Archive Press. Also available are three volumes of his newspaper columns: The Best of Myles, Further Cuttings from Cruiskeen Lawn, and At War.

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