Flann O'Brien (Brian O'Nolan)

O'Brien, Flann

Flann O'Brien, pseud. for Brian Ó Nualláin or O'Nolan (ō nō´lən) 1911–66, Irish novelist and political commentator. Born in County Tyrone and raised in Dublin, he studied at University College, Dublin, entered the Irish civil service in 1937, and formally retired in 1953. From 1940 until his death, he wrote a political column called "Cruiskeen Lawn" for The Irish Times, under the pseudonym of Myles na Gopaleen; his biting, satiric commentaries made him the conscience of the Irish government. Under this name, he also wrote the novel An Be'al Bocht (1941, tr. The Poor Mouth, 1973), a parody of Irish country life. As Flann O'Brien, he published four comic novels in English, all of which display his brilliant abilities at wordplay and absurdist sensibility: At Swim-Two-Birds (1939, repr. 1960), a wildly funny literary send-up widely considered his masterpiece; The Hard Life (1961), a farce; The Dalkey Archive (1964), a satiric fantasy; and the surreal The Third Policeman (1967). He was also the author of a play, Faustus Kelly (1943).

See his Complete Novels (2008) and The Short Fiction of Flann O'Brien (2013, ed. by N. Murphy and K. Hopper); biography by A. Cronin (1998); studies by A. Clissmann (1975), S. Asbee (1991), T. F. Shea (1992), K. Hopper (1995), and K. Donohue (2002).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2017, The Columbia University Press.

Flann O'Brien (Brian O'Nolan): Selected full-text books and articles

1000 Years of Irish Prose By Vivian Mercier; David H. Greene Devin-Adair, vol.1, 1952
An Atomy of the Novel: Finn O'Brien's 'At Swim-Two-Birds.' By Cohen, David Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 39, No. 2, Summer 1993
Limbo: From Finnegans Wake to at Swim-Two-Birds. (Literature) By Kopcewicz, Andrzej Studia Anglica Posnaniensia: international review of English Studies, Annual 2002
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
A Companion to Irish Literature By Julia M. Wright Wiley-Blackwell, vol.2, 2010
James Joyce and His Contemporaries By Diana A. Ben-Merre; Maureen Murphy Greenwood Press, 1989
Flann O'Brien's Creative Loophole By Asensio, German Estudios Irlandeses - Journal of Irish Studies, No. 10, Annual 2015
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Flann O'Brien A Postmodernist Who Happens to Be a Thomist By Villar Flor, Carlos The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Vol. 31, No. 3, Fall 2011
Calmly Making Ribbons of Eternity: The Futility of the Modern Project in Flann O'Brien's the Third Policeman By Davis, Lanta Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature, Vol. 64, No. 4, Summer 2012
Tall Tales and Short Stories: Cruiskeen Lawn and the Dialogic Imagination By Coulouma, Flore The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Vol. 31, No. 3, Fall 2011
Flann O'Brien's the Hard Life & the Gaze of the Medusa By Murphy, Neil The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Vol. 31, No. 3, Fall 2011
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