Introduction by William H. Gass
Collection John F. Byrne Literature Series
A wildly comic send-up of Irish literature and culture, At Swim-Two-Birds is the story of a young, lazy, and frequently drunk Irish college student who lives with his curmudgeonly uncle in Dublin. When not in bed (where he seems to spend most of his time) or reading he is composing a mischief-filled novel about Dermot Trellis, a second-rate author whose characters ultimately rebel against him and seek vengeance. From drugging him as he sleeps to dropping the ceiling on his head, these figures of Irish myth make Trellis pay dearly for his bad writing. Hilariously funny and inventive, At Swim-Two-Birds has influenced generations of writers, opening up new possibilities for what can be done in fiction. It is a true masterpiece of Irish literature.
Nb of pages 239 p.
Publication Date 01 September 2005
Nb of pages 239
Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5 in.
List Price $13.95
HAVING placed in my mouth sufficient bread for three minutes' chewing, I withdrew my powers of sensual perception and retired into the privacy of my mind, my eyes and face assuming a vacant and preoccupied expression. I reflected on the subject of my spare-time literary activities. One beginning and one ending for a book was a thing I did not agree with. A good book may have three openings entirely dissimilar and inter-related only in the prescience of the author, or for that matter one hundred times as many endings.
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"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." -Graham Greene
"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." -Anthony Burgess
"If I were a cultural dictator in England I would make At Swim-Two-Birds compulsory reading in all universities." -Philip Toynbee
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John F. Byrne Literature Series
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Genres : Fiction : Europe : British and Irish
Genres : Fiction : Classics and Modernism
Countries : Ireland