Brooker, Joseph

Joseph Brooker is lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of Reading in Transit: The Reception of James Joyce (2003)

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Flann O'Brien

Rereading the whole span of Flann O’Brien’s work, this new study reintroduces Flann O’Brien as a figure more relevant than ever to contemporary debates in Modernism and Irish studies.

Description: Flann O’Brien was the best-known pseudonym of Brian O’Nolan (1911-1966), one of modern Ireland’s most perplexing, subversive and underrated writers. In At-Swim-Two-Birds (1939) he exploded the modern novel into a riot of multiple narratives and contending discourses, in a way that both echoed the example of James Joyce and anticipated later developments in experimental fiction and theory. The subsequent works The Third Policeman and The Poor Mouth confirmed his significance, but for two decades he redirected his talents into the newspaper column Cruiskeen Lawn, producing a surreal commentary on independent Ireland and redrawing the borders of journalism and literature. Joseph Brooker’s new study assesses the whole span of Brian O’Nolan’s achievement, including his early forays into public satire and his fabrication of authorial identities. Brooker argues that in a period when modernism is being reassessed, O’Nolan’s negotiation with Ireland, the press, and the aesthetic make him newly relevant.


Author: Brooker, Joe

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