Flann O'Brien

(redirected from Brian O'Nolan)
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O'Brien, Flann,

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).

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References in periodicals archive ?
My nod here at Brian O'Nolan (Flann O'Brien/Myles na gCopaleen) is made in another more specific context, that of Behan's own 'Cruiskeen Lawn'-style column in The Irish Press.
Another character sketch chapter "Brian of the Many Masks" illustrates the life and work of Brian O'Nolan, also known as Myles na Gopaleen or Flann O'Brien, author of At-Swim-Two-Birds.
If the writer Brian O'Nolan, better known as Flann O'Brien, were alive today, he would confirm that nothing had changed.
In a magnificently rambunctious editorial entitled "A Bash in the Tunnel," guest editor Brian Nolan--aka Brian O'Nolan (or O Nuallain), aka Flann O'Brien, aka Myles na gCopaleen (or na Gopaleen)--sketched a rather cantankerous portrait of Joyce as an egotistical iconoclast: "James Joyce was an artist.
The works of Brian O'Nolan present a very apt and humorous representation of twentieth century Dublin culture.
It focuses on the true identity of O'Brien, whose real name was Brian O'Nolan - a top Dublin civil servant during the 30s who regularly wrote for the Irish Times under the name Myles na gCopaleen.
The 'Lost' television series has generated a revival in Ireland, the UK and the US for Irish writer Flann O'Brien, whose real name was Brian O'Nolan, 40 years after the death of the author, rejected by many as eccentric.
O'Brien, a novelist and satirist, was actually three in one--an entity the novelist Dermot Bolger has called "that wondrous multi-layered mind which singularly comprised the Unholy Trinity of Flann O'Brien, Brian O'Nolan and Myles na Gopaleen.
The launch of the new Poetry Ireland was held in John Ryan's bar, The Bailey, in Duke Street, Dublin, and the guest list was a veritable who's who of the literary and artistic scene of the time: all of the contributors to the new issue attended, including Kavanagh, Clarke, Coffey, Donagh MacDonagh, Kinsella, Hewitt, and Hutchinson, along with Benedict Kiely, Brian O'Nolan, Frank O'Connor, Sean O'Faolain, Mary O'Malley (of the Lyric Theatre, Belfast), Gabriel Fallon (of the Abbey), Christine, Lady Longford and Micheal MacLiammoir; also present were the Director General of RTE, E.
Born Brian O'Nolan in Co Tyrone in 1991, in his mid-30s he followed his father into the Irish Civil Service.
In Cedarn, Utana in 1959, with Brian O'Nolan pondering the reiusse of At Swim-Two-Birds across the Atlantic, Nabokov's Charles Kinbote declares that he needed a disguise to work at a Zemblan university and "present to rosy youths Finnigan's Wake as a monstrous extension of Angus McDiarmid's 'incoherent transactions' and of Southey's Lingo-Grande" (59).
In Ireland Through the Looking-Glass: Flann O'Brien, Myles na gCopaleen and Irish Cultural Debate, Carol Taaffe contextualizes the many works and authors that emanated from Brian O'Nolan within the cultural and political atmosphere in which he wrote.