Flann O'Brien was born on October 5, 1911, in Strabane, Ireland. He was a novelist and dramatist. He wrote a column for The Irish Times for 26 years under the name Myles na gCopaleen. His best known novel is At Swim-Two-Birds, which was written in 1939. It combines folklore, poetry and humor. He died in Dublin on April 1, 1966.
'Tis the odd joke of modern Irish literature of the three
novelistsin its holy trinity, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Flann
O'Brien, theeasiest and most accessible of the lot is O'Brien. . .
. Flann O'Brienwas too much his own man, Ireland's man, to speak in
any but his owntongue.
At Swim-Two-Birds has remained in my mind ever since it firstappeared as one of the best books of our century. A book in a thousand. . . in the line of Ulysses and Tristram Shandy.--Graham Greene
At Swim-Two-Birds is a marvel of imagination, language, and humor.
At Swim-Two-Birdsis both a comedy and a fantasy of such staggering originality that itbaffles description and very nearly beggars our sense of delight.
Flann O'Brien is unquestionably a major author. His work, like that ofJoyce, is so layered as to be almost Dante-esque. . . . Joyce and FlannO'Brien assault your brain with words, style, magic, madness, andunlimited 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