Flann O'Brien: At Swim Two Birds

(2207 words)
  • Carol Taaffe (Trinity College Dublin )

At Swim-Two-Birds, Flann O'Brien's first novel, was published in March 1939. As early as 1935, the UCD magazine Comhthrom Féinne reported that the university's “best humorous writer” was “engaged on a novel so ingeniously constructed that the plot is keeping him well in hand”. Years later the author declared that anything which took longer than six months to write was not a good book, but at that stage of his life, he was quite happy to dismiss At Swim as mere juvenilia. Despite the author's disdain, it has remained his most famous comic achievement. In the same year he began writing At Swim-Two-Birds, Brian O'Nolan – Flann O'Brien's alter ego – began work as a junior administrative officer in …

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Taaffe, Carol. "At Swim Two Birds". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 September 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6483, accessed 08 July 2015.]

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