HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

At Swim-Two-Birds (1939)

by Flann O'Brien

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,254633,986 (3.89)183
Along with one or two books by James Joyce, Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds is the most famous (and infamous) of Irish novels published in the twentieth century. 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.… (more)
  1. 60
    If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino (macflaherty)
  2. 10
    The Alone to the Alone by Gwyn Thomas (chrisharpe)
  3. 00
    Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Fictional characters exacting revenge on their creator. Story within a story.
  4. 00
    Slow Man by J. M. Coetzee (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Books in which the characters interact with their fictitious authors.
  5. 00
    Mulligan Stew by Gilbert Sorrentino (ateolf)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 183 mentions

English (57)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (61)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
Puoi prendere un ascensore, schiacciare un qualsiasi pulsante ed il solito ‘caso’ puo’ aprirti mille vie.
Quale sceglierai?
Oppure quale sarai obbligato a scegliere?
Potrai tornare indietro e premere il pulsante corretto?
Nulla di tutto cio’, torna indietro e mettiti a leggere Flann O’Brien.

Se Borges fosse nato donna, e potrebbe anche essere vero, e Auster fosse nato uomo, e potrebbe… anzi e’ vero, il nascituro della coppia si potrebbe chiamare Flann O’Brien.

Ad un certo punto i personaggi di questo libro decidono di cambiare la storia in cui sono coinvolti.
Ma, caro Flann O’Brien, non possono farlo!!
Per lo piu’ possono decidere di trovarsi un altro autore (vedi Pirandello).

Alcuni brani:

La maggior parte degli scrittori perdono il tempo a dire cio’ che hanno gia’ detto, di solito molto meglio.
Una gran copia di rimandi ad opere gia’ esistenti permetterebbe al lettore di conoscere istantaneamente il carattere di ciascun personaggio, eviterebbe faticose spiegazioni e vieterebbe efficacemente ai ciarlatani, agli arrivisti, agli imbroglioni e agli illetterati la comprensione della letteratura contemporanea. (31)

Sul davanzale della finestra c’era una piccola sveglia di bachelite; essa si prendeva cura di ogni nuova giornata, non appena questa entrava nella stanza dalla finestra su Peter Place, e la distribuiva con precisione in ventiquattro ore. (39)

Ci fu un tempo in cui preferivo
Ai vili discorsi degli uomini
Gli accenti della tortora
Che svolazza presso le acque.

Ci fu un tempo in cui preferivo
Al tintinnio delle campane
La voce del merlo tra le rocce
E il bramito di un cervo nella tempesta.

Ci fu un tempo in cui preferivo
Alla voce di una bella donna
Il richiamo della starna di montagna
In pieno giorno.

Ci fu un tempo in cui preferivo
Il guaito dei lupi
Alla voce di un chierico
Che canticchia tra quattro mura.
(117)

Il guaio, sia per Cryan che per la maggior parte della gente, disse Byrne, e’ che non rimangono a letto abbastanza a lungo. Quando l’uomo dorme, e’ sommerso e perso in una molle, atona felicita’: sveglio, invece, e’ irrequieto, torturato dal proprio corpo e dall’illusione dell’esistenza. Perche’ gli uomini, per secoli, si sono dati da fare per dominare il corpo sveglio? Mettetelo a dormire, e’ il metodo migliore. Che serva soltanto per rigirare di quando in quando l’anima addormentata… (127) (Oblomov docet)


( )
  NewLibrary78 | Jul 22, 2023 |
Although frequently humorous and completely comprehendible at a small scale, I found O'Nolan's most famous work to be very complex and much of it to be quite a slog to get through. At times it seems to be either a parody or imitation of Joyce, but it has peculiar elements, such as the relationship of the author or purported author(s) to the characters and the characters to each other that if not unique are certainly unusual. Many odd things are here including found texts and instructions for reading a gas meter. I found The Third Policeman to be much more approachable. It might be that if I were more familiar with Irish legends, Irish literature, and Gaelic I could get more out of this. ( )
1 vote markm2315 | Jul 1, 2023 |
This book is purported to be one of humor. Not grasping the Irish humor and the double entendre therein, I floundered throughout most of this book and did not grasp the intended humor. The beginning and the end were exceptionally challenging for me as I tried to make sense of them. I allowed myself to flow with the story within the story in the middle of the book and could enjoy some of it. The form of a story within a story and with the embedded story to be one about characters in novels is very intriguing. Unfortunately, I could not maintain the correct altitude of attention to appreciate most of this book. ( )
1 vote Kimberlyhi | Apr 15, 2023 |
5 stars ... 1 star.... a bit more elegant and dense that Spike Milligan... but i am again swept into rough waters with this book. It's fantastic. It's impossible. I do like the Joycean parts where the "author" (???) asks direct questions in the text: "What did he mean in that last passage" and answers in dry, clear words. I am still but a fourth into it - i will continue. ( )
  apende | Jul 12, 2022 |
Reason read: 2022, June BOTM, Reading 1001.
I found it amusing but not sure what I read. The structure jumps about and goes from the unnamed narrator, his uncle, to tales about all these myths and personages. The narrator is a person who is rather isolated as he stays in his room, in his bed and he does entertain the idea of writing and even writes a bit. I think he might be a rather smart, perhaps socially awkward person who likes to drink or he might just be lazy. The Legacy might be the structure, the inclusion of the myths and folklore. It is a writing about a guy who writes, whose characters turn on him. I am not sure if the novel is plot or character driven because it is hard to follow but there is a plot. It might be more experimental and modernistic than plot or character driven. It was interesting to be introduced to so many new mythological and folklore. It wasn't hard to listen to the audio because the accent was so fun, and the Anglo Gaelic sentences were great. It is short so that helps too. I really liked many of the sayings in the book. I think it is quite quotable. I liked the intro where he discusses that a book can start and end in many different ways. I think I've read that idea in another book that was about writing and reading novels. Given that the book was published in 1939, this author was ahead of its time. This was his debut novel. I've read The Third Policeman a while back which is also a weird book. The author had a wonderful sense of humor. ( )
  Kristelh | Jun 1, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
At Swim-Two-Birds has such a strong claim to be one of the founding texts of literary postmodernism. All the markers of that baggy but indispensable cultural category—the deconstruction of narrative, the replacement of nature by culture, an ahistoric sensibility in which tropes and genres from different eras can be mixed and matched promiscuously, the prominence of pastiche, the notion of language itself as the real author of the work—are openly declared in At Swim.
 

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
O'Brien, Flannprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bushman, Todd MichaelCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fiedler, LoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gass, William H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meinicken, HelmutÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pokorný, MartinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rowohlt, HarryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
ἐξίσταται γὰρ πάντ' ἀπ' ἀλλήλων δίχα
Dedication
[None]
First words
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.
Quotations
I'm thirsty, he said. I have sevenpence. Therefore I buy a pint.
...
The conclusion of your syllogism, I said lightly, is fallacious, being based on licensed premises.
Licensed premises is right, he replied, spitting heavily. I saw that my witticism was unperceived and quietly replaced it in the treasury of my mind.
The passage, however, served to provoke a number of discussions with my friends and acquaintances on the subject of aestho-psycho-eugenics and the general chaos which would result if all authors were disposed to seduce their female characters and bring into being, as a result, offspring of the quasi-illusory type. It was asked why Trellis did not require the expectant mother to make a violent end of herself and the trouble she was causing by the means of drinking a bottle of disinfectant fluid usually to be found in bathrooms. The answer I gave was that the author was paying less and less attention to his literary work and was spending entire days and nights in the unremitting practice of his sleep. This explanation, I am glad to say, gave instant satisfaction and was represented as ingenious by at least one of the inquirers concerned.
When money's tight and is hard to get,
And your horse has also ran,
When all you have is a heap of debt--
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Along with one or two books by James Joyce, Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds is the most famous (and infamous) of Irish novels published in the twentieth century. 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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.89)
0.5 2
1 17
1.5 4
2 37
2.5 11
3 92
3.5 22
4 173
4.5 26
5 184

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 201,807,799 books! | Top bar: Always visible