English 190

Research Seminar: Flann O'Brien and Irish Literature


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2019 Flynn, Catherine
MW 10:30-12 305 Wheeler

Book List

Cronin, Anthony: No Laughing Matter: The Life and Times of Flann O'Brien.; O'Brien, Flann: At Swim-Two-Birds ; O'Brien, Flann: The Best of Myles; O'Brien, Flann: The Dalkey Archive ; O'Brien, Flann: The Hard Life ; O'Brien, Flann: The Poor Mouth ; O'Brien, Flann: The Third Policeman

Other Readings and Media

Course reader

Description

In this seminar, we will explore the comic, satirical, and genre-crossing writings of Flann O’Brien/Myles na gCopaleen/Brian O’Nolan. We will examine him as an heir to modernist innovation, starting with his novels and moving on to his newspaper column, Cruiskeen Lawn, which we will read in anthology and through the ProQuest archive. With the aid of intertexts ranging from Dion Boucicault’s stage-Irish play, The Colleen Bawn, through Thomás Ó Criomhthain’s Gaeltacht memoir, The Islander, to Eamon De Valera’s radio addresses and 1937 Constitution of Ireland, we will situate O’Brien’s writing within the shifting discourse of Irish national identity. However, we will also consider his writing alongside Anglophone modernist fiction and poetry as well as DADA, BLAST, and Surrealist manifestos.

This exploration of O’Brien thus opens onto larger questions of late modernism, postmodernism, and the avant-garde, as well as of postcolonial literature and, more generally, the relation between aesthetics and politics. Accordingly, readings will include Andreas Huyssen, Tyrus Miller, Gayatri Spivak, Homi Bhabha, Fredric Jameson, Peter Bürger, Mikhail Bakhtin, Theodor Adorno, and Walter Benjamin.

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

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