English 190

Research Seminar: Flann O’Brien and the Question of National Identity


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
7 Fall 2020 Flynn, Catherine
TTh 2-3:30 263 Dwinelle

Book List

O'Brien, Flann: At Swim-Two-Birds ; O'Brien, Flann: Collected Plays and Teleplays; O'Brien, Flann: The Best of Myles; O'Brien, Flann: The Third Policeman ; O'Brien , Flann: The Dalkey Archive ; O'Brien , Flann: The Hard Life: An Exegesis of Squalor ; O'Brien , Flann: The Short Fiction of Flann O'Brien; O'Nolan, Brian: The Poor Mouth

Other Readings and Media

Other materials and scholarly articles will be made available through bCourses

Description

In this seminar, we will explore the comic, satirical, and genre-crossing writings of Flann O’Brien/Myles na gCopaleen/Brian O’Nolan, 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. We will also consider how his role as an heir to modernist innovation impacts on this question.

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