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4,4 von 5 Sternen
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4,4 von 5 Sternen
At Swim-Two-Birds (John F. Byrne Irish Literature Series)
Format: Taschenbuch|Ändern
Preis:13,49 €+ Kostenfreie Lieferung mit Amazon Prime


am 26. September 1999
Is Swift's A Tale of a Tub a great novel? Is Carlysle's Sartor Resartus a great novel? Is Tristram Shandy a great novel? Each of these works takes as its basis another form, whether the controversialist pamphlet, the philosophical treatise, or the biography, and comes out the other side with a new type of work, as well as a new work. These books occupy an originary and terminal position: they are the first and the last of their kind. For readers, these works are stones -- either the stones that become the foundations for understanding or the stones that drag them down. At Swim-Two-Birds takes as its foil the popular novel and the Irish renaissance myth discovery and the personal narrative. Why should a novel have only one beginning, O'Brien (aka Brian O'Nolan, aka Brian Nolan -- a man who got into university with a forged interview with John Joyce) asks? Why one ending? If, as some reviewers have suggested, you try to find the "structure," you're missing the point. Trying to mash this book into a novel's mold is misguided, and O'Brien will eventually make that clear. In fact, it is the story of a college student (fictional), who is writing a novel about a man (fictional) who is writing an Irish western (which cannot be). Additionally, the student's translation homework -- tales from the Dun Cow Book -- emerge in a full Lady Gregory parody and begin to interact with the other fictions, and the characters of the Irish Western themselves begin to resent their lots in life. The book plays games on so many levels that reading it the way one reads a novel is useless. This is not about information and straight lines, but about play -- sometimes rough and tumble and sometimes gentle. All of the narrators lie, by the way, and there is always one more frame of fiction beyond the one in action at the moment. Do not buy this book if you're intolerant of play. Do not buy this book if you look at books for "what happens." If, however, you're one of those who enjoys, instead of resents, reading milestones like Sartor Resartus or think that Italo Calvino is extremely sophisticated, this book (not novel) will be the greatest delight the 20th century can offer you.
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am 23. Dezember 1999
I feel bad hating At Swin-Two-Birds as much as I did after reading the above glowing reviews and after having heard so many great things about the book for so many years. I finally read it last month. In fact, I ordered it from Amazon. What a disappointment. I think I chuckled three times through the whole book and could barely manage finishing the tedious thing. I love Joyce, I love Beckett (I'm reading his great trilogy right now, in fact), but this Flann O'Brien leave me stone cold. I will admit, however, the language of Two-Birds is just phenomenal: a crazy grab-bag of the vigorous, aggressive, nasty, poetic, sly, mock, scurrilous. It's like language trying to devour itself. It's like language exploding with dazzling pyrotechnic force. Some of the scenes did take my breath away! I loved the scenes with the uncle. Those surrealistic, crazy-drunk scenes were also great. But I just couldn't handle those Irish myth scenes, maybe because I didn't quite "get" what all the parody was about. I do, by the way, have a sense of humor, which runs to the "Irish bleak." But this one? Hunh-huh. I think maybe if I heard it spoken (yelled, shouted) I might have gotten more out of it. It would be a treat to hear some of those scenes read by a great Irish ham. Anyway, as I said, I feel bad for not liking it. But, my God, what great language!
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am 2. Dezember 1999
At Swim-Two-Birds is the first great cult book of the century. Well, maybe the second, after Ulysses. Or possibly the fifth, after Kafka's novels. Oh, never mind. The author, Brian O'Nolan (to give him his real name) wrote it in a fairly desultory manner, handing out bits to his friends and asking them what they thought; he would often change it on their suggestion, not always for the better (as comparisons with early drafts show). It gives the impression of being intricately structured without actually being so, as I found when I adapted it for the stage. In fact, it's structurally a mess, with a hastily tacked-on sentimental ending that was written after O'Nolan's father's unexpected death - the book is always threatening to get really dark, and then fudges it in the wind-up.. The humour is side-splitting the first time round, but it gives diminishing returns (believe me). Far better is his second novel in English, The Third Policeman, written without AS2B's pretensions to modernity and avant-gardism, and, paradoxically, much more genuinely avant-garde.
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am 27. Juni 1999
This book is one third splendid malarkey, one third semi-realistic fiction and one third prose poetry. The overarching theme is satire: no cultural convention is left unscathed. Indeed, the reckless abandon with which the author blends elements of high and low culture makes for some terrific moments. I particularly enjoyed the sections dealing with the wacky creations of the eccentric author Dermot Trellis. The heavy mock-heroic tone of certain portions takes some time getting used to, but these are artfully counterbalanced by more straightforward narrative concerning loony drinking sprees in Dublin. There is a lot going on on many different levels here and it is all brilliant. You will want to read it many, many times. Conclusion of the foregoing.
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am 11. Mai 1999
This work by the young Brian o' Nolan is by far his masterpiece. Stories within stories, a mastery of the language which verges on the incredible, most of all it's a hoot to read. It had me laughing so hard that I found myself often slapping my thighs, doubled over seemingly in pain, sides aching, with tears streaming from my eyes. Forget the fact that @Swim2Birds got great review blurbs from Joyce, Burgess, Dylan Thomas, Graham Greene, John Updike and many, many others. Read it for yourself. The world needs more books like this, nowadays.
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am 6. September 1999
Amazingly this book is unknown. Published at a bad time (1939) I think this is possible one of th e best fiction works of the century. Better than Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, anyway.
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am 22. Februar 2000
Desultory reviews notwithstanding, I mention no names here you know, he was by any standards a unique individual, an extraordinary genius, and his like will not be in it again.
Speaking pairsonally (for a change that is) I would say that to have At-Swim-Two-Birds up there for the great unwashed to throw stones at like some common gurriers in the street (where would you leave it, with every last man jack of their fathers signed on as Free State Army privates) --- is an act of literary blasphemy. (And if you were here I would poke you in the chest and fan you with breath humid with warm stout to drive my point home.) DO YOU KNOW WHAT I'M GOWIN TO TELL YOU..... THAT MAN WAS A GENIUS AND HE GOT 3 A'S IN THE LEAVING CERT TO PROVE IT.
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am 6. November 1999
This is one of my favorite books, if not my all time favorite and one on which I wrote my Thesis for my Honors Bachelor Degree. As some others here have said, At Swim-Two-Birds is a very unique novel and to approach it the same as any other novel is to miss the point. Flann O'Brien is brilliant and At Swim-Two-Birds is brilliant also. If you enjoy Flann O'Brien I also suggest The Third Policman. Thank you again Amazon for recognizing ASTB as one of the top 100 novels of the last century. This has made my night.
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