Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Is it about a bicycle?

April 1 is the day of fools, but also the feast day of the late St. Myles na gCopaleen, AKA Flann O'Brien, AKA Brian O'Nolan, who passed through the mortal veil on this day in 1966, leaving the world a sadder place. Myles is the patron saint of acerbic alcoholics, the nom de guerre of the author of "Cruiskeen Lawn," a daily column that ran in the Irish Times for a quarter-century, and the person responsible for Flann O'Brien. Quite possibly the funniest writer going, he can be reached through his three classic novels: At Swim-Two-Birds, The Third Policeman, and The Poor Mouth (available in The Everyman's Library edition) or through the The Best of Myles, a collection of his newspaper columns.

I spent a lot of time with Myles in the 1990s, working on my dissertation, and this blog is named after a character in The Third Policeman, and it isn't often that one can refer to a bicycle as a character, having a discernible personality and so forth, but there you go. Myles is a funny fella and a damned fine writer.

Lift a glass in his honor down at the snug, for his like will not be seen again.

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