Category: O’Brien, Flann

Aint that like a nice guy – 12 impressions from Flann O’Brien’s Dalkey Archive


[CN: male privilege, nice guy misogyny, male entitlement, patriarchal discourse, spoilers to Vertigo]

1. This novel was something like an anti-Ulysses. Whoa, an Irish avant garde text that’s approachable and short? In Ulysses a single day in Edwardian Dublin is fictionalized in what is seen as a totalizing representation, capturing everything, even the nonsense, and enveloping the grandiose and epic through the banalities of Mr. Bloom’s ordinary and unassuming life. The Dalkey Archive centers on a seaside Dublin suburb that seems so old-fashioned it’s like WWII never happened, and we follow one man who seems to be doing nothing but make one appointment after another in one pub after another (and across several days). But his ultimate goal in these quotidian movements involves saving the wooooooorrrrld!