Artwork, Books and Manuscripts from the Flann O'Brien Collection
Original Exhibit Fall 1998
The Burns Library recently acquired the library and personal papers of the Irish writer Flann O'Brien, who lived from 1911 to 1966. In addition, a number of his personal affects, including a typewriter, hat, and violin, were also acquired. The current exhibit displays many of these items. O'Brien (the pen name of Brian O'Nolan) was born in Strahan and educated in Dublin. He published his first novel in 1939, and was well known for his regular column "An Cruiskeen Lawn," which appeared in The Irish Times.
Shown at left is an image of the front dust jacket for a 1965 edition of O'Brien's book The Dalkey Archive, published by Macmillan. This work is essentially a re-working of parts of The Third Policeman, which had been rejected by publishers in 1940.
In 1961 McGibbon & Kee published O'Brien's The Hard Life: An Exegesis of Squalor. A page from the original typescript is pictured here. Note the pencil corrections in O'Brien's hand. The work followed upon the re-issue of the author's At Swim-Two-Birds in 1960.
For Further Study: Researchers and others are invited to view the exhibit and other holdings in the library relating to O'Brien. Burns Library staff are happy to answer questions regarding the collection.