Brilliant satire on the Gaeltacht and lugubrious Gaeltacht memories.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest Irish-language novels of the 20th century, An Beal Bocht is a classic satire in Irish by one of the century's great writers, Myles na gCopaleen/Flann O'Brien/Brian O'Nolan. This extremely funny book, with its rain-sodden peasants of Corca Dorcha who combine pretensions to proficiency in English with true caint na ndaoine in the hope of impressing the insatiable Irish-language enthusiasts, was the proof that the Irish of the Revival had come of age.
It earned Flann O'Brien the accolade bestowed upon him by Austin Clarke: `our Gaelic satirist' and is still a useful corrective against the native tendency to take things too seriously. As its subtitle An Milleanach indicates, it satirises Tomas O Criomhthain's famous Blasket autobiography An t-Oileanach as well as other Gaeltacht works like Caisleain Oir by Donegal writer Seamus O Grianna (Maire).
Myles na gCopaleen (aka Flann O'Brien) was born Brian O'Nolan in Strabane in 1911. He began to write as a student at University College Dublin. Thereafter he worked as a civil servant. He wrote a regular tri-weekly column called 'The Cruiskeen Lawn' for The Irish Times for twenty-five years from the early 1940s. In this he made his name as a satirist, writing originally in Irish, then more and more in English. His claim to literary fame rests mainly on two post-modernist works in English, At-Swim-Two-Birds (1939) and the posthumous The Third Policeman (1967).