April 1, 1966
Brian O’Nolan, who under the pseudonym Flann O’Brien wrote At Swim Two Birds, died in Dublin on this day in 1966. A civil servant by profession, O’Nolan was widely known throughout Dublin as a character and satirist. Writing as O’Brien, he published The Third Policeman, The Dalkey Archive and At Swim Two Birds, which, though not as widely appreciated in O’Nolan’s day, has come to be recognized as one of the foremost works of modernist literature. Under the name Miles na gCopaleen, O’Brien published the satirical Irish language novel An Bean Bocht and was a frequent contributor to the Irish Times, writing a column called Cruiskeen Lawn from 1940 until the year of his death. He also frequently wrote pseudonymous letters to the Times, complaining about his own columns.