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100 Myles: The International Flann O\'Brien Centenary Conference

Start date: 2011-07-24

End date:  2011-07-26

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City: Vienna

Country: Austria

Contact info

Phone: +43 1 4277 42481


Organizing institution: Univerity Of Vienna, Vienna Centre for Irish Studies
Committee: Werner Huber, Paul Fagan, Ruben Borg
Editorial board:

Conference details

Fee 0 - 300 EUR/USD
Important dates
If you would like to propose a paper (in English, not exceeding 20 minutes), please submit your title and an abstract of 250 words accompanied by a short biographical sketch. In addition to the presentation of papers we invite proposals for alternative forms of discussion: e.g. debate motions (and debaters), themed panels, poster sessions (esp. for PhD students), etc.

DEADLINE for submission of proposals and abstracts: 1 February 2011.
All correspondence (preferably by e-mail) should be addressed to the organisers
About 2011 marks the centenary year of Brian O\'Nolan, whose comic masterpieces At Swim-Two-Birds and The Third Policeman (as Flann O\'Brien) and bitingly satirical Cruiskeen Lawn newspaper column (as Myles na gCopaleen) remain among Ireland\'s, and the 20th century\'s, best kept secrets. A tireless documenter of the struggles of fictional characters against their oppressive creators, of the human attributes of bicycles (and vice versa), and of insufferable bores of all stripes, O\'Nolan\'s writing remains a rich and underexplored body of comic invention and postmodern tropes. This conference will have the dual objective of celebrating and re-assessing O\'Nolan\'s legacy and body of work -- in its various forms and genres -- as well as spearheading a more integrated international community dedicated to this \'cult\' author.
Vienna provides a surprisingly fitting location for such an event. The Austrian capital might lay claim to being the European city that has engaged with O\'Nolan\'s work most fully outside of his native Dublin, providing the home of numerous theatrical adaptations and of the only film adaptation of his novels to date (Kurt Palm\'s In Schwimmen-Zwei-Vogel).

As Palm\'s film demonstrates, the commonly held view of O\'Nolan\'s influence as hardly reaching beyond Irish shores is in desperate need of updating, with traces of his influence increasingly evident in contemporary works of metafiction. The appearance of The Third Policeman in US primetime drama Lost likewise testifies to O\'Nolan\'s growing cultural purchase. As such, the conference is especially interested in challenging and re-evaluating the view of O\'Nolan as a purely local writer -- particularly in comparison with compatriots/expatriates Joyce and Beckett -- by considering his work in broader, more international contexts.