Ruland on O’Brien

Over at the L.A. Weekly, Jim Ruland contributes an appreciation of Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman, which has enjoyed a revival since it appeared on ABC’s Lost.

For admirers of O’Brien’s work, his newfound notoriety is redolent with irony. For one thing, The Third Policeman wasn’t published in O’Brien’s lifetime. Even though its author was famously hailed by James Joyce as “a real writer with the true comic spirit,” the novel was rejected in both London and New York. O’Brien was so embarrassed by this setback that, when asked how the book was going, he lied to his friends and colleagues and told them that his one and only copy of the manuscript had been… lost.

Read it all here.