Thursday, December 23, 2010

The fake book cited in The Widow's Son

I have been re-reading The Widow's Son, and as I read the footnotes I sensed that Wilson had mixed in a nonexistent book, Golden Hours by de Selby, amidst the real books he mentions. A few Internet searches established that not only is Golden Hours a fictional book, but it's a fictional book invented by another author, Flann O'Brien, in his novel The Third Policeman.

I asked Eric Wagner for more information, and he kindly replied. "De Selby shows up a character in two of Flann O'Brien's novels. Bob used the De Selby character in The Widow's Son and elsewhere, but he got scared the O'Brien estate might take action against him, so he changed the name to Timothy F. X. Finnegan in later works."

4 comments:

Ewan said...

I can't recommend reading Flann O'Brien's novels enough. Third Policeman is a book I've had to buy several times due to giving it to friends. Superb off-kilter logic and subtle humour throughout.

That other RAW perennial, James Joyce, also enjoyed his books and Flann O'Brien's books often have a positive quote from James Joyce in the bumf.

Jesse said...

The other Flann O'Brien book featuring De Selby is The Dalkey Archive. Not as good as The Third Policeman but also worth a read.

-Jesse Walker

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