The Hard Life

The Hard Life

The Hard Life: An Exegesis of Squalor is a comic novel by Flann O'Brien (pen name of Brian O'Nolan). Published in 1961, it was O'Brien's fourth novel and the third to be published. (He wrote The Third Policeman in 1939, but tit was published only posthumously, in 1967). Set in turn-of-the-century Dublin, The Hard Life is a satirical Bildungsroman which deals the education and upbringing of the narrator, Finbarr, and his brother Manus. The novel offers a mocking critique of certain representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, the development of Irish identity, and the function of formal education. The novel was initially very popular, with its first print selling out within forty-eight hours (p. 271), and has been republished several times in Ireland, the UK and USA, both as a stand-alone work and most recently in Flann O'Brien: The Complete Novels (Everyman's Library, 2007).

Read more about The Hard LifePlot Summary, Major Themes, Literary Significance and Reception, Publication History

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The Hard Life - Publication History
... Most recently, The Hard Life has been included in a volume of collected works Flann O'Brien The Complete Novels, New York, Toronto and London Everyman's Library, 2007 ... one critic has posited that O'Brien was hoping The Hard Life would be banned under the Censorship of Publications Act because this would arouse curiosity about ...

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