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House as a metaphor for text

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  • House as a metaphor for text

    Hi guys,

    Long time listener, first time caller here. I've done a quick search but it hasn't yielded an awful lot, so I thought I'd pose a quick question for the old timers - has anyone written anything of any note about as a metaphor for text in relation to of Leaves?

    I've also done a quick search for The Third Policeman, and again that doesn't seem to have come up an awful lot. That said, I tend to find the automated search functions on these forums are hit-and-miss at best.

    The reason I ask is that I've written quite a lot about metalepsis in Flann O'Brien's novels and it seems to me that there are a lot of textual and thematic parallels with The Third Policeman that bear further exploration, and I can't think of a better place to start that than on here!

    Thanks in advance and apologies if I can't see the woods for the trees.

    Last edited by OldMathers; 12-21-2009, 07:51 AM.

  • #2
    Hi N. and welcome.

    I think the of Leaves=book parallel is more of a common assumption around here (the leaves are really pages; the is a metaphor for the book (or vice versa), etc.), but I don't recall there being any specific threads on the subject that really went into the nitty gritty. So by all means...

    By the way, isn't there a Flann O'Brien text in which one of the characters transcribes long s's as f's? Or am I making this up?


    • #3
      Ha, I thought it might be such a common train of thought that no-one had bothered to mention it! There are the obvious points that you make and then there is my notion that it's an allegory of writing practices, but if it's so commonly assumed it's probably not worth exploring in any real detail.

      Some of At Swim-Two-Birds is written in different styles according to which character is in control of the narrative; so there are characters who recount stories in the style of old Western magazines, and Finn MacCool recounts his part of the story in keeping with Celtic tradition. I think it's in that section that some of the s's are f's.

      I am surprised though that the similarities between texts like At Swim-Two-Birds or The Third Policeman and HoL haven't been brought up more on here. Particularly the latter, which is hugely similar - particularly with the ideas of a as a coffin and fictionality as death.

      It may not be worth pursuing further since it seems quite rudimentary compared to some of the things discussed on here but if nothing else, I'd like to recommend The Third Policeman to fans of HoL.