Monday, 8 March 2010

Keats and Chapman

Members of the cognoscenti will be fully apprised of the humourous writings of Flann O'Brien (aka Myles na Gopaleen and Brian O'Nolan). He wrote a regular column in The Irish Times which, inter alia, featured vignettes concerning two semi-intellectual reprobates named Keats and Chapman,  based around some truly awful pun or jeu sur des mots. Some are a tad obtuse but most are excrutiating. Here's a short example:
  • The poet and Chapman once visited a circus. Chapman was very impressed by an act in which lions were used. A trainer entered a cage in which were two ferocious-looking specimens, sat down unconcernedly, took out a paper, and began to read. "He's reading between the lions," Keats said.
You can buy a second-hand compendium of these scribblings at Abebooks for  a small consideration. (May I also suggest that you venture a couple of pounds on The Third Policeman, which involves a bicycle.) I should warn you, however, that once you become initiated into the Keats and Chapman mode de pensée, it won't be long before you too are inflicting similar agonie littéraire on the world. Watch this space.

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