LITERATURE: At Swim-Two-Birds – Turning the Tables

O’Brien now captures the full extent of fictional character rights to have Trellis’ own "son" write a story to punish Trellis the author.  Ahah–O’Brien has tapped into the fear of every author whose characters make their own way across narrative without any rein of control!

This is surely the book most meant for a writer to read, outdoing any of the how-to’s I’ve ever read. 

He takes it even further, as Furrisky and Shanahan egg Orlick Trellis on in more and more devious ways to destroy their creator:

I’m after thinking of something good, something very good unless I’m very much mistaken, said Furriskey in an eager way, black in the labour of his fine thought.  When you take our hero from the concrete-mixer, you put him on his back on the road and order full steam ahead with the steam-roller.

And a very good idea, Shanahan agreed.

And a very good idea as you say, Mr. Shanahan.  But when the roller passes over his dead corpse, be damned but there’s one thing there that it can’t crush, one thing that lifts it high offa the road–a ten ton roller, mind!…

Indeed, said Orlick, eye-brow for question.

One thing, said Furriskey, sole finger for true counting.  They drive away the roller and here is his black heart sitting there as large as life in the middle of the pulp of his banjaxed corpse.  They couldn’t crush his heart!  (p.240)

Now if that’s not a metaphor for the editorial job done on an author’s precious manuscript, I don’t know my metaphors.

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