Greenpoint, October, 2015

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Go with Such a Road

Have you ever wondered why, on a given road, it generally takes longer to get from point A to point B (or point B to point A) than the reverse? You might chalk it up to traffic volume, construction delays, design of on- or off-ramps, and like elements. The philosopher and scientist de Selby took another view. According to Flann O'Brien in The Third Policeman, de Selby "makes the point that a good road will have character and a certain air of destiny, an indefinable intimation that it is going somewhere, be it east or west, and not coming back from there. If you go with such a road, he thinks, it will give you pleasant travelling, fine sights at every corner and a gentle ease of peregrination that will persuade you that you are walking forever on falling ground. But if you go east on a west road that is on its way west, you will marvel at the unfailing bleakness of every prospect and the great number of sore-footed inclines that confront you to make you tired."

By this theory--to which I subscribe--the BQE is certainly a west road since my troubles generally occur when I am going east.
Flann O'Brien (Brian O'Nolan)

BTW: The Irish road sign at the top speaks to a controversy. According to, the sign provides the name "An Daingean," which the plain people of Dingle do not consider to be its real Irish name. In 2006, "they voted approximately 1000 to 70  in favour of the name 'Daingean Ui Chuis.'" Flann O'Brien would have enjoyed the whole affair. Look for more Flann O'Brien, progenitor of the blog form, in future posts. It is after all the centenary of his birth (and like Old Mathers in TTP, he may or may not be dead).

1 comment:

  1. "Never again joked the old gent as he stepped from the coffin"