Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Flann O’Brien wrote a novel ‘The Third Policeman’ which was published some thirty years later after it was written because no publisher would entertain it earlier. The novel is a kind of dark comedy; some say it is a post death narrative whatever, it is a celebrated novel. Flann has a way of taking comedy to absurd without sounding gross. You can find more about it in Wikipedia. However, I have mentioned it here to point out that someone has accused me of lifting its entire passage pertaining to De Selby’s ‘mirror extension principle’ verbatim in my piece Aarasii  V.  Briefly De Selby’s theory is … the image we see in a mirror is actually an image from past. The reason being the light takes time to bounce off the mirror and impinge on our eyes to cast the image so no matter how short the duration, the image is still from past. Extending the argument De Selby continues that when two mirrors are placed in parallel, they cast infinite images with each receding image going further back in time so much so that the image he saw at the far off edge was that of a beardless face of a young man. De Selby says that if wasn’t for the limitation of his telescope and earth’s curvature he could have seen himself in a cradle. .. I hope you get the drift.

 My grouse against his accusation is that De Selby’s conclusions are utterly false therefore I couldn’t have copied any passage from Flann’s book willy-nilly. You see De Selby offers right argument but draws wrong conclusion. My point is that when you are able to see the image at the horizon it is your image ‘hu ba hu’ but you will  not be able to recognize the fellow with wrinkled face who walks with the help of a stick, in short one leg dangling in grave, sitting in front of the mirror. ….

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