While Sorrentino (1929-2006) was an American, presumably of Italian heritage, at least on his father's side, his hilarious novel Mulligan Stew lies firmly in the Irish comic literary tradition. He took his cue from the character in At Swim-Two-Birds who argues that
characters should be interchangeable as between one book and another. The entire corpus of existing literature should be regarded as a limbo from which discerning authors could draw their characters as required....
Mulligan Stew--an Irish mélange, as its title suggests--features several characters from At Swim-Two-Birds itself, as well as more from Finnegans Wake and other famous books. Sorrentino's comic techniques also derive, for the most part, from Joyce and O'Brien, although he used them in a highly original manner.
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