Below are a list of the pieces I loved (including "L'Lapse", a scathing, spot-on rip on Antonioni's film "L'Eclisse", which is one of my favorite films) and the usual glut of excerpts. The Photographs Monumental Folly The bits that clicked: Languishing, half-deep in summer, soul-sick and under-friended, I decided to find love. (Pause) Like a burning house. (Pause) For a space. (Pause) A short space. (Pause) A short space. (Pause) Temporary love. (Pause) Brief love.
Algunos de los relatos de Barthelme son simple y llanamente extraordinarios. Hace buena crítica de la sociedad, de las religiones, de la avaricia, de lo que es el periodismo (de ayer y de hoy)...
There were a number of shorts I couldn't make heads or tails of, and the other two plays left me bemused.
Master of the short story, he explores new modes of fiction in collections like Come Back, Dr. Caligari, Guily Pleasures, Sadness, City Life, Guilty Pleasures, and more. Of his novels, Snow White is a stellar debut, and The Dead Father is a masterpiece which everyone should read.
these look like they'd work.....fable maybe "languishing, half-deep in summer" --someone decides to find love...the ads...heh heh "the palace" --all cashing the same amount check...84.06 ok "mr foolfarm's journal" --this one has the Important Person in it...i just read something else w/the Important Person in it--the evolution of bruno littlemore...too, i think heller's good as gold as a number of Important Persons in it. "natural history" --this looks to be the 1st of many w/pic-drawings...all of these are a hoot ha ha ha ha ha ha! what i like about barthelme is that you cannot avoid coming into contact w/these ideas that merge onto the page from a multitude of lanes. "the joker's greatest triumph" ---da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da, Batman! "the author" "my deranged mother has written another book." heh heh! "return" --story about the azalea trail....shooting one...heh heh...connected, HA HA HA HA HA! "the inauguration" --another w/pics...the collage-effect that i've seen others mention, perhaps pynchon in the introduction. you mean, like king george?
So it's indisputable that Barthelme is part of the history of postwar American writing. If you're interested in surrealist or absurdist shock, read Raymond Roussel, or Daniil Kharms (who has been praised by George Saunders, in the 'New York Times Book Review.') As Wolcott points out, the entire New Fiction movement was subjected to a typically devastating critique by Gore Vidal ('American Plastic: The Matter of Fiction') in 1976; Vidal thought the movement, including Pynchon, was contrived and derivative of french experimental fiction. (That would be gauche, of course.) After a few days reading Barthelme, the happiness of seeing plodding seriousness exploded continuously and brilliantly right in my face when I least expected it but really not-so-secretly expected it all along pales, and I begin to wish for some real pain, and laughter that doesn't come with a little grimace of acknowledged artifice or complicity, or an unnatural heave.
Donald Barthelme was born to two students at the University of Pennsylvania. The family moved to Texas two years later, where Barthelme's father would become a professor of architecture at the University of Houston, where Barthelme would later major in journalism. In 1951, still a student, he wrote his first articles for the Houston Post. His second wife, Helen Barthelme, later wrote a biography entitled Donald Barthelme: The Genesis of a Cool Sound, published in 2001.