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Paperback City Life Book

ISBN: 0671823043

ISBN13: 9780671823047

City Life

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good


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4 ratings

My introduction to Barthelme

I picked up a ragged pocket-sized copy of this at my local Half-Price Books for 63 cents. Might be the best 63 cents I've ever spent. I doubt I got the point, if there was one or many, to many of the stories in this collection, but it didn't even matter. Barthelme's humor and accessible language made each story a pleasure to read (except for Bone Bubbles, a stream-of-conscious, punctuationless, seemingly disconnected (what did I miss?!?!?!) ramble). I'm full of superlatives for Senor Barthelme. Creative fiction at its finest! Knows no bounds! The Donald has broken the plain of American fiction and on and on and on. It took me 26 years to find him, but it was well worth the wait. I'm looking forward to 60 Stories.

Postmodern short short stories

Story titles are: 1. Views of My Father Weeping 2. Paraguay 3. The Falling Dog 4. At the Tolstoy Museum 5. The Policemen's Ball 6. The Glass Mountain 7. The Explanation 8. Kierkegaard Unfair to Schlegel 9. The Phantom of the Opera's Friend 10. Sentence 11. Bone Bubbles 12. On Angels 13. Brain Damage 14. City Life. Here you will find Postmodern short fiction with pictures attached. Prose poems, enigmas from the 1970's.

clever and crystalline

These cracked and conceptual stories hide a ruthless and skeptical analysis. So few innovative writers are readable. So few readable writers achieve something worth reading. The astounding formal innovations here are absolutely integral to the work. Barthelme feels like the smartest, funniest, most sarcastic person in your humanities seminar. An example of postmodern fiction that makes resentful continental postmodern criticism obsolete in advance.To compare. Among modern American writers with ideas about American culture Pynchon competes but sometimes does less with more. These stories are stripped to the skeleton. The omnivorous imagination here is like Borges but the learning of obscure ancient cultures has been replaced by the obscurities of our equally arcane popular culture. Unless you have to write a dissertation replace Foucault and Derrida with this on your reading list. You'll learn as much and you'll laugh instead of fighting the urge to go back in time and kill the analyst's parents.

A feather under the nose of liberal arts education.

"City Life" was my intro to Barthelme. I was stunned! Who was this guy, fusing commentary on psychoanalysis and morals with allusions to American TV commercials (Brain Damage)? Rewriting the classics (The Phantom of the Opera's Friend)? Barthelme wrote from perspective of the confounded innocent, astounded by pop culture: to paraphrase from In the Tolstoy Museum, I hope something vivifying happened to him there.
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