Jim Shorkey

Donald Barthelme – Sixty Stories
March 27, 2009, 5:18 pm
Filed under: picks | Tags:

Donald Barthelme’s Sixty Stories is one of the books that populates the many piles of books lying around my house waiting to be read.  A new biography (by Tracy Daugherty) has just been released about him. Last week his biography was reviewed on the front page of The New York Times Book Review and there was also a longish piece in the New Yorker a couple of weeks back. They sparked enough interest for me to rebuild the piles of books to make Sixty Stories the top of the pile. Barthelme (who died in 1989), has been called  a post modernist, and absurdist and also challenging. I’m only three stories in and the challenging description is the one that’s sticking.  He was given a lot of latitude at the New Yorker where editor William Shawn thought “his work should be read like poetry rather than fiction”. Probably a good approach. I just woke up from a nap after drifting to sleep while reading “Robert Kennedy Saved From Drowning”. I think the pattern of non-sequiturs triggered something in my brain. The dreams I just had were very trippy indeed. They were also very “challenging” to follow. 

Donald Barthelme - Sixty Stories

Donald Barthelme - Sixty Stories


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