LOST IN THE FUNHOUSEby John Barth, John Barth is no doubt best known as a novelist, but his one collection of short stories, Lost in the Funhouse. John Barth’s titular short story, ‘Lost in the Funhouse’, from his subversive short- story collection Lost in the Funhouse, is an overt example of the theories. Lost in the Funhouse by John Barth. BACKGROUND. John Barth is best known for his wit and clever use of language. He wrote short stories like “Lost in the.
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Lost in the Funhouse (The Anchor Literary Library): John Barth: : Books
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Lost in the Funhouse
Barth’s lively, highly original collection of short pieces is a major landmark of experimental fiction. Though many of the stories gathered here were published separately, there are several themes common to them all, giving them new meaning in the context of this collection. Paperbackpages. Published March 1st by Anchor Books first published National Book Award Finalist for Fiction To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Lost in the Funhouseplease sign up. Lists with This Book. May 30, Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing. Here goes with my linking Title with a batch of major themes in the world of the postmodern: Consider how dreadful so far: And it will get worse. Can we possibly continue? Better, that is, if you are into metafiction.
Irony and Playfulness — The first-person narrator, we can call him John-John I have no shame as I just used this silly name in a previous John Barth review tells us directly how he is required to develop a plot and theme by getting down and dirty into some serious conflicts and complications. Of course, big difference between talking about conflicts and actual conflicts, just as there is a big funhouee between reading about a fistfight and the reality of exchanging blows and coming home with a bloody nose.
The authors of metafiction have the smallest number of bloody noses per page compared with all other genres. No kidding — Fuunhouse did the counting myself.
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Pastiche — In postmodern literature, pasting together various genres or styles. Not to be outdone, John-John pastes together a story with digressions on grammar, direct addresses to the reader, William Faulkner swearwords, reflections on self-reflexive fiction-writing, among others. And, by the way, in one of his other stories collected here, Menelaiadan entire paragraph consists of quotation marks. Minimalism — As it turns out, this John Barth collection includes a life story compressed into fourteen pages and an autobiography boiled down into six pages.
Does it get any more minimal that that? One way minimalism can be defined is the manner in which an author will provide the barest descriptions and ask the reader to fill in the blanks.
Again, not to be outdone, in TitleJohn-John asks us directly to fill in the blank at least once; and in other passages, we are asked indirectly to fill in the blanks.
By my latest bbarth, I filled in the blank twenty-seven times. Maximalism — Thou shall leave no literary device unturned. But after tapping many the literary device in a string of doorstopper novels, he wanted to, by golly, get his fiction in those collections of short stories, the kind of books he always uses to teach from.
Got to hand it to you Lsot John, you are a maximalist with a vengeance! Metafiction — A close cousin bargh a story about a story, metafiction deals with writing about writing. And there is plenty of such in Titleas when we read: Somebody please stop me. As the dice below spell out, we have reached the end. I hope this short review provides enough information to enable a reader to judge if Lost in the Funhouse is your cupcake of tea.
And that’s “T” as in Title. View all 11 comments. It was full of inter-textual and metafiction notes – in other words the author talking to himself about how the reader should or could interpret his works, his choices of words, his choices of plot devices, etc. There is no linear narrative other than a few chapters with the same character Ambrose and his own set of neuroses. I can see why the book was bargh bit revolutionary – par Well, to be honest, I found this book to be almost as painful as La Disparition by Georges Perec reviewed here on GR.
I can see why the book was a bit revolutionary – particularly in the hard to read section Menelaiad where he quotes inside of quotes inside of quotes and the Anonymiad which is again some belly-bottom writing about writing about writing.
It was not really a pleasant read but as it was on the Yale Online Course “American Literature loet “, I wanted to read it. Not sure if other work by John Barth is more readable, but this book has certainly cured me of any curiosity I may have harboured.
I can deal with intertextuality in DFW and to a degree in Gaddis or Pynchon, but in Barth it funhoouse to be as distracting as the missing ‘e’ in La Disparition. View all 8 comments. Jan 11, Garima rated it liked it Recommended to Garima by: This is not a perfect series by any means and never meant to, especially with all those literary gymnastics, most of which ended in a nasty fall.
The title story of course is the biggest strength of this book, which is deftly handled with judicious mix of content, meta techniques, metaphorical significance and at the same time, is engaging enough to hold the interest of a reader. This is one piece which can be a good introduction for any Barth neophyte. Apart from fhe, Night sea journey, Petition, Autobiography- A self recorded fiction, Title are few others which I enjoyed and the use of language in most of them is very impressive.
After that begun the downfall of this book for me, not due to the lack of interesting elements but uninteresting subject matter with which, I could in no way had have connected. The analysis of this particular story is much more interesting in my humble opinion.
With Life Story and Menelaiad came this huge tsunami of almost everything meta one can think of. I was mostly eager to jump to interesting fragments such as this: You, dogged, uninsultable, print-oriented bastard, it’s you I’m addressing, who else, from inside this monstrous fiction. You’ve read me this far, then? For what discreditable motive?
How is it you don’t go to a movie, watch TV, stare at a wall, play tennis with a friend, make amorous advances to the person who comes to your mind when I speak of amorous advances? Can nothing surfeit, saturate you, turn you off? A Smart Alec he is! But some were too much to digest. There is a brutal dissection of Punctuation marks going on in aforementioned text. I admire grammar funhouuse not that much. In fact, some sources have claimed that the same self-reflection factor in his story Echo is used in a more creative way in The Sot-weed factor and Giles Goat-boywhich I shall definitely look forward to read.
This book- 3 Stars- I merely Liked it. View all 22 comments.
May 19, Darwin8u rated it it was amazing Shelves: Once upon a time there was a review that began: Once upon a time there was a review that began a. He wrote a novel to himself. He doesn’t care about you.
He is not writing for you. He is not going to make you eat your short fiction or even make you shoot Chekhov’s gun sitting on the fictional wall next to funohuse.
Barth makes me sometimes regret my decision to not go to Johns Hopkins. What was I thinking? Perhaps, I could have met Barth. Or, barh, I just don’t remember, or perhaps I am dreaming I lived a life where I didn’t meet Barth.
Why am I trying to even write a Meta-review of Barth well developed for its age? Everything about Barth has already been transmitted, written about, alluded to, sketched on the soft walls of a thousand reflective uteruses by a million different swimming swimmers prior to drowning.
I have nothing left to add.
Nothing new that I can capture. No heritage to contribute. No flower to pollinate. View all 15 comments. Apr 24, Edward rated it it was ok Shelves: I’ve discovered I prefer my postmodernism in light doses, enriching rather than supplanting the traditional parts of literature, like plot and character. It’s all very well to dive into the deep end now and then, but I will only follow you so long as you have a good reason for being there.
It’s all extremely clever and original, but throughout too much of Lost in the FunhouseI felt the author had very little meaningful to say. Stories which are about writing stories in which nothing happens ex I’ve discovered I prefer my postmodernism in light doses, enriching rather than supplanting the traditional parts of literature, like plot and character.
Stories which are about writing stories in which nothing happens except the author talking about how he is writing a story in which nothing happens, saying isn’t this all quite boring, but then you knew it was going to be boring because I told you it would be, and yet even as I say this you keep reading – ha ha, joke’s on you! But that’s the point, you say!