EBOOK / PDF [Lost in the Funhouse]

  • Paperback
  • 205
  • Lost in the Funhouse
  • John Barth
  • English
  • 06 February 2020
  • 9780385240871


CHARACTERS ↠ Lost in the Funhouse Barth's lively highly original collection of short pieces is a major landmark of experimen. Lost in the Funhouse John Barth s collection of fourteen metafictional short stories could take the cupcake for the most extreme form of self reflexive postmodern literature ever written Frame Tale is ten words long on a Mobius strip Night Sea Journey a ten pager an occasionally light occasionally dark brooding on life and death in the tradition of Blaise Pascal s Pens es and the longest piece in the collection Lost in the Funhouse about a young boy on the threshold of his teenage years a story that awakened my own buried complex emotions when I was of similar age a story utilizing metafictional techniues in the telling of a traditional coming of age tale However to give a reader a decided taste of John Barth s scrumptious vanilla with honey cream cheese frosting cupcake collection I will focus on one of my favorite of these delectable specimens the title of which is and let us not be shocked since we are talking metafiction Title Here goes with my linking Title with a batch of major themes in the world of the postmodern Poiumena Big word but don t be put off it means a story about the very process of creating a story even the very story we are reading as in the first short paragraph of Title Beginning in the middle past the middle nearer three uarters done waiting for the end Consider how dreadful so far passionless abstraction pro dis And it will get worse Can we possibly continue Actually it does continue for another nine pages and fortunately this metafictional story gets better not worse Better that is if you are into metafictionIrony 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 reuired 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 difference 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 I did the counting myself 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 Menelaiad an entire paragraph consists of uotation 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 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 Title John 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 count I filled in the blank twenty seven times Maximalism Thou shall leave no literary device unturned In his author s Forward to this collection John Barth informs us writers tend by temperament to be either sprinters or marathoners and how really really short fiction is not his long suit 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 Not all of a writer s motives are pure Thus we have Title and the other short stories here Got to hand it to you Sir John you are a maximalist with a vengeance Metafiction A close cousin with a story about a story metafiction deals with writing about writing And there is plenty of such in Title as when we read Once upon a time you were satisfied with incidental felicities and niceties of techniue the unexpected image the refreshingly accurate word choice the memorable simile that yields deeper and subtler significances upon reflection like a memorable smile Somebody please stop me No problem John John I ll stop you 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

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CHARACTERS ↠ Lost in the Funhouse Everal themes common to them all giving them new meaning in the context of this collection. Something Similar Writers learn from their experience of other writers as well as from their experience of life in the world it was the happy marriage of form and content in Borges s ficciones the way he regularly turned his narrative means into part of his message that suggested how I might try something similar in my way and with my materialsInterstitialiad Go on Say itNow Featuring Italicised Barth For whom is the funhouse fun Perhaps for loversFor ME For YOU Perhaps for US Literarily a COUPLE of LOVERSof LITERATUREInsert Plot Here What s all this leading up toIs there a plot hereWhat is the story s themeEach sees himself as the hero of the story when the truth might turn out to be that he s the villain or the cowardMore ImaginationLess really is More other things being eualNo reader would put up with so much with such sic prolixityNobody has enough imaginationThere aren t enough different ways to say thatAuthor Narrator Character ReaderI m not who you think I am I m not the author I m not John Barth I didn t write this I m not writing this Who s telling the story and to whomSurely it s not the authorWell then to whom is it being told The reader You dogged uninsultable print oriented bastard it s you I m addressing who else from inside this monstrous fictionI m not talking It s not me speaking to youI was once imagined by the author and now you re imagining me I exist only in the imagination though in between I am written down Or typed up If I m going to be a fictional character I want to be in a rousing good yarn as they say not some piece of avant garde preciousnessThe Imagined HeroI m not the man I used to be My problem was I had too much imagination to be a heroI am not an average American I am the nectar and ambrosia of legends past and yet to come Oh God comma I abhor self consciousnessHe wonders will he become a regular personIs there really such a person as Ambrose or is he a figment of the author s imaginationThe closely an author identifies with the narrator literally or metaphorically the less advisable it is as a rule to use the first person narrative viewpointNobody likes a pedantNeeded TellingCan nothing be made meaningful Our story s finished before it startsOff with the narrator On with the story It s not a short story I told him I tell it as it was I don t know why it needed tellingIt is important to keep the senses operatingSpring pose splashAt this point they were both despite themselvesLet the reader see the serious wordplay on second readingFiction In FactThe climax of the story must be its protagonist s discovery of a way to get through the funhouseAha said Mother I shall never forget this moment It is perfectly normal We have all been through it It will not last foreverNo character in a work of fiction can make a speech this long without interruption or acknowledgement from the other charactersIn the end they d be lovers their dialogue lines would match upThe world was going on This part ought to be dramatisedIn fiction the merely true must always yield to the plausibleSuch are the walls of customHere was one of Western Culture s truly great imaginationsThe last word in fiction in factThe Implied VictorWait the story s not finishedThe fact is the narrator has narrated himself into a corner a state of affairs tsk tsk than boo hoo and because his position is absurd he calls the world absurdHe was so sophistical a character as likely to annoy than to engageSelf defeat implies a victor and who do you suppose it is One manifestation of schizophrenia as everybody knows is the movement from reality toward fantasy a progress which not infreuently takes the form of distorted and fragmented representation abstract formalism an increasing preoccupation even obsession with pattern and design for their own sakes especially patterns of a baroue enormously detailed character to the virtual exclusion of representative content Speechless with SympathyHe looked through a lavender cascade of hysteria that surrounded the window of the study in the old family summer residence At this point pathological boredom leads to a final desire for death and nothingness the Romantic syndromeThe idea pleased himRead This SentenceWill you deny you ve read this sentence I went on I go on ThisIs it enough to end this story with a uestion mark Or better still a full stop view spoiler If I fail to exclaim with wonder or otherwise respond it will be that I m speechless with sympathy Or something similar hide spoiler

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CHARACTERS ↠ Lost in the Funhouse Tal fiction Though many of the stories gathered here were published separately there are s. Indeed if I have yet to join the hosts of the suicides it is because fatigue apart I find it no meaningfuller to drown myself than to go on swimming John Barth Lost in the FunhouseDarwin ate U his mark A Once upon a time there was a review that began B view spoiler bOnce upon a time there was a review that began a hide spoiler