Not-Knowing: The Essays and Interviews

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Counterpoint, Jan 1, 2008 - Literary Collections - 332 pages
4 Reviews
When Donald Barthelme died at the age of 54, he was perhaps the most imitated (if not emulated) practitioner of American literature. Caustic, slyly observant, transgressive, verbally scintillating, Barthelme's essays, stories, and novels redefined a generation of American letters and remain unparalleled for the way they capture our national pastimes and obsessions, but most of all for the way they caputure the strangeness of life.
Not-Knowing amounts to the posthumous manifesto of one of our premier literary modernists. Here are Barthelme's thoughts on writing (his own and others); his observations on art, architecture, film, and city life; interviews, including two never previously published; and meditations on everything from Superman III to the art of rendering "Melancholy Baby" on jazz banjolele. This is a rich and eclectic selection of work by the man Robert Coover has called "one of the great citizens of contemporary world letters."

"From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Review: Not-Knowing: The Essays and Interviews of Donald Barthelme

User Review  - Jenny - Goodreads

If you're into this sort of thing, obviously. Read full review

Review: Not-Knowing: The Essays and Interviews of Donald Barthelme

User Review  - Dan - Goodreads

Brings much of Barthelme's non-fiction work together in one book. Includes short essays written for the New Yorker about living in New York City, film reviews, commentaries on contemporary politics ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Donald Barthelme was born on April 7, 1931, and was one of the major U.S. short story writers and novelists of the late twentieth century. Barthelme satirized American life. Born in Philadelphia, Barthelme spent part of his early life in Houston, Texas, and began to write fiction while working as a journalist, director of an art museum and university publicist. These occupations became fuel for his creative fire. His arsenal of techniques included parodies of television shows, radio plays and recipes, long and elaborate metaphors, complex dream sequences, and a break-neck narrative pace. After the publication of his first collection, Come Back Dr. Caligari (1964), Barthelme became a full-time writer of short stories and novels. The latter included Snow White (1967), The Dead Father (1975), and Paradise (1986). Barthelme also published three more short story collections, 60 Stories (1981), Overnight to Many Distant Cities (1983), and 40 Stories (1987). Barthelme died of cancer in 1989.

John Barth taught for many years in the writing program at Johns Hopkins University, and he lives in Chestertown, Maryland.

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