In the early 1980s Donald Barthelme was widely recognized in the United States as one of the major figures in contemporary postmodernism, a key and central experimental writer. In this study, originally published in 1982, two leading critics present Donald Barthelme’s work in its most radical and innovative aspects. Their essay combines textual analysis, critical theory and cultural awareness and aims at investigating the impact of Barthelme’s fictions on the reader and at defining the type of reading experience and pleasure such fictions can produce. Included in the aspects of Donald Barthelme’s work discussed here are his use of language, his sense of comedy, his parody, his vision of the modern self as fragmented and displaced, and his relation to psychoanalysis and other forms of art.
Table of Contents
General Editors’ Preface. Preface and Acknowledgements. A Note on the Texts. 1. Donald Barthelme in the Laboratory of Discourse 2. Barthelme’s Art of Displacement 3. Barthelme and the Eclipse of the Subject 4. Barthelme’s Codes of Transaction 5. Barthelme in the Art Gallery 6. Barthelme and the Escherian Perception. Notes. Bibliography.
Maurice Couturier, Regis Durand