Lost in the Funhouse [E–pub/E–book]
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 "teenage years a story that awakened my own 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 However to ive a 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 Gandhi Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age goes with my linking Title wit Lost in the Funhouse started off on a positive note and acuired my attention due its various meta fictional tricks for which I m a pretty soft target but it was soon succumbed to those tricks only whichot a little out of hand for my personal taste This is not a perfect series by any means and never meant to especially with all those literary Les Innocents gymnastics most of which ended in a nasty fall I m fairly receptive to all these experimental and post modern writings but in most of the cases I try not to ignore the content and there lies my main problem with this bookJohn Barth mentioned in the author s note that this book shouldn t be viewed as a short story collection but as a series and therefore reuired to be received all at once which I failed to do so except for few of the stories which are also my favorites The title story of course is the biggest strength of this book which is deftly handled with judicious mix of content meta techniues metaphorical significance and at the same time is engaging enough to hold the interest of a reader This is one piece which can be aood introduction for any Barth neophyte This story also inspired Wallaces s novella Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way from Girl with Curious hair Apart from this 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 By this time one I Was A Stranger gets comfortable with the fact that hesheit is reading someone who is smart witty highly innovative and most importantly very original 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 Read Greek Myths But at the same time I wonder if their knowledge would have brought any respite to my reading experience as for example I m well aware about Narcissus myth but didn t understand a single word of Echo where Barth has related the content of this myth especially wrt self reflection factor The analysis of this particular story is much interesting in my humble opinion With Life Story and Menelaiad came this huge tsunami of almost everything meta one can think of It s fascinating for sure but only in parts I was mostly eager to jump to interesting fragments such as this The reader 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 Even this far For what discreditable motive How is it you don to 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 Where s your shame A Smart Alec he isBut some were too much to digest For example this Well He asked Prince Paris You didn t By Zeus By Zeus You didn t Did you really By Zeus Yes There is a brutal dissection of Punctuation marks oing on in aforementioned text I admire rammar but not that muchSo overall a modest beginning for me in the Barth s wonderland and I m hopeful that his other works shall prove to be much balanced and winsomely innovative In fact some sources have claimed that the same self reflection factor in his story Echo is used in a creative way in The Sot weed factor and Giles Goat boy which I shall definitely look forward to read This book 3 Stars I merely Liked it 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 ood reason for being there It s all extremely clever and original but throughout too much of Lost in the Funhouse I felt the author had very little meaningful to say Stories which are about writing stories in which nothing happens except the author talking about how he is writing. Barth's lively highly original collection of short pieces is a major landmark of experimen. G family Sound familiar As it is his first collection of #short fiction anomalous no matter one s response to the Funhouse # fiction anomalous no matter one s response to the Funhouse do pick up collection of short fiction anomalous no matter one s response to the Funhouse please do pick up of his long works the form in which his muse sings much so sweetlyHow seriously ought we regard the book s subtitle for Print Tape Live Voice But according to the Author s Note these pieces are intended for a variety of performance modalities take the print medium for ranted but lose or ain nothing in oral recitation would lose part of their point n any except printed form meant for either print or recorded authorial voice but not for live or non authorial voice will make no sense unless heard in live or recorded voices male and female or read as if so heard intended for monophonic authorial recording either disc or tape for monophonic tape and visible but silent author may be said to have been composed for printed voice print monophonic recorded authorial voice stereophonic ditto in dialogue with itself live authorial voice live ditto in dialogue with monophonic ditto aforementioned and live ditto interlocutory with stereophonic et cetera my own preference You decide But then should you Well yes of course we are here to have a ood time after all Altogether now chorally On with the Story Indeed Frame Tale How to write fiction with scissors in many fewer hours than that other Gone: The Disappearance of Claudia Lawrence and Her Father's Desperate Search for the Truth guy with his whole cut up thing that no one wants to readAmbrose His Mark Water Message Lost in the Funhouse The Ambrose stories Please take aander at these stories when you et around to placing LETTERS on your calendar Character Ambrose will be recycled there Lost in the Funhouse JB For whom is the funhouse fun DFW For whom is the funhouse a houseWith this dialogue we see history shift from the postmodern to the post postmodern or at least an attempt at the post post Famously DFW wrote his Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way in the margins of this here very story That s reason enough to read it And who takes DFW seriously when he says those unnice things about our Barth man You say mean things about your father all the time tooMenelaiad Perhaps the crowning achievement of this collection of literary stunts and dares Having sent his unneeded but foisted student assistants into the stacks to discover frame tales and stories about stories and stories with stories inside them and such
like you remember 1001 Nights etc his results indicated that no story within story had you remember 1001 Nights etc his results indicated that no story within story had written which bored down than four or five stories deep ie a story within a story within a story within a story Ah said Herr Barth I can indeed do much better I can o as deep as seven stories within stories within etcetera And he did The result looks something like this Love Or better Speak Menelaus cried to Helen on the bridal bed I reminded Helen in her Trojan bedroom I confessed to Eidothea on the beach I declared to Proteus in the cave mouth I vouchsafed to Helen on the ship I told Peisistratus at least in my Spartan hall I say to whoever and where I am And Helen answered vide supraWill that drive you mad How about sitting in the audience at Boston College on the eve of a wintery storm whilst Herr Meister Barth reads the entire damn thing inclusive of visual aids by way of cue cards keeping count of all of that and Well that was the night he remet his bride to be and future book dedicatee ShellyPassionate Virtuosity indeed Two very brilliant stories and a whole kaboodle of indigestible bollocks Yes I confess to skipping lightly and sprightly over the last three Greek mythology based items What is it with this Greek tripe But like many a cd I have purchased the two Moonrise (Snowfall, good ones were worth the price of entry This collection is it says here a major landmark of experimental fiction Well as landmarkso it was a bit of a Hadrian s WallTourist Where s Hadrian s wallLocal inhabitant of the area It s right thereTourist What that That s Hadrian s WallLocal Yes That s it Turns away to hide smileGREAT EXPERIMENTAL SHORT STORIESI love ones that work and these are my must read favouritesThe Library of Babylon Jorge Luis BorgesThe Aleph Jorge Luis BorgesHe takes absolutely mental ideas and applies a freezing cold scholarly log Disappointing This soi disant landmark in experimental fiction was stuffed with endless exercises in indulgence vague and rambling stories pretentious non seuiturs and assorted Greek ibberish The title piece Title and Petition were the only engaging and amusing stories here Most of the collection indulges in Barth s obsession with Victorian writing and Greek myth Night Sea Journey Meneliad and Anonymiad are insufferable despite the clever tricks and rare flashes of wit The middle story plays a brain busting ame with the metafiction format though the content sags badly This territory has been explored with twice the panache by Gil Sorrentino Barth s work skews towards the cold and academic whereas Sorrentino never loses his steely humanity in spite of the high wire Hello, Snow! game. Everal themes common to them alliving them new meaning in the context of this collection.
John Barth Ô 0 reviewA story in w Something Similar Writers learn #from their experience of other "WRITERS AS WELL AS FROM THEIR EXPERIENCE OF LIFE "as well as from their experience of life the world it # their experience of other writers as well as from their experience of life in the world it 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 funhou The reader 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 Even this far For what discernible motive How is it you don t o 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 Whenyour mind when speak of amorous advances Can nothing surfeit saturate you turn you off Where s your shame Where indeedUp through titular story p94 everything was working for me In fact it had all the necessary elements of a tour de force a purloined apiary ontological amete theory article adjective noun a metaphor that looked like a simile At one point my wife interrupted me to ask what I was reading so I told her You read some weird shit said she I m sticking with Wine SpectatorNight Sea Journey and Lost in the Funhouse are the first half highlights After that Barth heads up his ass so far the Mastering the Art of Saying No Without Feeling Guilty: Tips, Techniques and Strategies goingets rough to the point of unreadable I had to Yuganta, The End Of An Epoch grit my teeth take breaks verb phrase preserving the series Life story and Title are bothuilty of blank So extremely Droste recursive and painfully self consciously meta fictional there s almost no room for any No mistake here I checked the Once a Wicked Lady: A Biography of Margaret Lockwood galley proofs this is what the author intendedThen B comes out of it and into something entirely different in the penultimate and tailpiece Menelaid and Anonymiad For the former it helps to 1 at least be acuainted with Greek mythology if not have recently read The Odyssey which I have 5 times in the past five years since I teach that work 2 not worry too much about all the nested uotation marks the first time through Weet it Menelaus immortality is real if linguistic this isn t the voice of Menelaus this voice is Menelaus all there is of himSo the way I read LitF is not as discrete stories but as a curated set which read together comprise a work if not a novel of sorts I tend to think that the heady minstrel Ambrose is the narrating author of Title and Life Story penning his own crack up So when Barth heads up his ass in Menelaid and Anonymiad he comes out on the other side of sanity into a fully fictional world that he can now manipulate as author in the same way conventional folk perambulate He s a character whose awareness of his own fictionality has unmoored him from his docking my crux my core I m cutting you out there at the heart never to be filled a mere lacuna 177To Forbidden Reading go further would transmogrify review essay Suffice to say that if one is enough of a trouper to soldier through the middle section there s a big pay out Or at least there was for me To be moved to art instead of to action by one s wretchedness may preserve one s life and sanity at the same time it may leave one wretcheder yet 117Here we make an end bereft of all reference points Lost in the Funhouse 4255 Well to be honest I found this book to be almost as painful as La Disparition by Georges Perec reviewed here on GR 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 a bit revolutionary particularly in the hard to read section Menelaiad where he uotes inside of uotes inside of uotes 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 after 1945 I wanted to read it Not sure if other work by John Barth is 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 itot to be as distracting as the missing e in La Disparition 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 A Northern Line Minute: The Northern Line 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 Lost In The Funhouse Fiction For Print Tape Live Voice is John Barth s response to aauntlet Marshall McLuhan was throwing down back in the heady days of the sixties regarding the immanent demise of the work of art as printed text and the subseuent decline in the fortunes of the Gutenber. Tal fiction Though many of the stories Future Focus gathered here were published separately there are