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. 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.

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One of the most obvious aspects involves comments by the author on the story in progress, comments directed sometimes to the reader, sometimes to himself, frequently to both.

The story ends by answering the question posed by its beginning. The authors of metafiction have the smallest number of bloody noses per page compared with all other genres. Insert Plot Here “What’s all this leading up baarth

The first action was reading the book. Indeed, this is the line of attack most reviewers took toward the work: We fungouse even reached ocean city post 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 bqrth and Giles Goat-boywhich I shall definitely look forward to read.

I was mostly eager to jump to interesting fragments such as this: My two favorite stories were Title and Autobiography, although the first time I read Autobiography I felt like I had been punched in the stomach because of the subject matter and the really frank intensity he allows himself to write with. The point is, of course, hhe not only can we not tell, but that it does not matter. Barth is such a lyrical writer, especially compared to most of the brooding postmodernist set.

When Barth began attending Johns Hopkins University inhe enrolled in one of only two creative writing courses available in the US at the time. May 19, Darwin8u rated it it was amazing Shelves: Barth has said he has written his books in pairs: By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

At least there were no characterizations that bugged me as much as in Giles, Goat Boy I can deal with intertextuality in DFW and to a degree in Gaddis or Pynchon, but in Barth it got to be as distracting as the missing ‘e’ in La Disparition.

But some were too much to digest. The first four bands on the bartb qualify as spritely narrative; the last two, as the conscience of an author not completely free from the shackles of conventional fiction. Barth is sometimes too clever for his own good, but he’s always an optimistic, fascinating writer, and I enjoyed those stories I understood and took a pass on those Lkst didn’t. But the highs — oh, the highs! He is not going to make you eat your th fiction or even make you shoot Chekhov’s gun sitting on the fictional wall next to you.


It’s all very clever, but the content, for me, sometimes fails to keep pace with the clevern As critics decried the Death of the Novel, Death of the Story, Death of the Author, Death of et cetera, Barth took it upon himself to revel in the debris, causing further destruction in the process. The fictional Ebenezer Cooke repeatedly described as “poet and virgin” is a Candide-like innocent who sets out to write a heroic epic, becomes disillusioned and ends up writing a biting satire.

Sure, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler is perhaps more lighthearted and accessible–but, hell, if you’re not educated enough to know the Iliad and the Odyssey then you probably don’t want to read any Pomo novels anyway.

Lost in the Funhouse

Yes, I confess to skipping lightly and sprightly over the last three Greek-mythology-based items. In ogni caso, questa raccolta di racconti di Barth che ho trovato solo in lingua originale rappresenta una pietra miliare della meta-letteratura, un insieme di scritti in cui la questione autore-narratore che crea un mondo finto viene affrontata in molti modi dal grande scrittore, nume tutelare di tutti gli autori USA che si sono confrontati con questa dimensione letteraria.

At one point my wife interrupted me to ask what I was reading, so I told her. These comments are inserted not just for humor, but also to push the reader back from the story.

Amidst the post-everything mulch in The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories this one stood out like a tarantula on a slice of angel cake. Also, the naming within the party of the flesh is symbolic: As it is his first collection of short fiction anomalousno matter one’s response to the Funhouse, please do pick up one of his long works, the form in which his muse sings much Lost In The Funhouse; Fiction For Print, Tape, Live Voice is John Barth’s response to a gauntlet 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 subsequent decline in the fortunes of the Gutenberg family.

There is no linear narrative other than a few chapters with the same character Ambrose and his own set of neuroses.

Lost in the Funhouse – Wikipedia

But that’s the point, you say! She writes frequently about the modern short story.


We can see the fun house already taking on at least two connotations. And by the end of the book, I just didn’t feel the rewards were worth it. Despite this, somehow it’s actually the insane metastories in the center that attracted me the most — the narrative-formal-reflexive sweet spot of the title story, the metaphysical panic of “Life-Story” and “Title” — each of these is remarkable, but exist as bright points amid a bit of slogging.

The second aspect of his life reflected in ghe work is the landscape and history of his native Maryland where he has lived for nearly all of his life and where much of his fiction is set.

His first-person narrative voice disregards the already-established third person omniscient narrator and thus, unnerves the readers preconceived notions of how a story should told within a text.

He kept his stone-cutting chisels in an empty cigar box. Or, inn, I just don’t remember, or perhaps I am dreaming I lived a life where I didn’t meet Barth. Despite being billed as a connected series, this collection covers a lot of relatively unconnected ground, veering between personal narrative, self-reflexive formal pyrotechnics, and re-constructed mythology.

We passed over Motown too for the Beatles and all of those other impossibly bad British geysers who followed in their wake.

Less successful for me was this somewhat tedious self-awareness where Barth himself would step back and examine the writing process, within the prose. Feb 11, Paul Bryant rated it liked it Shelves: 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.

During the process of finding his way out of the dark corridors and back hallways, he comes to some realizations about himself and about funhouses. No, it’s much weirder and better than that, even if the conceit is pushed somewhat beyond patience for any who caught on from the first pages.

Quotes from Lost in the Funhouse. Whereas the action of the story is mythic and its characterization is related to archetypal masque, its scenic values—its choreography—derive from cinematic techniques. Are lovers the only ones who find it fun?