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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The postmodern bent to most of the stories contained here largely works against the author, though when employed well, is both playful and poignant. 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. The middle story plays a brain-busting game with the metafiction format, though the content sags badly.

Several characters, such as Ambrose of ” Lost in the Funhouse ” reappear throughout the collection, but largely, this is an experiment in both fictional structure as well as interpretive form. The mirror motif is intensified at the pool: One way minimalism can be defined is the manner in which an author will provide the inn descriptions and ask the reader to fill in the blanks.

How seriously ought we regard the book’s subtitle, “for Print, Tape, Live Voice”? These stories contain the raw energy of a writer tearing into metafictional games with pure delight, whereas his later stories temper the metafiction with compelling tales of their own. And that, of course, is part of the joke; that Barth would go to such trouble to conceal from us, yet provide all the clues to the discovery of, an essentially meaningless fact.

They keep him reminded of the fact that the story is indeed a fiction, an artifact, a creation from experience, not experience itself. Altogether now, chorally, “On with the Story! In “Menalaiad”, Barth leads the reader in and out of seven metaleptic layers. Views Read Edit View history. Lost in the Funhouse came out inand was followed in by Chimeraa collection of three self-aware, interrelated, metafictional novellas.


Then he wishes he were dead. So, 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. And all the good will that he earns from so beautifully crafting a story like “Lost in the Funhouse,” he wastes on “Menelaiad. They go to the boardwalk and Ambrose’s mom gives him money to go have fun.

Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia. Maximalism — Thou shall leave no literary device unturned. This is not a perfect series by any means and never meant to, especially with all those literary gymnastics, most of which ended in a nasty fall.

Want to Read saving…. That is, these characters exist doubtlessly as characters, and yet he is still able to breathe life into them and, to employ a tired phrase, make them come alive on the page. Many stories seemed like barriers instead of conduits of ideas. Barth’s lively, highly original collection of short pieces is a major landmark of experimental fiction.

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. His problem is not simply that he is an adolescent, typically confused about sex and wary of the future, but also that he is a budding writer, a calling that will set him apart from life.

I exist only in the imagination, though in between I am written down. He doesn’t care about you.

Lost in the Funhouse |

But his good stuff is from another dimension, you know, the fifth Sex Story: I was once imagined by the author, and now you’re imagining me. The story line is straight. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. The Decline of Western Literature.


Lost in the Funhouse

This coin, with its zinc and steel tne, was called a gray or white penny. The dominant use of metaphor in the story, however, is the funhouse itself, an exceptionally rich and fertile device for Barth. The story must take place on July 4th,43, or The tragic implications are felt through the realization that the choice between art and life of necessity excludes thereafter the one not chosen.

What is it with this Greek tripe? The frequent italicized phrases are likewise reminders of the artificiality of fiction. Well, yes, of course, we are here to have a good time after all. Modern Language Association http: Barth has said he has written losr books in pairs: It’s all extremely clever and original, but throughout too much of Lost in the FunhouseI felt the author had very little meaningful to say.

Everything about Barth has already been transmitted, written about, alluded to, sketched on the soft walls of a thousand reflective uteruses by a million different swimming swimmers prior to drowning. On the other hand he may be scarcely past the start, with everything yet to get through, an intolerable idea. I found myself skimming over stories, which is never a good sign.

The gypsy fortuneteller machine might have provided a foreshadowing of the climax of this story if Ambrose had operated it. So I gave up. He wants to tell Magda that he loves her. People are going to find this review inevitably off-putting, ,ost Surrealist.

Review Lost in the Funhouse. I didn’t read the final two stories.