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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Ambrose His Mark and Petition were both quite remarkable and it was these exceptions that made the book almost readable.

I was once imagined by the author, and now you’re imagining me. But that is really what we have here: Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia. 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.

There were a few gems. The witchlike ticket-seller calls him a marked man. Feb 14, Nicole rated it did not like it Shelves: Donald Barthelme The Balloon: And so in a central room of the funhouse, the maze of mirrors, we have the eye.

On with the story! At the Ocean City amusement park the roller coaster, rumored to be condemned instill runs; many machines are broken and the prizes are made of pasteboard in the USA.

Lost in the Funhouse

Why did we feel compelled to ignore Joseph Heller and John Barth not to mention Gaddis, Gass, Pynchon, and even Don DeLillo until White Noise and rather buy it back from Italo Calvino and Milan Kundera in overpriced trade paperbacks fostered upon us by Reaganite American psychos in publishing hell-bent on inventing ways to make us spend twice as much on a product we needed only half as much. And it will get worse. I think he missed the empty swimming pool this time.


Barth’s lively, highly original collection of short pieces is a major landmark of experimental fiction. The dark passageways of the funhouse increase his sense of isolation.

I keep thinking that these language games are becoming dated, though. They complement each other, appearing to be an at-once-sinister-and-dexterous female unit, the reflections of one another.

Other splices create abrupt switches, with utter absence of transition, from narrative flow to textbook exposition, reminding us that not even the story is real.

Lost in the Funhouse Summary – Schoolbytes

It was not really a pleasant read but as it was on the Yale Online Course “American Literature after “, I wanted to read it.

Also, and this is more my fault than his, I just don’t have enough mythology in my body to be as entertained with the last two stories as I think he was writing and imagining them. I love I read this over a span of several weeks, really.

However, the rest of the intensely metafictional, massively self-referential, labyrinthine, Borges-on-drugs stories here were enjoyable if somewhat bewildering, and tunhouse up giving me a lot of inspiration for some of my own writing. Then the kids go in the funhouse. For example, after the introductory section the narrator observes, “The function of the beginning of a story is to un the principal characters, establish their initial relationships, set the scene for the main action,” and so forth.


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. It’s not me speaking to you.

The funhouse is a huge part of the story. Although he discontinued his formal study at Julliard, Barth has remained fascinated with playing the role funbouse the arranger in his fiction.

The mirror motif is intensified at the pool: So extremely Droste-recursive and funhpuse self-consciously meta-fictional there’s almost no room for any. Alvin Greenberg this is a riff on Borges, of course, and is the most fun you can have with the Argentinian librarian without going up to him and tickling him The Great Hug: Or better still a full stop. Was a John Barth pocketbook, perhaps, not good enough for the girls with big hair? Jan 20, Franco Santos rated it really liked it Shelves: Not sure if other work by John Barth is more readable, but this book has certainly cured me of any curiosity I may have harboured.

Though perforce hastily conceived, these reviews were not entirely wrong, for there are a number of pieces in the book that strike us today, as they did then, as mere baubles, toys for and of an exhausted imagination.