'I said that although hanging Colby was almost certainly against the law, we had a perfect moral right to do so because he was our friend, belonged to us in various important senses, and he had after all gone too far.'Donald Barthelme is a puckish player with language, a writer of short but endlessly rewarding comic gems, a thinker and an experimenter. In these nine short stories, whether writing about a hairy, donkeyish king or a touching, private gesture of city-sized proportions, his is a surreal, deadpan genius.This book includes Some of Us Had Been Threatening Our Friend Colby, The Glass Mountain, I Bought a Little City, The Palace at Four A.M., Chablis, The School, Margins, Game and The Balloon.
Donald Barthelme was one of the most influential and inventive writers of the 20th century. In this volume of unpublished and previously uncollected stories, he transforms the absurd and strange into the real in his usual epiphanic, engaging, and richly textured style. The stories delve further into themes that often interested Barthelme: the perils of the unfulfilled existence; the relationships between politics, art, sex, and life; and the importance of continuing to ask questions even though we are unable to learn the answers. This collection will delight both old fans and new readers.
The Dead Father is a gargantuan half-dead, half-alive, part mechanical, wise, vain, powerful being who still has hopes for himself—even while he is being dragged by means of a cable toward a mysterious goal. In this extraordinary novel, marked by the imaginative use of language that influenced a generation of fiction writers, Donald Barthelme offered a glimpse into his fictional universe. As Donald Antrim writes in his introduction, "Reading The Dead Father, one has the sense that its author enjoys an almost complete artistic freedom . . . a permission to reshape, misrepresent, or even ignore the world as we find it . . . Laughing along with its author, we escape anxiety and feel alive."