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Download Sixty Stories: UK Edition (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) epub

by Donald Barthelme




This excellent collection of Donald Barthelme's literary output during the 1960s and 1970s covers the period when the writer came to prominence--producing the stories, satires, parodies, and other formal experiments that altered fiction as we know it--and wrote many of the most beautiful sentences in the English language. Due to the unfortunate discontinuance of many of Barthelme's titles, 60 Stories now stands as one of the broadest overviews of his work, containing selections from eight previously published books, as well as a number of other short works that had been otherwise uncollected.
Download Sixty Stories: UK Edition (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) epub
ISBN: 0141180935
ISBN13: 978-0141180939
Category: Literature
Subcategory: History & Criticism
Author: Donald Barthelme
Language: English
Publisher: Penguin Classics (August 31, 2011)
Pages: 480 pages
ePUB size: 1519 kb
FB2 size: 1379 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 575
Other Formats: mbr azw rtf lrf

greatest
--Lets get right to the meat. People are busy. Did you like this book? Is it worth reading?

--Yes on both counts. "60 Stories" is a generous sampling of Bartheleme's work. You'll certainly discover whether he's to your liking or not based on what you're offered here. Because it bears saying that these stories are certainly not going to be everyone's cup of blue rooibos, to coin a phrase.

--How so? Why not?

--They aren't what most people would call "traditional" stories. It's somewhat inaccurate to call them "experimental" at this point since so many years have elapsed since they were written and published, so many years since the author died, and Barthelme's influence has been shaping literary experiments ever since, but a stunning number of readers still expect the short story to adhere to conventions established two or three centuries ago. I'd go back even further but the fact is that Barthelme's stories actually employ the conventions of what might be called the "original" short stories--fairy tales, myths, dreams, visions, and the like.

--In other words, they're non-linear, ambiguous, full of fantastic and illogical occurences.

--Yes, to name just a few. What's continually interesting about Barthelme is that every story--well, practically every story--is different in technique from the others. He attempts to find a mode of expression that suits what he wants to say and that changes from story to story. A hammer for a nail, a screwdriver for a screw. But more often, he invents new tools altogether. His stories are invented tools. So you never know quite what to expect when you begin a new story. A collection of Barthelme's stories is not like a box of saltine crackers. It's not even like a box of chocolates. It's like one of those Chinese boxes full of all sorts of tiny compartments, each with something different inside--a feather, a stone, a tooth, a bit of uranium, an octopus sucker...it could be anything.

--You never know what you're getting.

--Exactly. And that can be good or bad, depending on your taste. So in this collection there are stories you will love and others that won't appeal to you at all. It's a risky way to write and an exciting way to read...provided you want to be excited in that way. Lots of people like to know what they're getting beforehand. In life, in lovers, in stories. They read Hemingway because they like Hemingway. Story after story, Hemingway is a known quantity.

--Many people don't like irony either.

--And Barthelme's work is heavy with irony, World's Strongest Man type irony. If you aren't in good shape, the irony in these stories may be too heavy for you. It might crush you, that's how heavy the irony is. You might need a spotter.

--Okay, I get it. They're very ironic.

--Yes. But also heartfelt. Barthelme is a "double-minded" man, as most thinking folks are in this day and age. We see the shadow-side of every emotion we experience. The hate behind the love, the betrayal behind the loyalty, the resentment behind the generosity, etc. There's no such thing as a simple unalloyed motive, a true purity of heart. All expressions of such ring as insincere to our post-modern ears...they'd begun to ring that way to modern ears as well. What I'm trying to say is that irony, self-irony, is a way to get behind the mirror and the masks we wear on stage, it's a way to acknowledge that we can't be entirely truthful because we're always lying to one degree or another...it's a way of saying that we cannot say what we'd like to say, like being a prisoner of war paraded in front of a camera for propoganda purposes. We give a secret sign even while we're lying through our teeth, a kind of metaphorical wink that lets you know we can't tell the truth but we'd like to and we'd like you to know that. This is the function of the irony in Barthelme's stories, as I see it.

--Anything else?

--That's enough, I'd say. What more really needs to be said? Maybe only that its quite likely not possible to fully appreciate where cutting edge literature is today without reading Donald Barthelme, who directly influenced so much of it--a kind of bridge, he was, from someone like Beckett to what we have today.

--Well, that might have been worth saying.

--And it might not have. But I said it and I won't unsay it. I think I'll go make some more green tea. Good day.
Mr.Savik
I bought this volume based on the review of a writer I encountered on the Internet. I find most of the stories to be curiosities and rather fun. I ended up not being as impressed with them as he is, but I'm glad I got this book and read the contents. The author is one I had missed over the years. He's obviously well respected, with much of his work appearing in various markets that 99% of writers could never crack. Good material. I'm glad I read them.
Wooden Purple Romeo
Donald Barthelme is undeservedly under-read, perhaps because of too much experimentation on the short story form. Not every reader would like this intentional emphasis on an inventive structure and imaginative setups--more than on plot and other aspects of conventional storytelling. Others argue that he puts premium on the imaginative structure and style more than the meat of the story itself.

But if one can keep an open mind, at least, Barthelme would definitely come out as a master stylist. And one would immediately recognize his tremendous influence on our now contemporary favorite authors like Dave Eggers and his bunch. .

This book combines, as stated in the title, that many short stories in one book. So shallow it seems, but you're getting not just quantity for your money, but also variety upfront.

Read the following first: Miss Mandible, Balloon, The School, I bought a little city, Sergeant, These at least will take you to explore the other stories (some even more `experimental' than the others) in this anthology. Read them in abandon, not knowing the author's intention to explore and experiment on the form. You'll love the stories as they are. Funny nonsequiturs, turn of events, turn of phrases will completely surprise and satisfy you. Enjoyable as hell.

There's a blog that Ive read where Tobias Wolff (another fantastic short story master) is saying that in short stories, unlike in novels, it is still possible to achieve perfection. I think "I bought a little city" is one example of perfection. And there are others almost close to perfection in this book. Definitely worth your [...] and that time for weekend afternoon reading.
Ferri - My name
This is what I would call "experimental" literature. I've never found another author capable of writing in such a unique, inventive manner! Each story differs from the others in subject matter and style, but all of the stories are characteristically witty, bold, and evocative. This is a must-read.
Whitestone
If you like real brainy stories then there is no better collection. I enjoyed some of the stories immensely, particularly The King Of Jazz and The School, but others were too smart for me (thus 4 out of 5 stars). Barthelme is a really fun author who is a master with language.
Unirtay
"The Indian Uprising" is probably the most famous story in this collection. I think "A Dolt" might be D.B.s most powerful story. It might be worth you time to read "Hiding Man."
Gholbithris
About a third of the 60 stories are absolute gems, I have enjoyed so much that I read them twice just for the fun of it. Black humor at its best, cynical and surprising.
Another third I found difficult to read, too surreal even for one who likes the genre.
The last third...well, it's hard to decide: the prose is so tight, so concise... that it becomes almost cryptic.

Overall an interesting collection of an outstanding writer.
Amazing stories!