A Rather Interesting Tale (From Barthelme’s The Dead Father)

It is rather an interesting tale, said the Dead Father, which I shall now tell. I had been fetched by the look of a certain maiden, a raven-haired maiden —He looked at Julie, whose hand strayed to her dark dark hair. A raven-haired maiden of great beauty. Her name was Tulla. I sent her many… Continue reading A Rather Interesting Tale (From Barthelme’s The Dead Father)

“Patricide: Patricide is a bad idea” (Donald Barthelme)

Patricide: Patricide is a bad idea, first because it is contrary to law and custom and second because it proves, beyond a doubt, that the father’s every fluted accusation against you was correct: you are a thoroughly bad individual, a patricide! — member of a class of persons universally ill-regarded. It is all right to […]

Continue reading “Patricide: Patricide is a bad idea” (Donald Barthelme)

Some Fathersons Go to Museums of Fine Art — Richie Pope

Richie Pope’s Fatherson showed up in today’s mail—it’s issue #13 of Youth in Decline’s monograph series Frontier. It’s so, so good—I’ve gone through it a few times now, and its immediate vibrancy and apparently simplicity slips into richer and richer territory each time. It reminded me at first of a book my wife brought back to me years… Continue reading Some Fathersons Go to Museums of Fine Art — Richie Pope

“Patricide: Patricide is a bad idea” (Donald Barthelme)

Patricide: Patricide is a bad idea, first because it is contrary to law and custom and second because it proves, beyond a doubt, that the father’s every fluted accusation against you was correct: you are a thoroughly bad individual, a patricide! — member of a class of persons universally ill-regarded. It is all right to… Continue reading “Patricide: Patricide is a bad idea” (Donald Barthelme)

“Patricide: Patricide is a bad idea” (Donald Barthelme)

Patricide: Patricide is a bad idea, first because it is contrary to law and custom and second because it proves, beyond a doubt, that the father’s every fluted accusation against you was correct: you are a thoroughly bad individual, a patricide! — member of a class of persons universally ill-regarded. It is all right to… Continue reading “Patricide: Patricide is a bad idea” (Donald Barthelme)

“First he slew a snowshoe rabbit cleaving it in twain with a single blow and then he slew a spiny anteater” (Donald Barthelme)

They found the Dead Father standing in a wood, slaying. First he slew a snowshoe rabbit cleaving it in twain with a single blow and then he slew a spiny anteater and then he slew two rusty numbats and then whirling the great blade round and round his head he slew a wallaby and a… Continue reading “First he slew a snowshoe rabbit cleaving it in twain with a single blow and then he slew a spiny anteater” (Donald Barthelme)

“Here is the riddle, and it is a son-of-a-bitch” (Donald Barthelme)

Here is the riddle said the Great Father Serpent with a great flourishing of his two-tipped tongue, and it is a son-of-a-bitch I will tell you that, the most arcane item in the arcana, you will never guess it in a hundred thousand human years some of which I point out have already been used… Continue reading “Here is the riddle, and it is a son-of-a-bitch” (Donald Barthelme)

Read “The School,” a Short Story by Donald Barthelme

“The School” is a short story from Donald Barthelme’s Sixty Stories. Well, we had all these children out planting trees, see, because we figured that … that was part of their education, to see how, you know, the root systems … and also the sense of responsibility, taking care of things, being individually responsible. You know… Continue reading Read “The School,” a Short Story by Donald Barthelme

“The Zombies” — Donald Barthelme

“The Zombies,” a short story by Donald Barthelme— “The Zombies”    In a high wind the leaves fall from the trees. The zombies are standing about talking. “Beautiful day!” “Certainly is!” The zombies have come to buy wives from the people of this village, the only village around that will sell wives to zombies. “Beautiful day!”… Continue reading “The Zombies” — Donald Barthelme

George Saunders’ “Little St. Don” and the limits of contemporary satire

George Saunders has a new story called “Little St. Don” in this week’s New Yorker. A satirical hagiography of Donald Trump, “Little St. Don” is a pastiche told in little vignettes, parables roughly allegorical to today’s horrorshow headlines. Here’s an example from early in the story: Little St. Don was once invited to the birthday party… Continue reading George Saunders’ “Little St. Don” and the limits of contemporary satire

Three Books

The Dead Father by Donald Barthleme. Penguin paperback, 1986. Cover design by Todd Radom; cover illustration by Lonnie Sue Johnson. Saturn, Orpheus, Lear, Nobodaddy. A sleeping undead giant, a quest. Good angry fun. I’ll say it’s my favorite Barthelme today (answers will change in the future). Fathers and Crows by William T. Vollmann. Penguin paperback, 1992.… Continue reading Three Books

Reviews

  BOOK REVIEWS:  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z FILM REVIEWS TELEVISION REVIEWS MISCELLANY Book reviews Adrian, Chris A Better Angel — Chris Adrian Gob’s Grief — Chris Adrian The Children’s Hospital — Chris Adrian Alexander, Patrick Marcel… Continue reading Reviews