Friday, April 5, 2024

A Bye to Barth


The easy joke would be to say that since I wrote a novel last November it killed off John Barth, but that’s too glib a line to honor a preternatural postmodernist who helped give contemporary fiction a big slap upside its lazy head in the late 20th century (along with others, sure, and I will get to one of them in a bit). But that photo above is the actual copy of Lost in the Funhouse I still own, the ninth printing of the paperback (as of 1980). One of the back cover quotes enthuses: “The reader has to dig. But the digging produces ore from one of the richest veins in American literature.” Turns out that was a review in Playboy. Yeah, times have changed.

Care to read the rest, then do so at California Review of Books.

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