Friday, June 25, 2010

Short Stories from the Heath Arsenal: John Barth

I'm going to have to do this one at a time, I think. And sorry for the image, it's blurry and uninteresting, but tough. Lost in the Funhouse by John Barth.

also by John Barth: Giles Goat Boy
The Sot-Weed Factor (I have not read these but I need to).

Metafiction= fiction about the process of fictionalizing.

This was lovely, witty, funny, and sad. The random insertion of explanations of the literary devices I think was my favorite part of this whole story. Each time he did another one I just got the giggles. He's very sarcastic, this writer. I have no idea what it is like to be an awkward teenage boy, but I think after reading this I at least have a clue. Pity about poor Ambrose, though, it seems he never really found what he was looking for. Maybe if Magda would have just let him cop a feel in the dark, we'd be in a much different story. How uncomfortable.

"Description of physical appearance and mannerisms is one of several standard methods of characterization used by writers of fiction. It is also important to "keep the senses operating"; when a detail from one of the five senses, say visual, is "crossed" with a detail from another, say auditory, the reader's imagination is oriented to the scene, perhaps unconsciously. This procedure may be compared to the way surveyors and navigators determine their positions by two or more compass bearings, a process known as triangulation. The brown hair on Ambrose's mother's forearms gleamed in the sun like. Though right-handed, she took her left arm from the seat-back to press the dashboard cigar lighter for Uncle Karl. When the glass bead in its handle glowed red, the lighter was ready for use. The smell of Uncle Karl's cigar reminded one of. "