Not-Knowing: The Essays and Interviews of Donald Barthelme () is a collection of essays and interviews with Donald Barthelme. What other items do customers buy after viewing this item? Not-Knowing: The Essays and Interviews of Donald Barthelme Paperback. Donald Barthelme. When Donald Barthelme died at the age of 54, he was perhaps the most imitated (if not emulated) practitioner of American literature. Caustic, slyly observant.

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Although he continued to take classes untilhe never received a degree. Something that continually gets me charged up about the seemingly ossified possibilities of fiction every time I read it.

Ezra Pound announced early on that in those portions of it that he had read, the rewards were not worth the decipherment. But the early and uncollected nonfiction and fiction in this make the whole thing worthwhile.

Not-Knowing Quotes by Donald Barthelme

This is a rich and eclectic selection of work by the man Robert Coover has called “one of the great citizens of contemporary world letters. Do you have any favorite comedians, and reasons for liking them? We used to get up from Sunday dinner, if enough cars had parked, and run out in front of the house in a sort of chorus line, doing high kicks.

The notion that art cuts across class boundaries to stir the hearts of hoe hand and Morgan alike is, at best, a fiction useful to the artist, his Hail Mary.

I tell my students that one of the things readers want, and deserve, is a certain amount of blood on the floor. Regardless, it’s almost always irresistible when writers discuss the nuts a I always got Donald Barthelme confused with his brother, Frederick Barthelme, and Donald Antrim no relation.


There is one unfortunate incidence of jive-talk in a New Yorker piece, but otherwise I didn’t find anything repellent.

Not-Knowing:: The Essays and Interviews

If the melody is the skeleton of the particular object, then the chord changes are its wardrobe, its changes of clothes. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

The German writer Heimeto von Doderer put it this way: We are very much cloaked in doubt and not-knowing; this is the womb in which good fiction barthwlme.

Joyce enforces the way in which Finnegans Wake is to be read. Barthelme laments the trend in publishing houses more alive today than it was then doald trying to make bank rather than art. I found this to be the case with Susan Sontag’s writing about painting, too. You do cut out some readers by idiosyncrasies of form.

I call up on the telephone. Want to Read saving…. Your email address will not be published.

Not-Knowing Quotes

Only the greatest geniuses manage to steal from the future. When Donald Barthelme died at the age of 58, he was perhaps the most imitated if not emulated practitioner of American literature. They also present a man deeply informed in literature, politics, and culture to an almost intimidating degree. Luke rated it it was amazing Aug 06, Certainly writers think about and plan stories beforehand; and certainly, after writing a few stories, you may plan them or think about them in a more complex way.

It was wonderful to live in but strange to see on the Texas prairie. And the interviews, which take up the last third of the book, provide fascinating insights into Barthelme’s process of writing as well as his literary intentions. And there is such a realm and it is very difficult to talk about. The two most important pieces in this collection are “After Joyce”written near the beginning of Barthelme’s writing career, and “Not-Knowing”written five years before he died.


Excellent for anyone interested in the creative process. Do you keep a journal? It may be a matter of mood, resonances, mental glimpses, voices, emotions, visions, dreams, anything. Retrieved from ” https: Similarly the notion of an avant-garde is a bit off. There’s a witty takedown of a John Kenneth Galbraith novel.

This page was last edited on 6 Aprilat He also celebrates throughout the notion of human artistic achievement, claiming that if a computer were to ever crack the code and create art palatable to humans, humans would move the goalposts and make art more challenging or inaccessible. I read recently that somebody had come forward with evidence that the process is not irreversible. Regardless, it’s almost always irresistible when writers discuss the nuts and bolts of writing.

Title essay is worth price of admission. While one can imagine the lyric impulse of the poem or the meandering logic of the essay easily fits with the notions of doubt and not-knowing, the question lingers: It gives purpose to life. Also delightful are the collection of Barthelme New Yorker excerpts from what I assume was the era’s equivalent of the “Shouts and Murmurs” section.