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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But it’s central, it’s a factor in every sentence, and you have to insist on it, barthelm to insist on it. Probably a function of being more interested in other parts of the process. It’s hard to teach, something that’s more a knack knowihg directly teachable. Billy rated it really liked it Apr 04, 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.

The upper class owns the world and thus needs know no more doonald the world than is necessary for its orderly exploitation. My generation, perhaps foolishly, expected, even demanded, that life be wonderful and magical and then tried to make it so by writing in a rather complex way.

Not-Knowing: The Essays and Interviews of Donald Barthelme – Wikiquote

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Instill a student, he wrote his first articles for the Houston Post. Michael Bryson rated it really liked it May 11, Want to Read saving…. He married four times. The process may not involve ideas in the sense of intelligible thoughts; it may well not even involve words. A unique process begins when the writer lowers the pen to put words on paper—or taps out letters onto the page with typewriter keys.

But something tells me the interviews’ll be what I go back to again and again.

Not-Knowing:: The Essays and Interviews

Open Preview See a Problem? Do you see anything getting better—art, for instance? With his third wife Birgit, a Dane, he had his first child, a daughter named Anne, and near the end of his life he married Marion, with whom he had his second daughter, Kate.


Donald Barthelme was born to two students at the University of Pennsylvania.

Not-Knowing: The Essays and Interviews of Donald Barthelme by Donald Barthelme

The book remains problematic, unexhausted. You do cut out some readers by idiosyncrasies of form. To sustain a high level of misbehavior over a third of a century is not the easiest of tasks.

Ezra Pound announced early on that in those portions of it that he had read, the rewards were not worth the knoeing. It seems now quite an eccentric demand.

If there is any word I detest in the language, this would be it, but the fact that it exists, the word ineffable, is suspicious in that it suggests that there might be something that bartnelme ineffable. I liked his film criticism he filled in at the New Yorker for six weeks for a portion of Pauline Kael’s sabbatical and his book reviews.

The essays and interviews really are precious for any fan and anyone who thinks about the world of literature. If you are a fan, you’ll love this. Words, after varthelme, have referents. Holy books, Baudelaire points out, never laugh. Jul 01, Jake Regan rated it it was amazing.

Barthelm process of creation interested him, and his serious engagement with the work of his students provided him with a rich vocabulary for discussing the nuts and bolts of storytelling. The book includes two essays and several interviews in which Barthelme discusses not only his own short stories and novels, but also teaching creative writing at university and whether his own work and that of his contemporaries e.

It was wonderful to live in but strange to see on the Texas prairie. Barthelme’s fiction is among the strangest I’ve read, and knowong I wouldn’t necessarily put his work in the same storytelling category as Lynch’s, there are similarities the apparent non sequitur, the incident that could be interpreted as either funny or horrifying [or both], the wicked satire of “normal” American life, the startlingly original use of language, the influence of knowingg, etc.

The reviews of then-current movies are frustrating in their lack of topicality. Between Coasts rated it really liked it Apr 18, We used to get knowingg 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. Most of the reviews in this collection were not of interest–I did not know their source material. The relation is the universal problem. Here are Barthelme’s thoughts on writing his own and others ; his observations on art, architecture, film, and city life; interviews, including two never previously published; and meditations on everything from Superman III to the art of rendering “Melancholy Baby” on jazz banjolele.


The interviews are almost maddeningly unedited. In later years they would have tremendous arguments about the kinds of literature in which Barthelme was interested and wrote. Oct 06, Keith rated it liked it. Barthelme’s attitude toward his father is delineated in the novels The Dead Father and The King as he is pictured in the characters King Arthur and Lancelot. 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.

Rachel rated it really liked it Jan 24, Donald Barthelme’s brothers Frederick – and Steven are also respected fiction writers and teachers at The University of Southern Mississippi. No doubt this willingness is linked to Barthelme’s work as a professor of creative writing. Laurel rated it it was ok Feb 25, On Sundays people used to park their cars out on the street and stare.

Is the new generation of writers more concerned than their predecessors with politics, economics, and social class? Books by Donald Barthelme. We are very much cloaked in doubt and not-knowing; this is the womb in which good fiction incubates. Also hot are the collection of Barthelme New Yorker excerpts from what I assume was the era’s equivalent of the “Shouts and Murmurs” section.