"Barthelme . . . happens to be one of a handful of American authors, there to make us look bad, who know instinctively how to stash the merchandise, bamboozle the inspectors, and smuggle their nocturnal contraband right on past the checkpoints of daylight 'reality.'" —Thomas Pynchon, from the Introduction *A hypothetical episode of Batman hilariously slowed down to soap-opera speed. *A game of baseball as played by T. S. Eliot and Willem "Big Bull" de Kooning. *A recipe for feeding sixty pork-sotted celebrants at your daughter's wedding. *An outlandishly illustrated account of a scientific quest for God. These astonishing tropes of the imagination could only have been generated by Donald Barthelme, who--until his death in 1989—seemed intent on goosing American letters into taking a quantum leap. Gleeful, melancholy, erudite, and wonderfully subversive, The Teachings of Don B. is a literary testament cum time bomb, with the power to blast any reader into an altered state of consciousness. "A small education in laughter, melancholy, and the English language." —The New York Times Book Review "Barthelme, who died in 1989, was a distinctive master of fragments . . . Anger, wit, extravagant associations and disassociations; these would be less memorable if it were not for Barthelme's ability to evoke dreams and the tenderness with which he does it." —Los Angeles Times
About the Author
DONALD BARTHELME is a winner of the National Book Award and is the author of over seventeen books, including Flying to America, City Life (one of Time Magazine's Best Books of the Year), and Sixty Stories, which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He was a founder of the renowned University of Houston Creative Writing Program, where he taught for many years. He died in 1989.
KIM HERZINGER is a critic and fiction writer, winner of a Pushcart Prize, and writer on minimalism and other contemporary literary phenomena. He edited most recently Flying to America: 45 More Stories. He teaches at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Praise for The Teachings of Don B.
"Barthelme's art was pre-eminently one of surprises, darting from satire to lyricism to poker-faced banality in a single paragraph.... The Teachings of Don B. is a small education in laughter, melancholy and the English language." —The New York Times Book Review
"Donald Barthelme may have influenced the short story in his time as much as Hemingway and O'Hara did in theirs." —New York Times
"Barthelme happens to be one of a handful of American authors, there to make us look bad, who know instinctively how to stash the merchandise, bamboozle the inspectors, and smuggle their nocturnal contraband right on past the checkpoints of daylight 'reality.'" —Thomas Pynchon, from the Introduction
Praise for Donald Barthelme
"Donald barthelme almost single-handedly has revived the genre of the short story and made it into a fresh art form… He can, and does, write stories of every kind." —People
"Probably the most perversely gifted writer in the United States." —Life
"Among the leading innovative writers of modern fiction." —New York Times
"The delight he offers readers is beyond question; his individuality is unmatched." —Los Angeles Times
"Alongside Raymond Carver, the most emulated short story writer in America." —Chris Power, The Guardian
"A sophisticated entertainer and an elegant stylist...There are New Yorker captions which would look at home in Barthelme's dialogue, just as there are lines in his stories which the cartoonists might envy." —Patrick Parrinder, London Review of Books
"Barthelme's fiction is affected, weightless, utterly original. One wouldn't have it any other way." —Arizona Republic
"Every sentence I read makes me want to stop and write something of my own. He fires all of my synapses and connects them in new ways. He sends a herd of wildebeest through my mind. It's a whole jungle full of animals, really, every color and shape, and he sends them scurrying all over my brain, screaming, defecating, fornicating." —Dave Eggers, author of The Circle
"One of the great citizens of contemporary world letters." —Robert Coover, author of Going for a Beer
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