Chimera author John Barth reader Ø Paperback read

text Chimera author John Barth

Chimera author John Barth reader Ø Paperback read Ú By the winner of the National Book Award and bestselling author of The Tidewater Tales three of the great myths of all time revisited by a modern master Dunyazade Scheherazade's kid sister holds the destiny of herself and the prince who holds her captivePerseus the demigod who sEherazade's kid sister holds the destiny of herself and the prince who holds her captivePerseus the demigod who slew the Gorgon Medusa finds himself at forty battling This is a stupid bookJohn Barth has admirable goals rejuvenating the novel and an precise musical command of language But his one fatal flaw is his inability to get outside his own head He aims for mythic significance but the cosmic scope of his stories keeps getting mixed together with the very un cosmic matter of John Barth 20th century American writer trying to think of words to put on the page This manifests itself most obviously in two ways his metafictional bent he likes to write stories that are about their own telling a perilous endeavour since John Barth wrote a book isn't a very good story and his injection of 20th century language and attitudes into other times and places usually played for comedy but not very successfullyIn Giles Goat Boy this all worked because the tension between Barth's impressive craftsmanship and his silliness felt like a deliberate balancing act The combined effect was uncanny like the book was a religious text from some unfinished draft of our own universe In Chimera the same tension just feels dumb The story is about mythology it is a retelling of several myths but Barth's interest in Barth obscures Barth's interest in myth almost entirely Scheherazade Perseus Bellerophon and numerous other mythic figures discuss literature like grad students some of them before the invention of writing they wonder aloud at this paradox which only distances us further from their impossible situation They parrot Barthian slogans comparisons between literature and sex the phrase passionate virtuosity Historical accuracy is not just ignored but flouted Scheherazade was Homecoming ueen valedictorian elect and a four letter varsity athlete; ancient Greeks drink Metaxa; s talk like modern feminists and a gay man in ancient Greece yes has a ridiculous lisp This list is a pretty representative sample of the book's boringly irreverent humor Everyone sounds like they're from the 1970sWell that just sounds like a silly book doesn't it? And what's wrong with that? Why can't I lighten up? Well because it's not very funny for one thing But importantly Barth really has higher ambitions He doesn't just want to joke around he wants to make a new kind of art that takes all the old ones into detached consideration hence this knowing winking attitude toward ancient myths and spits out some trans historical ideal both Chimera and GGB involve computers that chew up texts and produce mechanically optimized literature But in his desire to be knowing and metafictional and above it all Barth can't bring himself to create plausible or even vivid or interesting characters It's hard to relate to someone who's constantly in flux arguing with the author about lit theory here acting like some 20th century stereotype for laughs there never showing much of a coherent personality Barth's most famous books have naive protagonists Ebenezer Cooke and George the Goat Boy which works well with his style since innocent characters provide a nice reference point in the weird shifting worlds he creates Without his innocents the reader has nothing to grab onto they're left adrift in a protean world of John Barth clones bantering about their writerly anxieties taking on many forms but capturing none of the wild variance of the real world The past is a foreign country but in Barth's hands even the ancient Greeks are less foreign than his next door neighbors in that his next door neighbors aren't himI will give Barth another chance sometime But not for a long while His next big book after Chimera is called LETTERS and consists of Barth and characters from his other books sending each other letters for 800 pages Oh joy

John Barth æ Chimera author John Barth ebook

For simple self respect like any common mortalBellerophon once a hero for taming the winged horse Pegasus must wrestle with a contentment that only leaves him wretch This was a hoot three linked novellas each drawn from much older traditions one from The Arabian Nights and two from Greek mythology the careers of Perseus and Bellerophon respectively There's too much deconstructionist wankery in here for me personally; I'm not all that interested in theories of narrative texts that are aware of themselves et cetera and the author's occasional appearances in his own story come off as indulgent but then again a chimera is after all a conjunction of three animals and there are three interrelated stories here hmmm And the grand finale does feature slaying of said creature by Bellerophon although whether it actually exists in the story is another matter but then again maybe the actual chimera is ontologically less significant than the myth of one seeing as how countless people know of the story but how many have actually encountered one? So yeah A bit too much for me very dense But I reserve the right to a reread whereafter I may come back and announce how beautifully it all fits together and how clever John Barth really is I bet he would really like thatOkay but strip away that extra stuff and still you are left with three dazzling stories It's best to put a little effort into it up front; look up the dozen or so character names he deals out when a story starts reread little bits early on if you have to because once Barth gets going he really is the virtuoso he describes Somehow he can balance modern language with mythic settings in a way that makes the legend grow larger in the telling I had some passing acuaintance with these stories before Chimera but now I feel like I really know them and in this respect I really have to give kudos to Mr Barth In fact if you are genuinely interested in mythology than I'll call this out as a must readOh and let's not forget that Chimera is full of wild sex and laugh out loud humor without breaking any of its legendary context I will never look at s the same way again

ebook × Chimera author John Barth æ John Barth

Chimera author John BarBy the winner of the National Book Award and bestselling author of The Tidewater Tales three of the great myths of all time revisited by a modern master Dunyazade Sch For her part she would go on what a wife was this she took what she was pleased to term the Tragic View of Marriage and Parenthood reckoning together their joys and griefs must inevitable show a net loss if only because like life itself their attrition was constant and their term mortal But one had only different ways of losing and to eschew matrimony and childrearing for the delights of less serious relations was in her judgment to sustain a net loss even considerableA number of confessions should precede any analysis of Chimera The opening section was the most fun I have had reading since the Derrida bio in late July I enjoyed the second and third elements of the novel than Calasso's marriage That may prove heretical I'll take my chances One of the local liuor stores offered Goose Island Summer Ale for three dollars a sixer I bought a case Sure it was outdated I did not care I halted my reading last night and turned to youtube This is always a precarious decision and destination If I then turn to Conway Twitty I know to run to our bedroom Instead I watched interviews with John Barth and eventually discussions of Leopardi's Zibaldone Associations were threshed and threaded I pondered the historical arc of narrative and sighed considering Barth's taxonomy of the endeavor That isn't an impediment to an appreciation of such The seuence in the final section which segues from Robert Graves to an anthropological examination of the s thus linking the first section to the subseuent pair was astonishingThis was a novel which needed to be read in one's 40s Being married is also of benefit