Anyone that has taken a 20th-century American lit course has probably had to read something by Barth, and it was most likely the title story in this collection. Barth is known for his excessive meta-fictional devices and influence on writers, mentioned previously, like Pynchon, Wallace, and probably any serious postmodernist. The devices serve a purpose and are usually humorous. Unlike some postmodernists that came after him, Barth is very much concerned with art expressing a human experience mostly love.
|Country:||Moldova, Republic of|
|Published (Last):||8 July 2019|
|PDF File Size:||12.14 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||15.61 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Lost in the Funhouse is a short story collection by American author John Barth. The postmodern stories are extremely self-conscious and self-reflexive and are considered to exemplify metafiction. The book appeared the year after the publication of Barth's essay The Literature of Exhaustion , in which Barth said that the traditional modes of realistic fiction had been used up, but that this exhaustion itself could be used to inspire a new generation of writers, citing Nabokov , Beckett , and especially Borges as exemplars of this new approach.
Lost in the Funhouse took these ideas to an extreme, for which it was both praised and condemned by critics. Each story can be considered complete in itself, and in fact several of them were published separately before being collected. Barth insists, however, on the serial nature of the stories, and that a unity can be found in them as collected. When Barth began attending Johns Hopkins University in , he enrolled in one of only two creative writing courses available in the US at the time.
He went on to become one of the first full-time professors of creative writing. The stories in Lost in the Funhouse display a professorial concern with fictional form. Lost in the Funhouse was Barth's first book after the " The Literature of Exhaustion ",  an essay in which Barth claimed that the traditional modes of realistic writing had been exhausted and no longer served the contemporary writer, but that the exhaustion of these techniques could be turned into a new source of inspiration.
Barth cited a number of contemporary writers, such as Vladimir Nabokov , Samuel Beckett , and especially Jorge Luis Borges , as important examples of this. The essay later came to be seen by some as an early description of postmodernism. Jorge Luis Borges was a primary influence,  as acknowledged by Barth a number of times, most notably in " The Literature of Exhaustion ". Written between and ,  several of the stories had already been published separately.
Lost in the Funhouse came out in , and was followed in by Chimera , a collection of three self-aware, interrelated, metafictional novellas. This results in a regressus ad infinitum , a loop with no beginning or end. The tale allegorically recapitulates the story of human life in condensed form.
In "Petition", one half of a pair of Siamese twins , joined at the stomach to his brother's back, writes a petition in to Prajadhipok , King of Siam now Thailand , protesting his brother's not acknowledging his existence.
In "Menalaiad", Barth leads the reader in and out of seven metaleptic layers. Three of the stories - "Ambrose, His Mark"; "Water-Message"; and the title story, "Lost in the Funhouse" - concern a young boy named Ambrose and members of his family. The first story is told in first person, leading up to describing how Ambrose received his name. The second is told in third-person, written in a deliberately archaic style.
The third is the most metafictional of the three, with a narrator commenting on the story's form and literary devices as it progresses. In what is apparently an argument between a couple with problems in their relationship, Barth rejects giving details of names and descriptions, instead just using the words "fill in the blank". In keeping with the book's subtitle - "Fiction for Print, Tape, Live Voice" - the "Author's Note" by Barth indicates the various media through which a number of these stories can be conveyed.
Lost in the Funhouse was nominated for the National Book Award Barth would win the award for his next book, Chimera , in Among Barth's detractors, John Gardner wrote in On Moral Fiction that Barth's stories were immoral and fake, as they portrayed life as absurd.
Max F. Schulz has said that "Barth's mature career as a fabulist begins with Lost in the Funhouse ", and David Morrell called the story "Lost in the Funhouse" "the most important, progressive, trend-defining American short fiction of its decade". The protagonist takes a creative writing course at a school near Johns Hopkins, taught by a Professor Ambrose, who says he " is a character in and the object of the seminal 'Lost in the Funhouse'".
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. February John Barth. End of the Road. Categories : short story collections American short story collections Single-writer short story collections Postmodern books Metafictional works Works by John Barth Doubleday publisher books.
Lost in the Funhouse
John Barth is no doubt best known as a novelist, but his one collection of short stories, Lost in the Funhouse: Fiction for Print, Tape, Live Voice , is so startling in its virtuosity that Barth's place in the history of short fiction is also assured. In "Lost in the Funhouse" Ambrose travels to an amusement park on the Maryland shore with his parents, brother Peter, and Peter's girlfriend Magda. As the title suggests, Ambrose gets lost in the fun house. More important, by the end he realizes the direction he will henceforth take in reference to art—he will be a writer—and life, specifically in terms of sex and love. The tragic implications are felt through the realization that the choice between art and life of necessity excludes thereafter the one not chosen. Ambrose chooses art, but he does so reluctantly.
Lost in the Funhouse by John Barth, 1968
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book.
A Mind for Madness
Lost in the Funhouse is a short story collection by American author John Barth. The postmodern stories are extremely self-conscious and self-reflexive and are considered to exemplify metafiction. The book appeared the year after the publication of Barth's essay The Literature of Exhaustion , in which Barth said that the traditional modes of realistic fiction had been used up, but that this exhaustion itself could be used to inspire a new generation of writers, citing Nabokov , Beckett , and especially Borges as exemplars of this new approach. Lost in the Funhouse took these ideas to an extreme, for which it was both praised and condemned by critics.
The main protagonist is 13 year old Ambrose who gets lost in the funhouse — any discerning reader would not have to work hard to see how a story of a pubescent teenage boy in the company of an uninterested teenage girl could find himself, both literally and metaphorically, lost in the funhouse. However, considered alongside the theories I have discussed on this website, another layer of interpretative reading materialises that, I believe, secures Barths postmodern presence within a much wider contextual standing. But he has. Then he wishes he were dead. In a metaphorical mirror-room, the reader is presented with the same old familiar vision, an arbitrary intermediary that the author and reader fruitlessly partake in. His first-person narrative voice disregards the already-established third person omniscient narrator and thus, unnerves the readers preconceived notions of how a story should told within a text.