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Barthelme

Barthelme

[bahr-thuhl-mey, ‐tl-mee]
Barthelme, Donald, 1931-89, American writer, b. Philadelphia. The son of an architect, he grew up in Texas, moved (1962) to New York City, worked as a curator and an editor, and taught creative writing at several universities. In his short stories and novels, Barthelme describes a world so unreal that traditional modes of fiction can no longer encompass it. His stories are frequently literary collages, employing advertising jargon, bits of text from other writers' works, counterfeit footnotes, recondite allusions, and various typographical and narrative extravagances to fit his own private and ironic vision of an absurd reality. Barthelme's works include the novels Snow White (1967) and The Dead Father (1975); the short-story collections Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts (1968), City Life (1970), Sadness (1972), Great Days (1979), and Sixty Stories (1981); a collection of nonfiction pieces, Guilty Pleasures (1974); and a children's book (1971).

See biography by T. Daugherty (2009); memoirs by his brothers F. and S. Barthelme (1999) and his ex-wife H. M. Barthelme (2001); studies by L. Gordon (1981), W. B. Stengel (1985), S. Trachtenberg (1990), R. F. Patteson, ed. (1992), B. L. Roe (1992), and M. T. Hudgens (2001).

(born April 7, 1931, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.—died July 23, 1989, Houston, Texas) U.S. writer. Barthelme worked as a journalist, journal editor, and museum director before his fiction began to be published. He is known for modernist “collages” marked by technical experimentation and melancholy gaiety. His story collections include Come Back, Dr. Caligari (1964), City Life (1970), Sixty Stories (1981), and Overnight to Many Distant Cities (1983); his novels include Snow White (1967), The Dead Father (1975), Paradise (1986), and The King (1990). His brother Frederick (b. 1943) is also a novelist (Second Marriage, 1984) and short-story writer (Moon Deluxe, 1983).

Learn more about Barthelme, Donald with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born April 7, 1931, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.—died July 23, 1989, Houston, Texas) U.S. writer. Barthelme worked as a journalist, journal editor, and museum director before his fiction began to be published. He is known for modernist “collages” marked by technical experimentation and melancholy gaiety. His story collections include Come Back, Dr. Caligari (1964), City Life (1970), Sixty Stories (1981), and Overnight to Many Distant Cities (1983); his novels include Snow White (1967), The Dead Father (1975), Paradise (1986), and The King (1990). His brother Frederick (b. 1943) is also a novelist (Second Marriage, 1984) and short-story writer (Moon Deluxe, 1983).

Learn more about Barthelme, Donald with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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