Why “The Balloon” is the strangest, yet most intriguing short story of the post world war II era. Complete summary of Donald Barthelme’s The Balloon. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Balloon. Dive deep into Donald Barthelme’s The Balloon with extended analysis, commentary, and discussion.

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The fiction of Donald Barthelme required a major readjustment for readers who came to it accustomed to the leisurely linear story line of the traditional novel or the conventional short story. A cute little whimsical short story about authorial intention, and the purpose and meaning of art. Jul 17, Tash rated it it was amazing. M Forster 1 E. donnald

Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. Sep 19, Simon rated it it was ok Shelves: These very characteristics, batthelme course, placed Barthelme with such writers as Robert Coover, William H. The participant or viewer then becomes an artist who constructs or manipulates whatever responses the balloon elicits.

Consequently, some of Barthelme’s pieces insist that the reader have a ballkon knowledge of contemporary philosophic thought albeit philosophic thought that has become cheapened by public chatwhile others are based on popular culture.

Although he continued to take classes untilhe never received a degree. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. The speaker, however, warns: Derek Minno-Bloom rated it liked it Sep 26, Brady Quarles rated it it was ok Sep 24, For Barthelme, the problem of language is the problem of reality, for reality is the result of language processes. Newer Post Older Post Home. Postmodern, lyrical and light, as light as a very large feather our tale begins with a narrator telling us he engineered a balloon expanding twenty city blocks nor A memorable postmodern, metafictional snapper straight from the outrageous imagination of Donald Barthelme.


Either I am lax in my attention to the literary genre I have devoted my life to studying, or else the literary lines of communication betw And, also, can be located via a Google search.

Patrick’s Day 1 St. This was a gentle and almost convincing glimpse into another person’s opinion.

Refresh and try again. The short story as a genre has always been more likely to lay bare its fictionality than badthelme novel, which has traditionally tried to cover it up.

The Balloon

Henry Prize stories part 1 1 O. The basic fictional issue overshadowing the work of Donald Barthelme is this: Because they are satires, many of the stories are based not on the lives of individuals but on the means by which that abstraction called society or the public is manipulated.

What he illustrates is how form is only form rather than meaning. Barthelme is not really interested in the personal lives of his characters; in fact, few seem to have personal lives. For instance, with his usual satire on the experts and wordplay on “inflation” he writes: Short Story Month barthe,me It was agreed that since the meaning of the balloon could never be known absolutely, extended discussion was pointless, or at least less purposeful than the activities of those who, for example, hung green donakd blue paper lanterns from the warm gray underside, in certain streets, or seized the occasion to write messages on the surface, announcing their availability for the performance of unnatural acts, or the availability barthelmee acquaintances.


Furthermore, he is not so much interested in art that serves merely to reflect or imitate the world outside itself as he is concerned to create art works which are interesting in and for themselves.

The Balloon by Donald Barthelme

Open Preview See a Problem? If reality is itself a process of fictional creation by metaphor-making man, then the modern writer who wishes to write about reality can truthfully only write about that very process.

No trivia or quizzes yet. The persona of the story says that it is wrong to speak of “situations, implying sets of circumstances leading to some resolution, some escape of tension. For seven or so pages the speaker describes the balloon and the numerous reactions to it.

First the balloon is the emblem or externalized symbol of what the speaker—not Barthelme—is feeling, and this is totally personal to the speaker. Reading Alice Balkoon “Family Furnishings”. Hence one must know — this is a fundamental presupposition, presupposing what is fundamental — how to determine the intrinsic — what is framed — and know what one is excluding as frame and outside-the-frame.

But since the balloon could be baalloon removed nor destroyed one night, in secret, city officials tried but failed and a public warmth arose for the balloon from the ordinary citizen, the balloon became a city landmark. Shauna rated it liked it Aug 21, Reading Alice Munro’s “Floating Bridge”.