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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Each is another level of donalld, a description of experience, clarifying the one before. Words, he seems to conclude, are our only connection with the inner and outer worlds, but they are seductive in making us believe we can traverse the gap between question and knowledge. Subjects Discussed on Reading the Short Story. I found this adorable, although I do get frustrated when people have conceptions of art that are bartehlme to mine, and this is one of those times.

The Balloon

Mar 30, Lea Dokter rated it it bqlloon ok. Want to Read saving…. A memorable postmodern, metafictional snapper straight from the outrageous imagination of Donald Barthelme. One of Barthelme’s richest stories from this volume is “The Balloon. For Barthelme, the problem of language is the problem of reality, for reality is the result of language processes.

Barthelme’s independence also shows in his moving away from the family’s Roman Catholicism his mother was especially devouta separation that troubled Barthelme throughout his life as did the distance with his father.

Henry Prize Stories 2 O. The problem of words, Barthelme realizes, is that so much contemporary language is used up, has become trash, dreck. Sure, kids can run, jump, slide and bounce on the thing but why the hell is it there in the first place? Short Story Month These very characteristics, of course, placed Barthelme with such writers as Robert Coover, William H.


Thus, initially, the apparent purposelessness of the balloon proved vexing for all the hardheaded city officers and municipal officials.

The participant or viewer then becomes an artist who constructs or manipulates whatever responses the balloon elicits. It was agreed that since the meaning of the balloon could never be known absolutely, extended discussion was pointless, or at least barthelmd purposeful than the activities of those who, for example, hung green and 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 of acquaintances.

The Balloon by Donald Barthelme, |

Gass notes that the fiction writer now better understands his medium; he is “ceasing to pretend that his business is to render the world; he knows, more often now, that his business is to make one, and barhelme make one from the only medium of which he is master–language. Indu Muralidharan rated it it was amazing Nov 13, The basic fictional issue overshadowing the work of Donald Barthelme is this: About Me Charles May.

Newer Post Older Post Home. Is it all What is the Balloon, why is it here?

Also I just really love the balloon as a choice of metaphor or I suppose this could be seen as a literal art piece within a piece of fiction as wellit just brings such, sorry for repeating myself, soft whimsy to something that could otherwise be made into something complicated and dense. The most basic example of Barthelme’s use of this mode is “The Balloon,” the premise of which is that a large balloon has encompassed the city.


Best American Short Stories Simon Kempe rated it really liked it Apr 23, Preview — The Balloon by Donald Barthelme. And, also, can be located via a Google search. Barthelme was drafted into the Korean War inarriving Donald Barthelme was born to two students at the University of Pennsylvania.

Temporal Form in the Short Story 1 St. Rather, he wishes to present modern men and women as the products of the media and the language that surround them. What does it mean and what is its purpose?

The point of collage, he notes, is that “unlike things are stuck together to make, in the best case, a new reality. Short Story 2 Novella 2 novella as a form 1 Novels vs.

Reading the Short Story: Donald Barthelme, “The Balloon”– Short Story Month —Day 24

It’s an itself, if it’s successful. As Barthelme puts it, “marginal intersections offered entrances. He admits at the start: In other words, the meaning of the balloon is that the balloon has no meaning. Jul 17, Tash doonald it it was amazing. Thank you for continuing to read essays in my archives.