Final Fridays

Final Fridays

by John Barth
     
 

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For decades, acclaimed author John Barth has strayed from his Monday-through-Thursday-morning routine of fiction-writing and dedicated Friday mornings to the muse of nonfiction. The result is Final Fridays, his third essay collection, following The Friday Book (1984) and Further Fridays (1995). Sixteen years and six novels since his last volume ofSee more details below

Overview

For decades, acclaimed author John Barth has strayed from his Monday-through-Thursday-morning routine of fiction-writing and dedicated Friday mornings to the muse of nonfiction. The result is Final Fridays, his third essay collection, following The Friday Book (1984) and Further Fridays (1995). Sixteen years and six novels since his last volume of non-fiction, Barth delivers yet another remarkable work comprised of 27 insightful essays.

With pieces covering everything from reading, writing, and the state of the art, to tributes to writer-friends and family members, this collection is witty and engaging throughout. Barth’s “unaffected love of learning” (San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle) and “joy in thinking that becomes contagious” (Washington Post), shine through in this third, and, with an implied question mark, final essay collection.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

In what the octogenarian Barth (Lost in the Funhouse) warns may be his last collection of nonfiction (and perhaps even his last book), the seminal postmodern novelist engages issues as diverse as colonial American history, Christian exegesis, and the rise of electronic literature. Though Barth's writing is as ebullient and welcoming as ever, his forays into history, science, and religion can seem scattered and amateurish at times (which Barth, to his credit, readily acknowledges). This collection truly shines, however, when Barth focuses on his true passions: the craft of literature and the authors he has spent a lifetime reading, rereading, and admiring. Whether writing about Calvino, Borges, Scheherazade, and Heller, Barth manages to capture the innovation and immediacy of his subject, offering perspectives that give just as much insight into Barth's own work as they do to his subject's. Barth's essays on writing are equally commanding, unsurprising given his long tenure as an instructor at the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. Reading his thoughts on the essence of story or the importance of dramaturgy, one feels the comforting authority of a master teacher. Whatever legacy Barth may leave as a novelist, this collection confirms his position as one of the most enthusiastic readers and most important novelist-teachers of 20th-century letters.
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From the Publisher

Praise for Final Fridays

"Barth's writing is as ebullient and welcoming as ever . . . This collection truly shines, however, when Barth focuses on his true passions: the craft of literature and the authors he has spent a lifetime reading, rereading, and admiring…Whatever legacy Barth may leave as a novelist, this collection confirms his position as one of the most enthusiastic readers and most important novelist-teachers of 20th-century letters."—Publishers Weekly

Praise for The Friday Book and Further Fridays

“There is no one else writing today who has the resources of Barth’s imagination.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A dilettante par excellence, Barth has read intelligently and indiscriminately enough to have something interesting to say at almost any time.” —Kirkus

“A reader leaves The Friday Book feeling intellectually fuller, verbally more adept, mentally stimulated, with algebra and fire of his own.” —The Washington Post

“The pieces brought together in The Friday Book reflect Mr. Barth’s witty, playful, and engaging personality . . . They are lively, sometimes casual, and often whimsical—a delight to the reader, whom Mr. Barth seems to be writing or speaking as a learned friend.” —The Kansas City Star

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781619020870
Publisher:
Counterpoint Press
Publication date:
04/10/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
809,247
File size:
1 MB

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