Forty Stories

Forty Stories

by Donald Barthelme


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William H. Gass has written of Donald Barthelme that "he has permanently enlarged our perception of the possibilities open to short fiction." In Forty Stories, the companion volume to Sixty Stories, we encounter a dazzling array of subjects: Paul Klee, Goethe, Captain Blood, modern courtship, marriage and divorce, armadillos, and other unique Barthelmean flights of fancy. These pithy, brilliantly acerbic pieces tangle with the ludicrous, pose questions that remain unresolved, and challenge familiar bits of language heretofore unexamined. Forty Stories demonstrates Barthelme's unrivaled ability to surprise, to stimulate, and to explore.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399132995
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/01/1987
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 9.34(w) x 6.32(h) x 1.09(d)

About the Author

Donald Barthelme (1931-1989) published twelve books, including two novels and a prize-winning children's book. He was a regular contributor to the New Yorker and taught creative writing at the University of Houston. In his career, he won a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Book Award, and a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award, among others.

Table of Contents

Forty StoriesIntroduction by Dave Eggers

On the Deck
The Genius
The Explanation
Concerning the Bodyguard
The Palace at Four A.M.
Conversations with Goethe
The New Owner
Paul Klee
The Educational Experience
The Wound
At the Tolstoy Museum
The Flight of Pigeons from the Palace
A Few Moments of Sleeping and Waking
The Temptation os St. Anthony
Some of Us Had Been Threatening Our Friends
The Catechist
Porcupines at the University
Captain Blood
110 West Sixty-First Street
The Film
Overnight to Many Distant Cities
Letters to the Editore
Great Days
The Baby

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

...a voice that remains uniquely rewarding and often sounds ageless. (The New York Times Book Review)

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Forty Stories 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
wirkman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great collection of witty stories by the great Barthelme, including "The Baby" and "Some of Us Had Been Threatening Our Friend Colby."
cpauthor More than 1 year ago
In literary history, certain figures stand out as people who not only wrote good books, but wrote books that expended the entire art form; authors who explored what others overlooked. Rabelais and Cervantes are a good example. Chekhov is another. Kafka of course. In the twentieth century, there's James Joyce and Jorge Luis Borges. Of all the authors though, it's Barthelme who's somehow the most overlooked. The man contributed tons of stories to The New Yorker over the years. He has another large collection of stories called Sixty Stories. That collection's darker, stranger, and more subversive than this one. This one's more whimsical and light.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago