Snow White

Snow White

by Donald Barthelme


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An inventive, satiric modern retelling of the classic fairy tale provides an incisive and biting commentary on the absurdities and complexities of modern life.

In Snow White, Donald Barthelme subjects the traditional fairy tale to postmodern aesthetics. In the novel, the seven dwarves are men who live communally with Snow White and earn a living by washing buildings and making Chinese baby food. Snow White quotes Mao and the dwarves grapple with low self-esteem in this raucous retelling of the classic tale.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780684824796
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 05/30/1996
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Donald Barthelme (April 7, 1931 – July 23, 1989) was an American author known for his playful, postmodernist style of short fiction. Barthelme also worked as a newspaper reporter for the Houston Post, was managing editor of Location magazine, director of the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston (1961–1962), co-founder of Fiction (with Mark Mirsky and the assistance of Max and Marianne Frisch), and a professor at various universities. He also was one of the original founders of the University of Houston Creative Writing Program.

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Snow White 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
bezoar44 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Much of this novel went straight over my head - my problem, not the book's - but Barthelme's Snow White is such a reflection of the era of its creation that, as time goes by, the wordplay and allusions have become increasingly obscure. At publication, the writing must have seemed intensely colorful, and often sharply funny. I would gladly read an annotated edition.From what I could absorb, this book transplants Snow White and her associated characters into a post-Freudian, post-Jungian world -- or, tighter than that, into a mishmash of early 1960s intellectualism and consumer pop culture. It's a mind game, not exactly emotionally shallow, but the emotions are conveyed through bits and pieces of tone in the writing - an ironic passage, a bored passage, an angsty passage - sort of the way that, in an impressionist painting, the mood is conveyed through dabs of color rather than through the formal depiction of a scene or character. Thus, the emotional impact of the book stems from the direct experience of reading rather than from absorbing the plot or content of the book. Indeed, Barthelme's Snow White doesn't have developed characters in a traditional sense, certainly not characters that invite empathy or appear to have their own internal lives. This style of writing is risky - the author has to be pitch perfect most of the time - which is easier to do in shorter bursts, like short stories -- but I'm glad to have encountered this experiment.
t1bnotown on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't think I'd put a fairy tale on here (my read but not owned list), but this one was just awful so I'm going to trade it. Basically, we've got a semi based on Snow White and other fairy tales highly sexual societal critique. The main problem with this is that it gets so abstract that it becomes meaningless. I think that really good fairy tale retellings critique by following the tale and deviating in important ways. This one was just like the author spit out a bunch of words almost at random. Occasionally there's meaning, but my favorite part was honestly the quiz in the middle that some previous owner of the book filled out. "Do you like the story so far? Yes ( ) No (x)"
the_terrible_trivium on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Little one to two page flashes of what might pass for story all strung together and called a novel. Snow White and dwarves and princes and other folks. They do things. Or they don't. Grooviness ensues. Thumbs up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago