Donald Barthelme | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 39 pages of analysis & critique of Donald Barthelme.
This section contains 9,867 words
(approx. 33 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Lois Gordon

SOURCE: Gordon, Lois. “Come Back, Dr. Caligari.” In Donald Barthelme, pp. 35-61. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1981.

In the following essay, Gordon surveys the dominant thematic concerns of Barthelme's first short story collection, Come Back, Dr. Caligari.

The first collection introduces many of Barthelme's themes and landscapes, most prominently the spiritually weary, contemporary world, brainwashed by popular culture and the media (“Viennese Opera Ball”), a society of people looking for “the right words” (“Florence Green”) and specific scripts with which to duplicate an identity (“For I'm the Boy,” “Big Broadcast,” “Hiding Man,” “Margins”). The theme of failed marriage recurs (“To London and Rome,” “Broadcast,” “For I'm the Boy,” “Will You Tell Me?” “Piano Player”). Another subject, which Barthelme will pursue, is the problem of using words, because “signs” sometimes “lie” (the remarkable “Me and Miss Mandible”). The artist as subject, in his personal and professional life, is the focus of...

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This section contains 9,867 words
(approx. 33 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Lois Gordon
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Critical Essay by Lois Gordon from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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