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Writing Techniques in The Barnum Museum

This Study Guide consists of approximately 12 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Barnum Museum.
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As he tells his stories, Millhauser is commenting on the writing process itself. This use of metafiction and intertexruality is present in much of The Barnum Museum. The use of the movie theater, the museum (and the museum-as-circus), the labyrinth, the magic show—all are used as metaphors for the creative process and for writing.

Millhauser's process is most transparent when he is rewriting other texts. He does this in "The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad," "Klassik Komix #1," and "Alice, Falling."

"The Eighth Voyage of Sinbad" reworks the Sinbad story in three texts threaded together simultaneously. The first text is the tale told in the third person, a lush story of adventure and romance. The second text is a scholarly gloss on the story, providing a textual study and possible interpretations, placing the story in literary history. The third text is told in the first person, from...

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This section contains 295 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Barnum Museum Short Guide
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