Category Archives: donald barthelme

Is That Enough Daugherty/Barthelme For You?

One of my favorite reviews this issue if John Lingan’s in-depth look at Donald Barthelme via Tracey Daugherty’s recent bio, Hiding Man.

John has also published an interview with Daugherty at Splice Today. If you’ve been following this bio, definitely check out the interview:

ST: The Quarterly Conversation, the online magazine where my review of your book will appear, published an essay last year about the odd republication of Don’s short fiction—in volumes, published decades apart, that jettison the stories’ original order and chronology. You mentioned your concern about his work going out of print, so tell me how you feel about the way in which Don’s work is currently preserved. Would you change anything, like, say, republishing the original collections? Are you aware of any plans for that to happen?

TD: I believe there was some talk, years ago, of trying to get a Library of America collection of Don’s fiction into print-chronologically, the way it first appeared. My understanding is that Edwarch Hirsch and Susan Sontag tried to make this happen, and I’m not sure why it didn’t go forward. It’s badly needed—as is, I believe, an annotated edition of some of Don’s stories. I don’t think there’s anything shameful in the fact that the literature of one era becomes the historical documents of the next, requiring explanation and annotation: this is one of the ways culture gets passed on and pushed forward. But it does need to be done with some sense of context.


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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