“There’s nothing more rewarding than a fresh set of problems,” Barthelme commented in a 1987 interview. He both celebrated and despaired of them, and his work essentially represents an ongoing investigation into problematic relationships – between the conflicting sides of the self; men and women; races and societies; competing ideologies; nature and technology; high and low culture; language and meaning – and a sustained attempt to carry out this investigation in an original, meaningful way.

Chris Power on Donald Barthelme


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