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Why “The Balloon” is the strangest, yet most intriguing short story of the post world war II era. Complete summary of Donald Barthelme’s The Balloon. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Balloon. Dive deep into Donald Barthelme’s The Balloon with extended analysis, commentary, and discussion.

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Amelia rated it liked it Aug 17, New Yorker, June 27, To plunge into a Barthelme story barthellme to immerse oneself in the flotsam and jetsam of contemporary society, for his stories are not so much plotted tales as they are parodies and satires based on the public junk and commercial media hype that clutter up and cover over our private lives. This book is not yet featured on Listopia.

The Balloon by Donald Barthelme, |

Temporal Form in the Short Story 1 St. In other words, the meaning of the balloon is that the balloon has no meaning. Caligari appeared inhis short fiction was both much complained about and much imitated.

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It was agreed that since the meaning of the balloon could never be known absolutely, extended discussion was pointless, or at least less purposeful than the activities of those who, for example, hung green and blue paper lanterns from the warm gray underside, in certain streets, or seized the occasion to write messages on barthe,me surface, announcing their availability for the performance of unnatural acts, or the availability of acquaintances.

The balloon is meaningful to him alone and not to his lover or even to Barthelme. These then inevitably color the reader’s experience. Alice Herondale rated it liked it Feb 06, Henry Award Stories 2 O. But because the nameless balloon is merely suspended, for 22 days, it is treated as a situation. Donald Barthelme barthelke born to two students at the University of Pennsylvania. M Forster 1 E. But since the balloon could be neither removed nor destroyed one night, in secret, city officials tried but failed and a public warmth arose for the balloon from the ordinary citizen, the balloon became a city landmark.

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To study fiction then is to study the processes by which reality itself is created. Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia. Sure, kids can run, jump, slide and bounce on the thing but why the hell is it there in the first place?

Reading the Short Story: Donald Barthelme, “The Balloon”– Short Story Month —Day 24

First the balloon is the emblem or externalized symbol of what the speaker—not Barthelme—is feeling, and this is totally personal to the speaker.

Want to Read saving…. The barthellme or viewer then becomes an artist who constructs or manipulates whatever responses the balloon elicits. Subjects Discussed on Reading the Short Story. In the end most people cope with the balloon pragmatically, and it becomes a meeting place. Such a state—a state of the unknowable, the unclassifiable, the mysterious—evokes a variety of responses. Apr 02, Kest Schwartzman rated it it was amazing.

Modern Language Association http: Barthelme was drafted into the Korean War inarriving Donald Barthelme was born to two students at the University of Pennsylvania.

If you are interested in my comments on that collection, see my posts in April when the book was featured in Dublin’s “One City, One Book. Reading Alice Munro’s “What is Remembered”. The audience thinks about the Balloon. Join me on Twitter Follow CharlesCmay. These very characteristics, of course, placed Barthelme with such writers as Robert Coover, William H.

The balloon can also ballpon seen as both literally and figuratively removed from life; it is a balloon both as metaphor and as concrete or imagined reality.

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The narrator gives it only the most general sexual significance, and both the reader and Barthelme remain in the dark as to its precise significance. Finally the balloon, like the story, like all words, and like life, expands and connects, and in its state of infinite movement it elicits or means as many things as one can attribute to it. Once back, he continued his studies at the University of Houston, studying philosophy. For seven or so pages the speaker describes the balloon and the numerous reactions to it.

Posted by Charles May at 8: The entire collection deals with a number of specific subjects, including the relationship between war and mechanized society; the donlad for meaning in politics, art, science, and personal relationships; the privacy of love; and the failure of language. What is constructed according to a logic of ends and means is deconstructed when it comes into contact with the outermost edge.

The Balloon

When I was teaching the short story, I prepared for each class thoroughly, taking more notes than necessary to help me remember the most im Want to Read Currently Reading Read. The speaker, however, warns: Reading Alice Munro’s “Floating Bridge”.

Indu Muralidharan rated it it was amazing Nov 13, Instill a student, he wrote his first articles for the Houston Post.

I will let you know when I hear from them. Open Preview See a Problem? On close reading and rereading which most of Barthelme’s fictions demandit becomes clear that from the beginning the balloon—like one’s story, or one’s words, or one’s comprehension of life—has been controlled by the speaker.