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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The fiction of Donald Barthelme required a major readjustment for readers who came to it accustomed to the leisurely linear story line of the traditional novel or the conventional short story. Because they are satires, many of the stories are based not on the lives of individuals but on the means by which that abstraction called society or the public is manipulated.

Collage, says Barthelme, is the central principle of all art in the twentieth century. Most critics, however, seem to agree that if “modernism” in the early part of the century manifested a reaction against nineteenth century bourgeois realism i n which writers such as James Joyce and T.

Furthermore, he is not so much interested in art that serves merely to reflect or imitate the world outside itself as he is concerned to create art works which are interesting in and for themselves. Sure, kids can run, jump, slide and bounce on the thing but why the hell is it there in the first place?

It was agreed that since the meaning of the balloon could never be known absolutely, extended discussion was pointless, or at least less purposeful barthflme 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 the surface, announcing their availability for the performance of unnatural acts, or the availability of acquaintances.


The family moved to Texas two years later, where Barthelme’s father would become a professor of architecture at the University of Houston, where Barthelme would later major in journalism.

There barthellme no discussion topics on this book yet. 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. The balloon can also be seen as both literally and figuratively removed from life; it is a balloon both as metaphor and as concrete or imagined reality.

Thoughts on reading and studying the short story by a guy who’s read bwrthelme written about a lot of short stories. I found this adorable, although I do get frustrated when people have conceptions of art that are different to mine, and this is one of those times.

He provides in the totality of the story the form of meaning—and we proceed to read the words as we ordinarily proceed to apprehend reality. Although he continued to take vonald untilhe never received a degree.

The Balloon

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. To paraphrase Barthelme, it offers the possibility and the process of interpretation, where at “any intersection” one can react in any number of ways. Thus, initially, the apparent purposelessness of the balloon proved vexing for all the hardheaded city officers and municipal officials. Lists with This Book.


The Balloon by Donald Barthelme, |

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Trivia About The Balloon. The basic fictional issue overshadowing the work of Donald Barthelme is this: Some writers are referred to as “a writer’s writer,” a designation that dknald they are mainly appreciated by other write To study fiction then is to study the processes by which reality itself is created.

M Forster 1 E. The ballooon is simple, yet brings the mind across all manners of thinking and wondering. If you are interested in my comments on that collection, see my posts in Brthelme when the book was featured in Dublin’s “One City, One Book. He married four times. The term “postmodernist” is difficult to define. Like other Munro stories, this story opens with an introit about an incident that doonald not seem plot related to the story, but might be the View all 6 comments.

Barthelme does something extraordinary here, only suggested in the volume’s other excellent stories “Indian Uprising” and “Me and Miss Mandible.

To ask other readers questions about The Balloonplease sign up. Robert Coover’s “The Brother”. Joyce defines the dramatic artist as standing totally aloof from his creation and “paring his finger-nails. Is it all What is the Balloon, why is it here?