Wednesday, November 11, 2015

On "Lost in the Funhouse" by John Barth (about 9,100 words) *****

The best work from Barth's collection of the same name is a metafictional masterpiece. Barth essentially tells a story of a kid named Ambrose going to a funhouse, but in the process he also tells readers how he's writing the story or failing to. What we have is an instruction manual of sorts. "Character is built this way," Barth tells us, and then goes on to show us within the story. The result is something comic and instructive. Bring techniques to the fore, Barth still manages to keep the story compelling--perhaps because it is the way in which the writer himself begins to become lost in the "funhouse" as his character does. The parallel is sharply drawn--and amusingly. Read the story here.

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