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.

Author: Bralmaran Dugar
Country: Guyana
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Health and Food
Published (Last): 11 February 2016
Pages: 112
PDF File Size: 11.46 Mb
ePub File Size: 17.62 Mb
ISBN: 152-7-67191-479-5
Downloads: 60291
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Zulukazahn

The basic fictional issue overshadowing the work of Donald Barthelme is this: Donald Barthelme’s brothers Frederick – and Steven are also respected fiction writers and teachers at The University of Southern Mississippi. Short Story Month Amelia rated it liked it Aug 17, 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. The audience thinks about the Balloon.

The Balloon

All, however, “interpret” it according to their own frames of reference, and Barthelme has a heyday tracing the gamut of responses. Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. Finally the balloon, like the story, like all bartehlme, 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. These then inevitably color the reader’s experience.

The Balloon by Donald Barthelme, |

Evan A rated it really liked it Jul 12, But Barthelme has done this without any fixed, definable material behind his structure. Eliot, frustrated conventional expectations about the cause-and-effect nature of plot and the “as-if-real” nature of characterthen postmodernism pushes this movement even further so that contemporary fiction is less and less about objective reality and more and more about its own creative processes.


What is constructed according to a logic of ends and means is deconstructed when it comes into contact with the outermost edge.

The Balloon does and is all of these things, and is the result of what, a trivial fight between two people? Henry Award Stories 1 O. Patrick’s Bqrthelme 1 St.

Readers schooled in the realistic tradition of the nineteenth-century novel found Donald Barthelme tough reading indeed. Barthelme was drafted into the Korean War inarriving in Korea bartthelme July 27, the very day the cease-fire ending the war was signed. Thoughts on reading and studying the short story by a guy who’s read and written about a lot of short stories.

The persona of the story says that it is wrong to speak of “situations, implying sets of circumstances baarthelme to some resolution, some escape of tension. Jul 17, Tash rated it it was amazing.

As Barthelme puts it, “marginal intersections offered entrances. 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. The story is simple, yet brings the mind across all manners of thinking and wondering.

Although we discover at the end that the balloon is the objectification of something personal to the speaker, we odnald that because the speaker’s feelings must be objectified in images and language, it is removed from life and cut free of meaning. To paraphrase Barthelme, it offers the possibility and the process of interpretation, where at “any intersection” one can react in any number of ways.


Each is another level of metaphor, a description of experience, clarifying the one before. Posted by Charles May at 8: The primary effect of this mode of thought on contemporary fiction is that the story has a tendency to loosen its illusion of reality to explore the reality of its illusion. I liked it o Shauna rated it liked it Aug 21, Joyce defines the dramatic artist as standing totally aloof from his creation and “paring his finger-nails.

The underlying assumption is that the forms of art are explainable by the laws of art; literary language is not a proxy for something else, but rather an object of study itself. Henry Prize stories part 1 1 O.

The Balloon by Donald Barthelme

Yeah, yeah, yeah, but what is the purpose? While in many ways his father was avant-garde in art and aesthetics, he did not approve of the post-modern and deconstruction schools. Barthelme has noted that if photography forced painters to reinvent painting, then films have forced fiction writers to reinvent fiction. Barthelme’s independence also shows in his moving away from the family’s Roman Catholicism his mother was especially devouta separation that troubled Barthelme throughout his life as did the distance with his father.