from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Barthelme, Donald 1931-1989. American writer whose sometimes surrealistic stories of modern American life have been published in collections such as Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts (1968).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. United States author of sometimes surrealistic stories (1931-1989)


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • You could go to a writer's conference at a place like Antioch College and hear genre writers mispronounce the name Barthelme, mock minimalism, plead for plot.

    What's Eating William Gass?

  • One reviewer called Barthelme's literary terrain "the cratered landscape of the broken heart."

    Powell's Books: Overview

  • Barthelme played in the Batman sandbox shortly after Roy Lichtenstein started adapting comic-book panels into his fine art, when such appropriation was so novel and brazen that it had to be originality rather than the opposite.

    “Robin, who was supposed to be at Andover,...”

  • But I note that Barthelme wrote this tale when his younger brother Frederick was still in his teens.

    “Robin, who was supposed to be at Andover,...”

  • "The Joker's Greatest Triumph" appeared in Come Back, Dr. Caligari, the first short-story collection from Donald Barthelme, subject of a laudatory new biography.

    “Robin, who was supposed to be at Andover,...”

  • I'm certain that most younger experimental writers similarly look to the past for innovative touchstones, including the work of Barth, Barthelme, and Coover.

    Experimental Fiction

  • The postmodern comedy in the work of Pynchon or Barth or Barthelme doesn't seek to "correct" behaviors and institutions that threaten individual autonomy or impede social progress; it portrays such threats and obstructions as inherent to human life and thus unfortunately not much subject to amelioration.

    The Reading Experience

  • I would agree with Josh that such a "skeptical stance" is what motivated the greatest of the postmodernists (although his list leaves out perhaps the most thoroughgoingly skeptical of the postmodernists, writers such as Gilbert Sorrentino or Donald Barthelme), but such skepticism was not intended to destroy literature but to enhance it, to open up the possibilities for "aesthetic impact," not to deny the validity of the aesthetic.

    Saying Something

  • But this only makes it more important that writers like Robbe-Grillet or Donald Barthelme or Gilbert Sorrentino emerge to point out that such techniques have become hidebound and to offer fresh alternatives.

    Experimental Fiction

  • As my friend Paul Allman reminded us in his excellent play about Dan Rather, ambition, weather, and Donald Barthelme, I beg of all of you to consider:



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.