Treating the Fiction of Forms: Metafiction in John Barth
International Journal of Literature and Arts
Volume 2, Issue 1, January 2014, Pages: 1-5
Received: Dec. 5, 2013; Published: Jan. 10, 2014
Views 2807      Downloads 239
Author
Goetz Egloff, Coeditor, Yearbook of Psychohistorical Research, Heidelberg, Germany; Practice for Psychoanalysis, Mannheim, affil, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
Article Tools
PDF
Follow on us
Abstract
The essay depicts John Barth´s sophisticated dealing with the fiction of forms. By referring to short stories from his 1968 collection Lost in the Funhouse, and especially to “Life-Story”, Barth´s approach of creating metafiction as response to supposedly exhausted literary topics is highlighted. Fiction, consisting of forms as equivalent of existence in being, and consisting of thoughts as equivalent of essence in being, cannot basically change until essence in being itself will change. As forms will only repeat again and again, Barth challenges the reader by having him witness the demanding process of creating a work of art. Varying the kuenstlerroman, he anticipates identity issues of subsequent decades as well as issues of being and art.
Keywords
John Barth, Metafiction, Fiction of Forms, Essence, Existence, Short Story
To cite this article
Goetz Egloff, Treating the Fiction of Forms: Metafiction in John Barth, International Journal of Literature and Arts. Vol. 2, No. 1, 2014, pp. 1-5. doi: 10.11648/j.ijla.20140201.11
References
[1]
Goeller KH, Hoffmann G (1972). Die amerikanische Kurzgeschichte. Duesseldorf: Bagel, pp. 16-20.
[2]
loc. cit.
[3]
Kostelanetz R (1972). Notes on the American Short Story today. In: Bungert H (ed.). Die amerikanische Short Story. Theorie und Entwicklung. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, p. 355.
[4]
Kostelanetz, p. 359.
[5]
Kostelanetz, p. 362.
[6]
loc. cit.
[7]
Scholes R (1979). Fabulation and Metafiction. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, p. 106.
[8]
loc. cit.
[9]
Scholes, p. 108.
[10]
loc. cit.
[11]
Scholes, p. 109.
[12]
Barth J (1968/1989). "Life-Story" In: The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 2. Ed. by Nina Baym, Ronald Gottesman, Laurence B. Holland, David Kalstone, Francis Murphy, Hershel Parker, William H. Pritchard, Patricia B. Wallace. New York: Norton, pp. 2144-2152.
[13]
Barth, p. 2146.
[14]
Barth, p. 2145.
[15]
Ziegler H (1987). John Barth. London/New York: Methuen, p. 16.
[16]
Barth, p. 2145.
[17]
Arlart U (1984). "Exhaustion" und "Replenishment": Die Fiktion in der Fiktion bei John Barth. Heidelberg: Carl Winter, p. 26.
[18]
Barth, p. 2148.
[19]
Robbe-Grillet A (1963). Pour un nouveau roman. Paris: Edition de minuit, p. 15-23. Cp. Arlart, p. 26.
[20]
Cp. Schaefer T. (2009). Positionen literarischer Dekonstruktion. Paul deMan und Jacques Derrida. Marburg: Tectum.
[21]
Ricardou J (1967). Problèmes du nouveau roman. Paris: Editions du seuil, p. 61, p. 184. Cp. Arlart, p. 26.
[22]
Cp. Egloff G (2010). Bret Easton Ellis: Die Krise des Virtuellen – das Virtuelle der Krise. Literarischer Abgesang auf den Konsumkapitalismus der Jahrtausendwende. In: Nielsen B, Kurth W, Reiss HJ, Egloff G (eds.). Psychohistorie der Krise. Heidelberg: Mattes, pp. 151-170; cp. Egloff G (2001). Der einsame Beobachter bei Fitzgerald, Salinger und Ellis. Individuum und Gesellschaft im US-amerikanischen Roman des 20. Jahrhunderts. Marburg: Tectum.
[23]
Barth, p. 2147.
[24]
loc. cit.
[25]
loc. cit.
[26]
loc. cit.
[27]
loc. cit.
[28]
loc. cit.
[29]
loc. cit.
[30]
Ziegler, p. 49.
[31]
loc. cit.
[32]
Barth, p. 2150.
[33]
loc. cit.
[34]
loc. cit.
[35]
loc. cit.
[36]
Barth J (1968/1988). "Title" In: Lost in the Funhouse. Fiction for print, tape, live voice. Garden City/New York: Anchor/Doubleday, pp. 105-113.
[37]
Barth, p. 111.
[38]
loc. cit.
[39]
Arlart, p. 47.
[40]
Barth, p. 113.
[41]
Cp. Arlart, 47.
[42]
Barth J (1968/1988). "Lost in the Funhouse" In: Lost in the Funhouse. Fiction for print, tape, live voice. Garden City/New York: Anchor/Doubleday, pp. 72-97.
[43]
Barth, p. 72.
[44]
Barth J (1968/1988). "Water-Message" In: Lost in the Funhouse. Fiction for print, tape, live voice. Garden City/New York: Anchor/Doubleday, pp. 40-57.
[45]
Barth, p. 56.
[46]
Barth J (1968/1988). "Menelaiad" In: Lost in the Funhouse. Fiction for print, tape, live voice. Garden City/New York: Anchor/Doubleday, pp. 130-167.
[47]
Barth, p. 94.
[48]
Scholes, p. 107.
[49]
Schaefer T. (2009). Positionen literarischer Dekonstruktion. Paul deMan und Jacques Derrida. Marburg: Tectum, p. 87.
ADDRESS
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
U.S.A.
Tel: (001)347-983-5186