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Re: Bartheco

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  • agrimorfee2000
    ... Eco and ... seem to like ... (Having only read Foucoault s Pendulum, mind you...) Both are funny and take their readers all over the literary map. Sense
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 6, 2001
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      --- In johnbarth@y..., Richard Stock <rstock00@y...> wrote:
      > My first thought is that there are very few similarities between
      Eco and
      > Barth. > But if there aren't that many similarities, then why do we
      seem to like
      > both of them?
      >
      > Rick

      (Having only read Foucoault's Pendulum, mind you...) Both are funny
      and take their readers all over the literary map. Sense of humor has
      been one of my main criteria for reading pleasure (possibly why I shy
      away from classics like Dostoevsky, the Brontes, etc.). What I mean
      by literary map is how they take you to places Reader has probably
      (sometimes gladly!) not inhabited before.
    • agrimorfee2000
      ... relative ... before. We ... have the ... folks think? Great idea, Mike! Who wants to do it? (time is short for me to jump on it right away).
      Message 2 of 10 , Dec 6, 2001
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        --- In johnbarth@y..., "Fenger, Mike R. (LNG-MBC)"
        >putting together book lists and
        > passing them around. Not so much for arguing about ranking or
        relative
        > merit, but more to turn folks on to works they hadn't heard of
        before. We
        > could certainly post the files at the group site as a resource. (I
        have the
        > file with my top 50 or 60, unlike a picture of myself.) What do
        folks think?

        Great idea, Mike! Who wants to do it? (time is short for me to jump
        on it right away).
      • Fenger, Mike R. (LNG-MBC)
        I ll post mine (looking at it, it s smaller than I remembered, 40-something) as a start. It s an excel file, I can convert it to a text file if folks would
        Message 3 of 10 , Dec 6, 2001
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          I'll post mine (looking at it, it's smaller than I remembered, 40-something)
          as a start. It's an excel file, I can convert it to a text file if folks
          would prefer.

          mike

          -----Original Message-----
          From: agrimorfee2000 [mailto:agrimorfee@...]
          Sent: Thursday, 06 December 2001 09:11
          To: johnbarth@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [johnbarth] Re: Bartheco


          --- In johnbarth@y..., "Fenger, Mike R. (LNG-MBC)"
          >putting together book lists and
          > passing them around. Not so much for arguing about ranking or
          relative
          > merit, but more to turn folks on to works they hadn't heard of
          before. We
          > could certainly post the files at the group site as a resource. (I
          have the
          > file with my top 50 or 60, unlike a picture of myself.) What do
          folks think?

          Great idea, Mike! Who wants to do it? (time is short for me to jump
          on it right away).



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        • J.M. Hall
          For me the common reason for liking both Barth and Eco is the way in which they foreground philosophical problems, albeit in different ways. I guess I am
          Message 4 of 10 , Dec 7, 2001
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            For me the common reason for liking both Barth and Eco is the way in which
            they foreground philosophical problems, albeit in different ways. I guess
            I am particularly interested in literature as a way of doing philosophy,
            while always resisting its own reduction to the status of philosophical
            treatise because it is after all literature. Because of this
            anti-philosophical impulse in literature I find novels which confront
            questions of identity, epistemology, the construction of meaning, etc.
            very engaging. They are not claiming to answer the philosophical problems
            they pose, but instead enjoy becoming entangled by them. They do seek to
            get beyond or behind presuppositions, which is, I guess, where varying
            degrees of metafiction come into play. (Incidentally, I take a broader
            view of metafiction than was proposed by ... (was it you Kris?). I see
            metafictional elements in Jane Austen, for example.)

            I am working on Barth and history at the moment so I was interested in
            your suggestion, Kris, that Eco's fiction is more interested in history
            (allow me to misrepresent your position in a most haphazard fashion - I
            think it was along those lines anyway). The more I have read of Barth the
            more surprised I have been at the pressure that history exerts on his
            fiction. I agree that it is different to Eco's sense of history. Barth's
            sense of history, I think, has a strong American flavour in that it places
            human agency at the centre of events. Not only is the historical record
            written, but history itself is written, that is, constructed. So, his
            history involves notions of guilt, culpability, responsibility, whereas
            Eco's is more an unfolding external to the will of individuals. (Haven't
            read Eco for a while so let me know if this is rubbish.)
            I'd value anyone's thoughts on Barth and history.

            Thanks for your indulgence in reading my indulgent epistle this far.
            Jonathan
          • markbrawner
            Splendid post, Mr Hall. I hope you will continue to contribute. I d respond to this one right now, but the clock is ticking on this silly machine I ve pumped
            Message 5 of 10 , Dec 8, 2001
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              Splendid post, Mr Hall. I hope you will continue to contribute. I'd
              respond to this one right now, but the clock is ticking on this silly
              machine I've pumped a dollar into.

              Til the next,
              Mark



              --- In johnbarth@y..., "J.M. Hall" <jmh69@h...> wrote:
              > For me the common reason for liking both Barth and Eco is the way
              in which
              > they foreground philosophical problems, albeit in different ways....
            • agrimorfee2000
              ... Having read the recent Coming Soon , I notice that JB has a somewhat different historicial view than previous. He seems to be listing historical events
              Message 6 of 10 , Dec 10, 2001
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                --- In johnbarth@y..., "J.M. Hall" <jmh69@h...> wrote:
                > I'd value anyone's thoughts on Barth and history.
                >
                Having read the recent "Coming Soon", I notice that JB has a somewhat
                different historicial view than previous. He seems to be listing
                historical events now as a harbinger of The End Times, Apocalypse, or
                The End, however you want to phrase it. Other times, though IMHO, the
                hitorical facts he lists have little bearing to the story at hand
                (Dave Edelman agrees with me on this: www.dave-
                edelman.com/barth/index.cfm), as when the Novelist Emeritus character
                (read as JB) concocts a timeline of recent events as a correspondence
                to the tale's events midway into the novel. JB does mention a few
                times the infidelities of Pres. Clinton as a corresponding event to a
                supposed/imaginary tryst amongst a few major characters (no spoilers
                of who, but the result is anticlimactic). You think to yourself, ok,
                interesting, but why?

                Perhaps JB just wanted to list what was distracting or distressing
                him while trying to get the book done.
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