Barth, John


Barth, John
orig. John Simmons Barth, Jr.

born May 27, 1930, Cambridge, Md., U.S.

U.S. writer.

Barth grew up on Maryland's eastern shore, the locale of much of his writing, and from 1953 he taught principally at Johns Hopkins University. Apart from the experimental pieces in Lost in the Funhouse (1968), his best-known works are the novels The Floating Opera (1956), The End of the Road (1958), The Sot-Weed Factor (1960), Giles Goat-Boy (1966), and The Tidewater Tales (1987), most of which play with and parody traditional narrative forms, combining philosophical depth with biting satire and boisterous, often bawdy humour. In 2001 he published the experimental novel Coming Soon!!!: A Narrative, which was not well received.

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▪ American writer
in full  John Simmons Barth, Jr. 
born May 27, 1930, Cambridge, Md., U.S.

      American writer best known for novels that combine philosophical depth and complexity with biting satire and boisterous, frequently bawdy humour. Much of Barth's writing is concerned with the seeming impossibility of choosing the right action in a world that has no absolute values.

      Barth grew up on the eastern shore of Maryland, the locale of most of his writing, and studied at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he graduated with an M.A. in 1952. The next year, he began teaching at Pennsylvania State University; he moved in 1965 to the State University of New York at Buffalo as professor of English and writer in residence. He was a professor of English and creative writing at Johns Hopkins University from 1973 to 1995.

      Barth's first two novels, The Floating Opera (1956) and The End of the Road (1958), describe characters burdened by a sense of the futility of all action and the effects of these characters upon the less self-conscious, more active people around them. Barth forsook realism and modern settings in The Sot-Weed Factor (1960), a picaresque tale that burlesques the early history of Maryland and parodies the 18th-century English novel. All three novels appeared in revised editions in 1967.

      Giles Goat-Boy (1966) is a bizarre tale of the career of a mythical hero and religious prophet, set in a satirical microcosm of vast, computer-run universities. His work Lost in the Funhouse (1968) consists of short, experimental pieces, some designed for performance, interspersed with short stories based on his own childhood. It was followed by Chimera (1972), a volume of three novellas, and Letters (1979), an experimental novel. The novels Sabbatical (1982) and The Tidewater Tales (1987) are more traditional narratives. Once Upon a Time: A Floating Opera (1994) combined the genres of novel and memoir in the form of a three-act opera. The novel Coming Soon!!! (2001) revisits The Floating Opera and is arguably Barth's most conspicuously self-conscious work. The Book of Ten Nights and a Night (2004) and The Development (2008) are collections of interconnected short stories.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Barth, John — orig. John Simmons Barth, Jr. (27 may. 1930, Cambridge, Md., EE.UU.). Escritor estadounidense. Creció en la costa este de Maryland, escenario de gran parte de su obra, y desde 1953 ha enseñado principalmente en la Universidad de Johns Hopkins.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Barth, John —    см. Барт, Джон …   Писатели США. Краткие творческие биографии

  • Barth,John Simmons — Barth (bärth), John Simmons. Born 1930. American writer whose novels, including The Sot Weed Factor (1960, revised 1967), often examine the relationship between language and reality. * * * …   Universalium

  • BARTH (J.) — BARTH JOHN (1930 ) Avec William Gass, Robert Coover et Vladimir Nabokov, John Barth est sans doute le romancier américain contemporain qui a eu l’influence théorique la plus grande sur l’art de son temps. Son essai sur «La Littérature de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Barth — Barth, Karl * * * (as used in expressions) Barth, John John Simmons Barth, Jr. Barth, Karl …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • John — (as used in expressions) Abbot, Sir John (Joseph Caldwell) Acton (de Aldenham), John Emerich Edward Dahlberg Acton, 1 barón Adams, John Adams, John (Coolidge) Adams, John Quincy Alden, John Altgeld, John Peter André, John Arden, John Ashbery,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Barth — noun 1. Swiss Protestant theologian (1886 1968) • Syn: ↑Karl Barth • Instance Hypernyms: ↑theologian, ↑theologist, ↑theologizer, ↑theologiser 2. United States novelist (born in 1930) …   Useful english dictionary

  • John Barth — noun United States novelist (born in 1930) • Syn: ↑Barth, ↑John Simmons Barth • Instance Hypernyms: ↑writer, ↑author …   Useful english dictionary

  • John Simmons Barth — noun United States novelist (born in 1930) • Syn: ↑Barth, ↑John Barth • Instance Hypernyms: ↑writer, ↑author …   Useful english dictionary

  • john — /jon/, n. Slang. 1. a toilet or bathroom. 2. (sometimes cap.) a fellow; guy. 3. (sometimes cap.) a prostitute s customer. [generic use of the proper name] * * * I known as John Lackland born Dec. 24, 1167, Oxford, Eng. died Oct. 18/19, 1216,… …   Universalium


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