10 Playful Postmodern Quotes from Donald Barthelme

By April 7, 2019 Authors, Quotations

Donald Barthelme was an award-winning short story writer and novelist from Philadelphia.

Born in April 1931 to two academic and professional parents, Barthelme began writing as a teen for newspapers. He and his father had many arguments about what area of writing Donald was interested in, with particular disdain for Donald’s love for postmodern literature.

Aged 30, Barthelme had his first short story published while working as director of the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Eventually the writer went on to publish over 100 short stories. His strict postmodern style, spattered with non-sequiturs and playful use of language has created waves among both traditional and postmodern writers and critics.

Barthelme’s influences include Samuel Beckett, Franz Kafka, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He was described in Time magazine  as an author with “Kafka’s purity of language and some of Beckett’s grim humour.”

Donald Barthelme

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A Look at William Styron’s Works Through His Quotes

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William Styron (11th June, 1925 – 1st November, 2006) was an American novelist and essayist who won many major literary awards for his work. Best known for Sophie’s Choice, Styron also received literary acclaim for novels such as Lie Down in the Darkness, The Confessions of Nat Turner, and his memoir, Darkness Visible.

Styron was born in Hilton Village, Virginia, grew up in the South and was steeped in its history. His birthplace was just one hundred miles from the site of Nat Turner’s slave rebellion, no doubt offering inspiration for The Confessions of Nat Turner. Read More

Sayyida Salme: the rebel princess who became a writer

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Sayyida Salme was born the youngest of 36 children born to a Circassian concubine and the Sultan of Zanzibar and Oman. Growing up in a palace may seem like luxury but Salme’s childhood was far from peaceful. In a time when women were not permitted to read and write, a young Salme used a bleached camel shoulder blade bone to copy and secretly practice her letters and numbers. Her brothers taught her to ride and shoot, and soon she could compete with any of her siblings.

After her father’s death in 1856, Salme’s older brother, Majid, inherited the throne but after a revolution broke out between Majid and her other brother, Barghash, Salme had to make a choice.

Convinced by her favourite sister to help support their brother Barghash, Salme soon became his general secretary. It became clear that Barghash’s insurrection was fleeting and it ended sooner than expected, prompting Salme to surrender to the new sultan, her rebel brother, losing the support of the majority of her 36 siblings.

These complicated circumstances motivated Salme to move away from her family to a town where she eventually met her German lover, Rudolph Heinrich Ruete, a merchant.

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Elizabeth A. Lynn and the Importance of Representation

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Elizabeth A. Lynn is an American writer who was born on 8th June 1946. She is known for writing fantasy fiction, and to lesser extent science fiction novels, however, she is best-known for being one of the first writers to introduce gay and lesbian characters into these genres. As an openly lesbian woman herself, representation was clearly an important matter to Elizabeth A. Lynn.

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Lynne Truss: Much More Than Just a Grammarian

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When talking about the “mountains of stuff” she has produced over the years, Lynne Truss apologises and says “I do sometimes stop writing, have a cup of tea and re-organise the dog treats or something.”

Lynne Truss, journalist, author, radio broadcaster and dramatist, was born on the 31st May 1955 in Kingston upon Thames.

Truss attended University College London, where she studied English Language and Literature and attained a First Class Honours Degree.
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The Novels of Billie Letts (30th May 1938 – 2nd August 2014)

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Billie Letts (30th May 1938 – 2nd August 2014) was an American novelist and professor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Born Billie Dean Gipson in Tulsa Oklahoma not much is known of her early life.

In 1958 she married Dennis Letts, professor and actor and the couple went on to have three children. After working for years as a professor, she released her first published novel in 1995. Where the Heart Is was Letts’ debut novel and it was a commercial success, adapted into a 2000 movie starring Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd.

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