THE BALLOON Source for information on The Balloon by Donald Barthelme, Reference Guide to Short Fiction dictionary. Complete summary of Donald Barthelme’s The Balloon. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Balloon. Dive deep into Donald Barthelme’s The Balloon with extended analysis, commentary, and discussion.

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The underlying assumption is that the forms of art are explainable by the laws of art; literary language is not a proxy for something halloon, but rather an object of study itself.

Short Story 2 Novella 2 novella as a form 1 Novels vs. Henry Award Stories 2 O. Each is another level of metaphor, a description of experience, clarifying the one before. Because they are satires, many of the stories are based not on the lives of individuals but on the means by which that abstraction called society or the public is manipulated.

But since the balloon could be neither removed nor destroyed one night, in secret, city officials tried but failed and a public warmth arose for the balloon from the ordinary citizen, the balloon became a city landmark.

This was a gentle and almost convincing glimpse into another person’s opinion. While in many ways his father was avant-garde in art and aesthetics, he did not approve of the post-modern and deconstruction schools.

Critics complained that Barthelme’s work was without subject matter, without character, without plot, and without concern for the reader’s understanding. Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia. Joyce defines the dramatic artist as standing totally aloof from his creation and “paring his finger-nails.


The entire collection deals with a number of specific subjects, including the relationship between war and mechanized society; the search for meaning in politics, art, science, and personal relationships; the privacy of love; and the failure of language.

When I was teaching the short story, I prepared for each class thoroughly, taking more notes than necessary to help me remember the most im Reading Alice Munro’s “What is Remembered”. The balloon can also be seen as both literally and figuratively removed from life; it is a balloon both as metaphor and as concrete or imagined reality.

What he illustrates is how form is only ballon rather than meaning.

The Balloon by Donald Barthelme

The problem of words, Barthelme realizes, is that so much contemporary language is used up, has become trash, dreck. Mar 30, Lea Dokter rated it it was ok. The short story as a genre has always been more likely to lay bare its fictionality than the novel, which has traditionally tried to cover it up.

Since films tell a realistic narrative so well, the fiction writer must develop a new principle. For Barthelme, the problem of language is the problem of reality, for reality is the result of language processes.

But Barthelme has done this without any fixed, definable material behind his structure. No trivia or quizzes yet. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information barghelme available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.


The Balloon

It is the extreme means by which Barthelme attempts to reach this truth that makes his fiction so difficult. To write only about this process, however, is to run the risk of dealing with language on a level that leaves the reader gasping for something tangible and batthelme, even if that reality is only an illusion.

The most basic example of Barthelme’s use of this mode is “The Balloon,” the premise of which is that a large balloon has encompassed the city.

Is it all What is the Balloon, why is it here? New Yorker, June 27, Books by Donald Barthelme. Thanks for telling us about the problem. The Balloon does and is all of these things, and is the result of what, a trivial fight between two people? View all 6 comments.

Katharina rated it did not like it Nov 29, Posted by Charles May at 8: Alice Herondale rated it liked it Feb 06, The audience thinks about the Balloon. I will let you know when I hear balloob them. The family moved to Texas two years later, where Barthelme’s father would become a professor of architecture at the University of Houston, where Barthelme would later major in journalism.