Friday, December 04, 2009
Episode 438: Donald Barthelme Made My Day
Had only one seminar with Peter Blegvad this morning, but wow, what a seminar it was! He liked 'The Black Undulation' for its images and wordplay, but raised a good point when he asked if I would consider it enough, or should the piece offer something more to the reader. I agree that there wasn't any sort of higher purpose to what I wrote in this case beyond having fun, but I'm interested to do some work on the other piece I wrote, using the Swadesh list, now that he's freed us from that constraint and imposed a new one patterned after the Donald Barthelme story, 'The School', which we read aloud during the seminar and was thoroughly enjoyable. Totally think my impulse decision to buy his books was worth it now. The analysis of the story by George Saunders, which we also read cloud, was brilliantly engaging in its own right, and left no doubt that stories like 'The School' require considerale thought in order to succeed, despite how effortless it may feel when they're read. Spent some time in the Library reading Everything Talks by Sam Sampson, which I'd picked off a shelf at random and decided to polish off in one sitting because it was thin, the blurbs on the back cover were persuasive, and it had a gorgeous colourful cover, featuring Come Together by Peter Madden.