Picked up a copy of Donald Barthelme’s Sixty Stories last night at the unmatchable Rockcliffe Park School Annual Bookfair. Huge selection as usual, and the prices are unreal. Most books can be had for under $3.oo. Sale continues today and tomorrow. Additional booty included: Under the Sign of Saturn by Susan Sontag, Art by Clive Bell, Kermode’s Romantic Image, Jonathan Coe’s What a Carve Up, and…drum roll please…for one dollar, a first edition of Coleridge’s Seven Lectures on Shakespeare and Milton…worth at least 100 times what I paid for it
So I read Barthelme’s ‘The Balloon.’ Amusing enough. Really takes the piss out of post-modern interpretation; the silliness of so many types of elaborate readings, when in the end, the ‘meaning’ of the balloon, we are told by its narrator, is nothing more than a spontaneous autobiographical disclosure: the unease of absence, and sexual deprivation.