Saturday, September 19, 2009

Barthelme and Your Brain

If you're like me, reading Barthelme is an experience that is equal parts daunting, disconcerting, with little bursts of pleasure and sense that spring forth like found money (in the currency of a Paraguay that is not the Paraguay of maps, of course). One effect is also that of having a greater than average number of Barthelmesque thoughts, the sorts of things that might ordinarily pass through the brain unattended, dismissed as sheer nonsense, the proverbial pinwheel hat guys of thinking. My Facebook status updates start looking a lot weirder, because as one gets acclimated to Barthelme one simply starts thinking in very odd ways. I wonder if you have had a similar experience, and if so, it would be cool if you actually posted some of those thoughts in the comment section here.

One example: There must be some optimal method for brushing one's teeth according to the laws of physics. Ideally, one would be able to get it down to one single stroke, and that was the struggle to which ______ devoted his life.

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