Donald Barthelme

The Glass Mountain
  • The Glass Mountain

  • A glass mountain sits in the middle of a city and at the top sits a 'beautiful, enchanted symbol'. Seeking to disenchant it, the narrator must climb the mountain. Confronted by the jeers of acquaintances, the bodies of previous climbers and the claws of a guarding eagle he, slowly, begins to ascend. In true postmodernist form, subject and purpose collide as Donald Barthelme uses one-hundred fragmented statements to destabilise a symbol of his own - literature's conventional forms and practices. With a quest, a princess and an array of knights, Barthelme subverts that most traditional of genres, the fairy-tale; irony, absurdity, and playful self-reflexivity are the champions of this short story.

Dave Eggers is the author of seven novels. His seventh novel Heroes of the Frontier was published with Hamish Hamilton. Donald Barthelme (1931-1989) was the author of seventeen books and the winner of a National Book Award.

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