Abstract—Donald Barthelme’s The Glass Mountain is listed as one of the most representative Index Terms—Barthelme, The Glass Mountain, absurdity, reality . The Glass Mountain has 16 ratings and 4 reviews. Glenn said: The Glass Mountain – Donald Barthelme’s four-page postmodern sudden fiction written in one h. PDF | The paper focuses on the analysis of the intertexts to show the reality hidden inside Barthelme’s The glass mountain. Barthelme is a representative of.

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Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Glass Mountain by Donald Barthelme. 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 Barthelm A glass mountain sits in the middle of a city and at the top sits a ‘beautiful, enchanted symbol’. 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. Kindle EditionPenguin Modern Classics11 pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

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Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Jun 23, Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing. The story, in brief, runs as follows: There moountain once a glass mountain with a golden castle on top.

In front of the castle was a tree with golden apples.

If someone picked a golden apple, they would be able to enter the castle wherein an enchanted princess mounfain. Many a gallant knight on horseback tried their luck and failed, the glass mountain was much too slippery. When the eagle attacked him and dug its talons into his skin, the schoolboy was carried up to the top. He used one apple to heal his wounds and threw another apple at a dragon guarding the castle door causing the dragon to disappear.


He married the princess and thereafter discovered the blood that flowed to the base of the glass mountain from the now dead eagle magically brought the knights and horses back to life and everybody lived happily ever after. There are also hundreds of young people shooting up on drugs while older people walk their dogs.

The view the narrator would have in that area of the city at feet above the street. Not exactly what the schoolboy saw in glsss traditional tale. Classic postmodern fiction since reading from 1 to is an exercise in those three prime pomo qualities – paradox, irony and fragmentation.

Glass Mountain

Huge emphasis on fragmentation in this Donald Barthelme tale. Does one climb a glass mountain, at considerable personal discomfort simply to disenchant a symbol?

Otherwise what was I doing there, feet above the power-sawed elms, whose white meat I could see from my height?

Does the author judge more traditional literary conventions in need of a fresh shot of energy, an expansion of vision similar in spirit to the way American abstract expressionists and pop artists expanded painting? Additionally, is there a cynical social or barthhelme statement being made here? Irrespective of how we answer these questions, by my way of thinking, one thing is certain: The narrator talks about his motive for climbing the glass mountain in odnald first place – to disenchant a symbol.

We can take this to mean freeing others from illusion or misperception, illusion revolving around a symbol. But what enchanted symbol does he have in mind?

Glass Mountain – Wikipedia

Is the enchanted symbol a powerful symbol the way the American flag is a powerful symbol for Americans? Should we think of his disenchanting a symbol bartbelme a similar way the artist Jasper Johns disenchanted the American flag by incorporating the flag into his paintings? Link to the traditional fairy tale – The Glass Mountain: Jackson Square intriangular in shape rather than an actual square.

Can you picture Donald Barthelme’s glass mountain rising up in this space? View all 9 comments.

The Glass Mountain

Jun 19, Alisa Cupcakeland rated mountaon liked it. There is a very postmodern feeling to it not only due to the form in which it is written, as a sort of manual, but also given it’s use of intertextuality, taking quotes from a wide range of different type of sources for such a short story.

It keeps a lot of elements from the origianl fairy tale, but written in a completele different style than what we would consider a fairy tale. Feb 27, John added it Recommended to John by: My acquaintances had gathered I was new in the neighborhood. In the streets were people concealing their calm behind a facade of vague dread Dec 19, Kest Schwartzman rated it it was amazing.


I read this a story in the form of a bulleted list directly after listening to Rushdie read “Concerning the Bodyguard a story in the form of questions. I think I like this story better, but I like Rushdie’s reading voice better than the one in my head, so I am conflicted. Tan rated it liked it Aug 12, Patrick Brink rated it really liked it Nov 02, Max rated it liked it Mar 12, AJ rated it really liked it Nov 27, Michael Lloyd-Billington rated it liked it Jun 23, Peter rated it liked it Apr 24, Gareth rated it liked it May 18, Gisselle Moyano rated it liked it May 15, Scott Smith rated it liked it Apr 13, Turlough rated it liked it Dec 28, Maite rated it really liked it Jun 28, Zuzana added it Jan 06, Vieroscka Vivanco added it Jan 09, Phil marked it as to-read Feb 05, Patrick Healy marked it as to-read Feb 16, Laura added it Jun 18, Katie S added it Oct 27, Julien added it Oct 27, Vanja added it Jan 21, John marked it as to-read Jun 09, Apoorva marked it as to-read Jun 24, Aloha added it Jun 24, Sahil Sood marked it as to-read Jun 24, Pechi marked it as to-read Jun 25, Privada marked it as to-read Jun 25, Maru Kun marked it as to-read Jun 26, Victoria Nicholson marked it as to-read Jun 26, Sorobai marked it as to-read Jun 26, Sidharth Vardhan added it Jul 06, Saba marked it as to-read Jul 11, Alicia marked it as to-read Jul 29, Katherine Ranney added it Nov 20, Yasmin added it Feb 19, Nick Morilland marked it as to-read Jul 08, Yowil Sierra marked it as to-read Jul 08, Claire Duong marked it as to-read Jul 09, Jigar marked it as to-read Jul 09, Book Dude marked it as to-read Jul 11, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

Donald Barthelme was born to two students at the University of Pennsylvania. 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. Instill a student, he wrote his first articles for the Houston Post.