the rigorous m

bits and bobs, quotes and catching up

quotes: barthelme plays with language

Posted by rigorousm on January 13, 2011

Are you in school? Julie asked the children.
Of course we are in school, Hilda said. Why does everyone always ask a child if he or she is in school? We are all in school. There is no way to excape.
Do you want to excape?
Didn’t you?
What do you study in school?
We are invigorated with the sweet sensuality of language. We learn to make sentences. Come to me. May I come to your house? Christmas comes but once a year. I’ll come to your question. The light comes and goes. Success comes to those who strive. Tuesday comes after Monday. Her aria comes in the third act. Toothpaste comes in a tube. Peaches come from trees and good results do not come from careless work. This comes of thoughtlessness. The baby came at dawn. She comes from Warsaw. He comes from a good family. It will come easy with a little practice. I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though–
I think this child is a bit of a smart-ass, said the Dead Father. I shall cause her to be sent to a Special School and her rusty-mouthed companion there also.
If you do that we shall jump into the reservoir, Lars said, together. And drown. I am going to tell you something utterly astounding, surprising, marvelous, miraculous, triumphant, astonishing, unheard of, singular, extraordinary, incredible, unforeseen, vast, tiny, rare, common, glaring, secret until today, brilliant and enviable; in short something unexampled in previous ages except for one single instance which is not really comparable; something we find impossible to believe in Paris (so how could anyone in Lyons believe it?), something which makes everyone exclaim aloud in amazement, something which causes the greatest joy to those who know of it, something, in short, which will make you doubt the evidence of your sense: We don’t care what you think.

– Donald Barthelme, The Dead Father, 15-16.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: