T.C. Boyle on his selection:
It was Donald Barthelme, along with Robert Coover, Samuel Beckett, Julio Cortázar and Flannery O’Conner who spurred me to be in writing myself. Barthelme is best known for his abstract stories, like “Indian Uprising,” a story I cherish, but I’ve chosen “The School” for this program because of its tight comedic narrative and its presentation as a dramatic monologue. It works by escalation, as much of our humor does. The line, “We weren’t even supposed to have a puppy” always brings down the house. Of course, at its core, the story questions what education--knowledge itself--can do to ease the souls of a species, burdened with the foreknowledge of its own death.
Intro and outro from "Shift of Currents" by Blue Dot Sessions // CC BY-NC 2.0
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