King by Donald Barthelme
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By Donald Barthelme

The King

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Format: Hardback

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King by Donald Barthelme

Book Description

In The King, a retelling of Le Morte D'Arthur, Donald Barthelme moves the chivalrous Knights of the Round Table to the cruelty of the Second World War. Dunkirk has fallen, Europe is at the breaking point, Ezra Pound and Lord Haw-Haw are poisoning the radio waves, Mordred has fled to Nazi Germany, and King Arthur and his worshipful Knights are deep in the fighting. When the Holy Grail presents itself--which is, in this version, the atomic bomb, "a superweapon if you will, with which we can chastise and thwart the enemy"--they must decide whether to hew to their knightly ways or adopt a modern ruthlessness. Barthelme makes brilliant comic use of anachronism to show that war is center stage in the theater of human absurdity and cruelty. But Arthur, in deciding to decline the power of the Grail, announces his unwillingness to go along: "It's not the way we wage war. The essence of our calling is right behavior, and this false Grail is not a knightly weapon."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781564784131
ISBN-10: 1564784134
Format: Hardback
(211mm x 142mm x 15mm)
Pages: 157
Imprint: Dalkey Archive Press
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
Publish Date: 25-Sep-2009
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Donald Barthelme

Paradise by Donald Barthelme Paradise, Paperback (September 2009)

"No other word for it: a charming book." Peter S. Prescott, Newsweek

Sixty Stories by Donald Barthelme Sixty Stories, Paperback (April 2005)

This excellent collection of Donald Barthelme's literary output during the 1960s and 1970s covers the period when the writer came to prominence, producing the stories, satires, parodies, and other formal experiments that altered fiction as we know it.

Forty Stories by Donald Barthelme Forty Stories, Paperback (April 2005)

This collection of pithy, brilliantly acerbic pieces is a companion to Sixty Stories, Barthelme's earlier retrospective volume. Barthelme spotlights the idiosyncratic, haughty, sometimes downright ludicrous behavior of human beings, but it is style rather than content which takes precedence.

» View all books by Donald Barthelme


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Author Biography - Donald Barthelme

Donald Barthelme, one of the masters of post-war fiction in the United States, was born in Philadelphia in 1931. Much of his early career would be spent in journalism, both in the military and in the civilian world. A Guggenheim Fellowship in 1967 allowed him to write his first novel, Snow White. He would spend the rest of his life teaching and writing fiction until his death in 1989.

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