Giles Goat-Boy

Giles Goat Boy In this outrageously farcical adventure hero George Giles sets out to conquer the terrible Wescac computer system that threatens to destroy his community in this brilliant fantasy of theology sociol

In this outrageously farcical adventure, hero George Giles sets out to conquer the terrible Wescac computer system that threatens to destroy his community in this brilliant fantasy of theology, sociology, and sex Time.

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Giles Goat-Boy

  1. John Simmons Barth is an American novelist and short story writer, known for the postmodernist and metafictive quality of his work.John Barth was born in Cambridge, Maryland, and briefly studied Elementary Theory and Advanced Orchestration at Juilliard before attending Johns Hopkins University, receiving a B.A in 1951 and an M.A in 1952 for which he wrote a thesis novel, The Shirt of Nessus.He was a professor at Penn State University 1953 1965 , SUNY Buffalo 1965 1973 , Boston University visiting professor, 1972 1973 , and Johns Hopkins University 1973 1995 before he retired in 1995.Barth began his career with The Floating Opera and The End of the Road, two short novels that deal wittily with controversial topics, suicide and abortion respectively They are straightforward tales as Barth later remarked, they didn t know they were novels The Sot Weed Factor, Barth s next novel, is an 800 page mock epic of the colonization of Maryland based on the life of an actual poet, Ebenezer Cooke, who wrote a poem of the same title The Sot Weed Factor is what Northrop Frye called an anatomy a large, loosely structured work, with digressions, distractions, stories within stories, and lists such as a lengthy exchange of insulting terms by two prostitutes The fictional Ebenezer Cooke repeatedly described as poet and virgin is a Candide like innocent who sets out to write a heroic epic, becomes disillusioned and ends up writing a biting satire.Barth s next novel, Giles Goat Boy, of comparable size, is a speculative fiction based on the conceit of the university as universe A half man, half goat discovers his humanity and becomes a savior in a story presented as a computer tape given to Barth, who denies that it is his work In the course of the novel Giles carries out all the tasks prescribed by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces Barth kept a list of the tasks taped to his wall while he was writing the book.The short story collection Lost in the Funhouse and the novella collection Chimera are even metafictional than their two predecessors, foregrounding the writing process and presenting achievements such as seven nested quotations In LETTERS Barth and the characters of his first six books interact.While writing these books, Barth was also pondering and discussing the theoretical problems of fiction writing, most notably in an essay, The Literature of Exhaustion first printed in the Atlantic, 1967 , that was widely considered to be a statement of the death of the novel compare with Roland Barthes s The Death of the Author Barth has since insisted that he was merely making clear that a particular stage in history was passing, and pointing to possible directions from there He later 1979 wrote a follow up essay, The Literature of Replenishment, to clarify the point.Barth s fiction continues to maintain a precarious balance between postmodern self consciousness and wordplay on the one hand, and the sympathetic characterisation and page turning plotting commonly associated with traditional genres and subgenres of classic and contemporary storytelling.

348 Reply to “Giles Goat-Boy”

  1. MJ Nicholls inquires I have been tempted to read this for some time, but Nate s review put me off What do you make of his thoughts review show The first part.I am an not an impartial commentator on John Barth s work I owe my entire seven year postmodern reading binge to him, all of which began with The Sot Weed Factor By way of his essays Barth introduced me to his generation of postmodern fictionists Gass, Gaddis, both Barthlemes, Coover, et al, all of that generation with which David Foster Wa [...]

  2. Like Rob, I have emerged in a post posttape daze, staggering about not sure what to think and whether to rate this old skool postmo razzlematazzlical performance in the uppers or the lowers The last Barth I read was Lost in the Funhouse, which I dismissed as dated experimental wankeroo Barth was the keenest postmodder of the lot, and this collection reads like the marking of territory , and before then the excellent The Sot Weed Factor which bears no notable resemblance to Sorrentino s 1983 nove [...]

  3. Ack Aghh Though winning a fair measure of benefit of the doubt on sheer absurdity, Giles Goat Boy seems ultimately to have been a rather pointless shaggy goat story a seeming philosophic survey course that, after oscillating between improbable extreme positions, leaves the reader right back at the start and no better for it Or considerably worse for have staggered through 700 pages not counting extravagant introductory material to re reach that position To be fair Barth is a clever satirist, he [...]

  4. A FEW PRELIMINARY WORDS A Review In a WordA Plus In a Few of Leonid s WordsBy George My head spin I m such a dumb, I have to think about In a Few More of Leonid s WordsLaterGreatnesshood Splendidacy In Leonid s Father s Last WordGratituditynesshoodshipcy Glossary of Terms Used in the NovelGlossaryInsert Huge Picture HereREVIEW Extraordinary ConceptionAs you d expect, John Barth s fourth novel from 1966 is a brilliant allegory wrapped in a mischievous metafictional frame story that inevitably que [...]

  5. The reader must begin this book with an act of faith and end it with an act of charity From the Publisher s DisclaimerBoth The Sot Weed Factor, and Giles Goat Boy, deal with a protagonist s life journey, both are 700 pages sprawling books, both have been conceived mounted on an epic scale, both are written by Barth, there the resemblance ends.TS WF is one of those rare books it s Perfect GG B bravely hobbles along like its lame hero the former has Love Me written all over it, the latter gives th [...]

  6. So, is it quite as funny as it thinks it is Probably not Are there some issues with the representation of and attitude towards black people and women Yup even after properly distinguishing between narrator, character and author yes yes, i know i know Do some bits drag Yup Does its satire and its focus seem a little dated at times Sure Does any of that matter in the slightest Nope.

  7. Another odd book I greatly enjoyed reading it, but I enjoyed the early stretches much than the later ones, and after turning the last page, I was left completely unsure whether to declare the book good, bad, or otherwise I don t think I would recommend it to anyone, yet at the same time I want to run around breathlessly telling people about its many virtues.In any case, I need to read stuff by John Barth All I knew about him before reading Giles Goat Boy was that he was one of the early postmo [...]

  8. The Modern Bible.Anyone that did not revel in the absurdly clear tale told in this primal romp needs to be gone from this exercise Barth set the tone for many of us circa 1965 as we prepared to limp through the momentously bad joke existence.Scary, unadorned humans running in circles, gathering as much money and corporeal comfort as possible in the shortest amount of time on the backs of others while foreshadowing their fear of the dark with gods of the conveniently unreachable sort, make a back [...]

  9. NO es el Plantador, ni es Gaddis, pero algo como esto no merece llevarse las cuatro estrellas que he estado a punto de darle s lo para evitar comparaciones.

  10. Hmm, review you say I m ok AND what the heck anyway The Cubs 71 year billy goat curse has now been retired, maybe this book s butting obtuseness, its strutting and rutting lubriciousness, its labyrinthine flunkedness of understandabilitywise can retire too the stayawaydom of reading this overreaching gem of a John Gray humanity is flunked no matter what against progress per se Buddha sat quietly under a bodhi tree and so should we, maybe, if Failure is Passage be You better lock an load all yer [...]

  11. what the fuckrmally i don t get pissy about books i don t completely understand but seriously this is too much plus it was way way way way too long and too much gratuitous sex weird words used to describe gratuitous sex which i don t normally mind either, but this was so out of control it got boring plus, like the floating opera, it s weirdly racist the black men are horny half animals and the women are seductresses i take that back not weirdly racist just flat out racistdeeming qualities i real [...]

  12. 4.5 5I waver in giving less than 5 stars to this monstrous comedy slash mirrored prophet s tale slash cold war comedy Barth is funny, but not in the sense that he makes you laugh His comedy is of the thought kind, in that I have read a hero s tale of a boy raised by goats who believes himself to be the last great prophet of his own religion The book is incredibly well written and indeed very thought inducing There shall be Barth books read by meSS ALL FAIL ALLUpdated 8 7 15 to 5 stars

  13. Publicado en lecturaylocura giles el niGiles, el ni o cabra de John Barth Esquizofrenia lectoraHe pasado por tantas fases en la lectura y posterior asimilaci n de esta obra de Barth que ya he perdido la cuenta.Al principio ni siquiera iba a escribir nada de ella y ahora, sin embargo, vuelvo a ella, a esa relectura de los textos que apunt y vuelvo a cambiar de opini n ESQUIZOFRENIA O BIPOLARIDAD o cualquier cosa El caso es que no me puedo resistir a escribir unas notas No las necesita, pero aport [...]

  14. Finished this book 4 weeks ago, but better late than never I d thought I d read Giles Goat Boy a few years ago and didn t remember much of it because I just wasn t enad, despite my lifelong devotion to John Barth But when I got to page 100, I knew I was in virgin territory and had never seen the subsequent pages before Apparently I had put this aside on that other attempt And then I began to realize why Because it s a 700 page comic allegory, that s why This is something you really need to be in [...]

  15. Dudeyou think with all the raping in this book you wouldnt need a dictionary to look up every 5th word but alas it aint so so besides learning a shit ton of new words, this book is kind of a play off of the world slightly futuristic slightly medieval except countries are universities and Giles Goat Boy is pretty much some sorta prophet tryin to throw a rock in the system but half the time hes just followin his goat like urges heh its long, and pretentious as all hell with the wordsbut yeah, i li [...]

  16. Ack I feel like a cat who needs to throw up.The author is very clever, no doubt His wordplay, repeated denials of authorship and lampooning of the University structure are good points Aside from this, however, there is too much dragging the book down The book is bloated navel gazing, and only becomes and tiresome as it progresses , boring you further and further as its once clever puns become agony to read.

  17. Giles from the Late Latin name Aegidius, which is derived from Greek aigidion meaning young goat.John Barth brazenly turns Holy Gospels into a picaresque fable and the Saviour becomes a revolutionary nerd of the universal standing talking in the new fangled recondite parables It occurred to me to argue, then, out of spite than out of conviction, that even his vaunted miserliness might be pass d, and its opposite flunked Enos Enoch, it was true, bade men give all their wealth of information to p [...]

  18. Giles Goat Boy, as with most of Barth s writing, cannot be summated by anything short of a novel in itself It is a farce on heroic tales, riddled with metaphors and allusions as thick as the diction therein, with enough mass to leave a reader spending hours picking apart each sentence This is not a bad thing by any means, as the work can be read fluidly first then meticulously, to fully benefit from Barth s genius The Cold War, Homeric Epics, Religion, Sex, and the pretentious atmosphere of Acad [...]

  19. Me pas de listo al intentar leer a la vez Giles y el Plantador, casi me ahogo con dos puertos de categor a especial He tenido que hacer una pausa con el Plantador El mundo de Giles es relativamente f cil de seguir y la met fora pol tica es divertida y reconocible, pero las aventuras del ni o cabra exigen manga ancha y bastante atenci n Unos a os despu s llegar n los laberintos sin salida y las cajas dentro de cajas que nunca terminan, como la Broma de Wallace o el Arcoiris de Pynchon, pero Barth [...]

  20. I enjoyed The Sot Weed Factor, but not this one near as much A little boredom, a little annoyance at the rape and juvenile sex mindset just didn t fit my recent mood Perhaps I ll visit this one again sometime in the future I think Barth is generally interesting and a talented writer, but times, they are a changing.

  21. To start off, I don t feel this book is long winded by any means It s just winded enough with all the flatulence To start off the novel with the Editors reluctance to publish, rejection of manuscript and another s remonstrating of the other editors opinions takes some big goat balls and a certain amount of ego to shape this novel into the narcissistic bundle of joy that had ever been authored by a computer Some 20 years later Allan Bloom wrote The Closing of the American Mind in which he outline [...]

  22. I read Giles Goat Boy in about 2000 I was 37 and I d spent a lot of my life reading books So you can imagine how infrequently I had the thought this is the strangest book I ve ever read That s what came into my head several times during GGB.It s also a masterpiece An extended flight of fancy, totally bizarre, anticipating various aspects of our modern computational world Best of all, it s a deadly anti academic humor It helps to have spent years in academia particularly if academia drove you nut [...]

  23. I actually enjoyed this book than The Sot Weed Factor There is actually a similar theme running through the two books, though by no means is Barth rehashing old material and I did actually like this one better The world of this book is just so interesting, a strange mix of the world as a university, Judeo Christian material, the cold war, and others Strangely approachable for Barth, this is probably my favorite book of his so far.

  24. I got half way through this and have liked almost everything else I have read of Barth This one seemed clever for clever sake and the characters were very one dimensional Too long, I have other books to get to and seemed overly repetitive.

  25. I read and liked this book so much in college that I taught it in Freshmen English As far as I know, no one in that class committed suicide as a result.

  26. Just one of those books you had to read It was a fantastic work by a since forgotten great American author.

  27. I love how fantastical and weird and hilarious this book manages to be while maintaining the allegory throughout the entire epic story Vintage Barth.

  28. giles goat boy, 1966ere s a foreword to doubleday anchor edition by bartha contentsa publisher s disclaimer and a cover letter to the editors and publisherl that before page one of the storytuallylooks like the cover letter begins the storyorgned jwayis is only the 2nd or 3rd barth for meThe End of the Road perhaps the 1st and most memorablead back in 86 87 in a sense, i am jacob hornerere s this title page revised new syllabusofgeorge gilesour grand tutorbeing the autobiographical and ho [...]

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