Oct 22, 2013 · 7:00 PM
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A collection of short stories, published separately and then anthologised, described by the author himself as "mainly late-modernist" and "postmodernist" (so that's a start), which came out (it says on Wikipedia) of Barth's own reflections on the end of the usefulness of realism in fiction published in "The Literature of Exhaustion".
Apparently, in each story, the characters "search, each in his own way, for their purpose and the meaning of their existence", it says on the back of my copy of the book. Perhaps more importantly, Barth himself says in his introduction to the latest edition, he wanted the stories to be strung together and "circle back upon itself: not to close a simple circuit like that of Joyce's Finnegans Wake, emblematic of Viconian eternal return, but to make a circuit with a twist to it, like a Mobius strip, emblematic of - well, read the book."
And so we shall!
You can purchase the book here: