The Barnum Museum (American Literature Series)

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9781564781796: The Barnum Museum (American Literature Series)

The Barnum Museum is a combination waxworks, masked ball, and circus sideshow masquerading as a collection of short stories. Within its pages, note such sights as: a study of the motives and strategies used by the participants in the game of Clue, including the seduction of Miss Scarlet by Colonel Mustard; the Barnum Museum, a fantastic, monstrous landmark so compelling that an entire town finds its citizens gradually and inexorably disappearing into it; a bored dilettante who constructs an imaginary woman - and loses her to an imaginary man! - and a legendary magician so skilled at sleight-of-hand that he is pursued by police for the crime of erasing the line between the real and the conjured.

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About the Author:

Steven Millhauser was born in 1943 in New York City, and grew up in Connecticut. He received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1965, and went on to pursue a doctorate in English at Brown University. He never completed his dissertation, but did complete a novel that was eventually published in a pared-down form under the title "From the Realm of Morpheus-as well as Edwin Mullhouse". However, it was for his stories that Millhauser became best known; immaculately written, curiously vivid, they trod on fantastic boards in a manner reminiscent of Poe or Borges, but with a distinctively American voice. After "In the Penny Arcade", Millhauser's collections continued with "The Barnum Museum" (1990), "Little Kingdoms" (1993), and "The Knife Thrower and Other Stories" (1998). Steven Millhauser lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, and teaches at Skidmore College.

From Publishers Weekly:

The 10 stories in Millhauser's ( Edwin Mullhouse ) newest collection smartly conform to the dictates of literary fashion. "A Game of Clue," which opens the volume, describes both the people playing the famous board game and the lives of the game's characters (pedantic Professor Plum, seductive Miss Scarlet), ultimately proposing reading as a kind of sleuthing, a piecing together of clues encoded in the author's language. The relationships among reader, writer and the written-about are similarly investigated throughout. Eliot's J. Alfred Prufrock becomes a cartoon hero in "Klassic Komix #1," a witty inquiry into artistic appropriation (here, "Panel 41" has Alfred saying, "Holy cow, mermaids . . . ! Guess they're not singing to me, though. . . . "); Lewis Carroll's heroine is frozen in "Alice, Falling." Elegant facades belie careless housekeeping within these works (each of two characters in "Clue," for example, holds the identical game card). Alone, any of these pieces might seem novel or stimulating, but collectively their concerns, language and imagery become repetitious, oppressively belletristic. First serial to Esquire.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Dalkey Archive Press, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Barnum Museum is a combination waxworks, masked ball, and circus sideshow masquerading as a collection of short stories. Within its pages, note such sights as: a study of the motives and strategies used by the participants in the game of Clue, including the seduction of Miss Scarlet by Colonel Mustard; the Barnum Museum, a fantastic, monstrous landmark so compelling that an entire town finds its citizens gradually and inexorably disappearing into it; a bored dilettante who constructs an imaginary woman - and loses her to an imaginary man! - and a legendary magician so skilled at sleight-of-hand that he is pursued by police for the crime of erasing the line between the real and the conjured. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781564781796

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Book Description Dalkey Archive Press, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Barnum Museum is a combination waxworks, masked ball, and circus sideshow masquerading as a collection of short stories. Within its pages, note such sights as: a study of the motives and strategies used by the participants in the game of Clue, including the seduction of Miss Scarlet by Colonel Mustard; the Barnum Museum, a fantastic, monstrous landmark so compelling that an entire town finds its citizens gradually and inexorably disappearing into it; a bored dilettante who constructs an imaginary woman - and loses her to an imaginary man! - and a legendary magician so skilled at sleight-of-hand that he is pursued by police for the crime of erasing the line between the real and the conjured. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781564781796

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