There is a Text in 'The Balloon': Donald Barthelme's Allegorical Flights

Camelia Elias

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearch


    From the Introduction:

    Camelia Elias' "There is a Text in 'The Balloon': Donald Barthelme's Allegorical Flights" provides its reader with a much-need and useful distinction between fantasy and the fantastic: "whereas fantasy in critical discourse can be aligned with allegory, in which a supernatural world can be said to stand for a figurative representation of our real world, the fantastic has the potential to occur within the world that we know", and with Todorov as the point of departure this distinction is expanded into an epistemological investigation of these two central terms. The concept of knowledge and story-telling is exemplified in the Biblical Fall-myth and in Scheherazade. Here Camelia Elias' gendered and witty point is that man knows (or rather wishes to know) and that woman knows (but does not tell). Finally, the meaning of a giant balloon appearing in the sky over New York in Donald Barthelme's short story  "The Balloon" from 1968 is discussed in the light of the chapter's epistemological understanding of fantasy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMarvellous Fantasy
    EditorsJørgen Riber Christensen
    Number of pages18
    Place of PublicationAalborg
    PublisherAalborg Universitetsforlag
    Publication date2009
    ISBN (Print)978-87-7307-962-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Cite this

    Elias, C. (2009). There is a Text in 'The Balloon': Donald Barthelme's Allegorical Flights. In J. Riber Christensen (Ed.), Marvellous Fantasy (pp. 125-143). Aalborg Universitetsforlag.