His works have educated an entirely new readership to the intricacies of fiction that explores the reality of its own making. Such self-regarding, writerly work is often known as "metafiction. But then the second sentence contradicts these expectations with the equally familiar but contextually dissonant reference to an entirely different style of warfare, the frontier conflict of cowboys and Indians: "The arrows of the Comanches came in clouds. There are such happenings in the real world as cities besieged by armies, just as a staple of American historical lore is the frontier Indian attack.

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Start your review of The Indian Uprising Write a review Jun 06, Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing The Indian Uprising is among the most popular of Donald Barthelmes stories, one I included as part of another review, but I truly love this highly perceptive, highly philosophical work of short fiction so much, I judge the story worthy of its own review. Here are a number of themes I see contained in its mere seven pages: America, land of genocide Why are Indians attacking an American city in the 20th century?

Why are the narrators people defending the city? Is this a mental defending of past history, a defending or justifying the genocide of the Native Americans in previous centuries? In the late s, the time when this story was first published, photographs of Americans torturing Vietnamese first began appearing fairly regularly in magazines and newspapers.

This mental jumping from the beautiful to the repugnant, from people to objects, treating everything, irrespective of content, with the same emotional neutrality sounds like a grotesque form of postmodern leveling.

Personally, this is one big reason I have always refused to watch commercial television: the non-stop switching from one image to the next, from tragedy on the nightly news to selling candy bars to the latest insurance deal I find unsettling in the extreme. They are people! Stupid to the core, Bob blithely dehumanizes others by his racism and barely realizes he is doing so. John Gardner wrote how Barthelme lacked a moral sense.

What the hell were you thinking, John?! Ironically, the outrage over the widespread use of hard drugs began once drug usage and addiction entered the fabric of middle class suburbia. America, the land of booze and passion Bob actively participates in more extreme torture. Bob simply gets more and more drunk and falls more and more in love.

Even when he hears children have been killed in masses, Bob barely reacts. Have some more booze, Bob, as that will solve all your problems. The Indian Uprising can be accessed via a Google search.


The Indian Uprising by Donald Barthelme, 1968

Kazik Written as the USA was mired in a hopeless war, as Native-Americans and African-Americans were rebelling against oppression, and as women were breaking out of the traditional roles they had been confined to, the story predicted the victory of these insurgents over the feeble old order. Want to Read saving…. America, the land of hard drugs To combat the uprising, Bob notes: Notify me of dohald posts via email. Some critics have noted that the story, fonald in the s, reflects the televised terrors of the Vietnam War barthflme its protesters, as well as the historical violence of the American West. It is even possible that the uprising is a metaphor of the struggle to obtain fulfillment in love, a battle waged not against a band of savage-eyed Indians but against Sylvia. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.


The Indian Uprising

Copyright John Domini; appears with permission. The majority of his closer critics -- Tony Tanner, Wayne B. Robert A. Yet Gass had the original insight some twenty years ago. More to the point, what he had to say pertained to work that must be counted as three Barthelme styles ago.


“The Indian Uprising” by Donald Barthelme

When he decides that he knows nothing, the narrator goes to Miss R for instruction, who says she reveres only the "hard, brown, nutlike word," Miss R alternates between berating the narrator and addressing him in fond endearments. Meanwhile Sylvia betrays the narrator by joining the Indians in their uprising. At the end of the story, the narrator and his friends Block and Kenneth are attacked by their enemies, with whom, the reader learns, Miss R is actually allied. She orders the narrator to remove his belt and shoelaces, suggesting that he may now be tortured by his captors.


Written as the USA was mired in a hopeless war, as Native-Americans and African-Americans were rebelling against oppression, and as women were breaking out of the traditional roles they had been confined to, the story predicted the victory of these insurgents over the feeble old order. Its experimental style full of dislocations and dissolutions captured the postmodern zeitgeist. As with many icons of the s, the story and the unpatriotic tone it embodied fell out of favor in the s. By then, the USA had recovered from its defeat by the Vietnamese and seemed headed for full-spectrum global dominance, the insurrectionary threat of groups such as the American Indian Movement and the Black Panther Party had been dissipated by assassinations, imprisonments, and token reforms, and mainstream feminism was more interested in joining the establishment than in overthrowing it. But now the USA is again mired in an imperialist war, millions of whites are joining blacks and natives in an expanding and increasingly militant underclass, and women are realizing that female politicians and corporate executives are serving the dominant system rather than changing it. These groups are beginning to combine into a major threat to the establishment, so the story has gained new relevance. This essay is intended as an aid to appreciating it and its postmodern view.

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