All this came to mind recently when I picked up a novel I’d been meaning to read for many years, John Barth’s The Sot-Weed Factor. Reading. The Sot-Weed Factor. John Barth. “This is Barth’s most distinguished masterpiece . This modern classic is a hilarious tribute to all the most insidious human vices. ii 1 03 THE SOX-WEED FACTOR by John Barth THE FI-OATINC OPFJRA THE KKI> OF XJfcUE ROAJD THJ SOT-‘WJeKO FACTOR The SOT-WEED.

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Some might equal these tales and their telling, but none are better. Bill, just before I read your piece, I was busy pulling books off my bookshelves. It is, instead, an historical farce, and so perforce more honest. In Plymouth, Henry leaves Ebenezer, who is terrified by a sinister pair of seamen called Skye and Scurry who declare that they are pursuing a man by the name of Ebenezer Cooke.

The Sot-Weed Factor (), by John Barth | All-TIME Novels |

At Malden, the ownership of the Cooke estate is decided by a court presided over by Governor Nicholson. Comparatively little attention is paid to the fresh array of stresses and overload of stimuli that burden the modern brain, and how these factors can capitalize on the ease of modern life, where we are at greater leisure bsrth explore exactly how we feelas opposed to wasting all of our energy on mere survival.

With The Sot-Weed FactorBarth seed to earlier novel forms, both in their structure and mannerisms as well as in the irony and imitation found in Cervantes ‘ Don Quixote and Fielding’s Shamela. Her story is gripping, horrifying, and ultimately infuriating. I just didn’t feel anything at all. It’s like this song – you can laugh A tale, therefore, is constructed by both author and reader. The man is delusional enough to aspire to writing a heroic poem about the presumed noble virtues of the colony a real Cook did so, but nothing is know of him.

I guess I don’t give any kind of damn about satirizing other novels. I loved his develoment of Ebenezer; I thought that Eben grew throughout the novel, and I did not like him at first, but he grew on me.

Look, she’s a klutz! I don’t care about what anyone says anyone else should be feeling.


Didn’t you get it? The works of this period become progressively more metafictional and fabulist. He lives in New York City. Barth obviously knows the Eastern Shore near the Choptank River intimately: I shiver at the memory.

The Moor allowed her a fair head start and then climbed slowly in pursuit, calling to her in voluptuous Arabic at every step. I put it aside, and I forgot it, except to renew it online from the Port Washington liberry. Those things, as Colum McCann knows, are becoming harder and harder to sell to American book buyers, and the people who write them are edging closer and closer to the brink of irrelevance, which is a gentle way of saying extinction.

Ebenezer and Joan consummate their marriage, and Joan falls pregnant. When a novelist can write as well as peers like Saul Bellow or V. Part 3, Chapter 2: He also proposes a business venture: Barth’s meticulous attention to historical detail and his excellent imitation of the tone and style of the 18th c. Both are about as average as you can get, IMO. A satirical epic set in the s—90s in London and colonial Marylandthe novel tells of a fictionalized Ebenezer Cooke, who is given the title ” Poet Laureate of Maryland” by Charles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore and commissioned to write a Marylandiad to sing the praises of the colony.

At a time when minimalist novelists seem to be in vogue, I revelled in the intelligent richness of the elaborate quixotic tale woven by Barth. Henry reveals that Anna is in Maryland and Ebenezer resolves to find her.

The Sot-Weed Factor

Preachment and Practice Of course, innocence comes before experience. Stutz found himself shaking hands with his psychiatrist at the conclusion of his final session. When Ebenezer arrives in Maryland, it is fast going from sot-weed tobacco to pot well, opium, actually.

In browsing the libraries, was it the concept baryh simply telling stories that fascinated you, or was it bartb characters that came through the works you read? Here are just two examples: Or the softness of her breasts That gently flattened When she lay supine, But hung like apples of Heav’n When she bent o’er me? But that is another subject altogether. They have to live with faces coming up with conclusions. There are innumerable and very entertaining tales within tales.

Sometimes it seems like a prescription pad is the only thing separating us from the real thing. Neurochemistry remains the least understood field in medicine, but the sales figures of these drugs have exploded in the past twenty years. Hence, despite my favourites, I’ve always been reluctant to claim that there might be such a thing as a Great American Novel which is little more than a marketing termlet alone one whose glory extends wewd the boundaries of the United States.


Furthermore, Burlingame—who has a remarkably small penis—uses Smith’s egg-plant recipe in order to impregnate the wife he marries as chief.

A fair look to t This thoroughly enthralling tale set mostly in the British colony of 17th century Maryland – a telling of fledgling willy-nilly poet Laureate of same and his “Marylaniad” one Ebeneezer Cooke who with his vast cast of characters some who often as not act impersonator to EC including his twin sister and a blithering plot of vicissitude and philosophical turnabout would mystify a Merlin.

Ebenezer is also paralyzed by a lack of direction.

A Chiefest Pleasure: Discovering The Sot-Weed Factor on its 50th Birthday

Later, while Ebenezer is studying at Cambridge University, he is reunited with Henry who reveals his past life as an orphan, travelling musician and seaman. The national book shall be The Sot-Weed Factorwe shall eat eggplant every Friday, and drink away our sorrows with rum with much merry making. What knowledge is it that is joh and stem of all?

I ost out wondering why this blank faced young man was looking at everyone else in the movie theatre for his cue to look like he felt about anything. In these verses, Bawdy, but old, Poet versus Rustic cuckold, Who’s too busy To prize the treats Or plough the field Between his sheets. I guess it is probably a satire of serial series too?

The poem is also the source of certain basic plot elements.

Life is beyond our control, and that of our factors and agents. With careful observation of the different elements, the parts become relatively clear, the method is understood, and the entire work becomes accessible.