Padgett Powell

  • fiction November 16, 2021

    Fathers and Sons

    Remarks from the dedication of the Donald Barthelme Papers to the University of Houston Library, April 15, 2005.

    Don Barthelme once said to me, “The trouble with teaching is you spend all your time working on someone else’s rotten manuscript when you should be working on your own rotten manuscript.” This is signature Barthelme. It contains the making of a joke by repeating two syllables or two words or two phrases, at which he was very good: “And I sat there getting drunker and drunker and more in love and more in love.” Sometimes the two words are so good you do not need repeat them for the