My essay-review of John Barth's Collected Stories at The Quarterly Conversation:
While numerous works prior to Lost in the Funhouse clearly enough now seem classifiable as postmodern (including Barth’s own previous two novels), it also now seems clear that this book is most responsible for clarifying (and raising) the stakes involved in what by the time it appeared was obviously among younger, more adventurous writers a rejection of the reigning practices of the immediate postwar years in favor of a more formally audacious kind of fiction. Barth, along with such generational colleagues as Donald Barthelme, Robert Coover, and William Gass, no longer took for granted a definition of fiction that ties it to traditional conceptions of narrative and its fixed elements (“character development,” “point of view,” etc.). . . .