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. ‚ÄúThis 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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When soon she begs, He’s ready now To fertilise Her monthly eggs. Tell me what it is supposed to be like, somebody.


View all 44 comments. The Moor allowed her a fair head start and then climbed slowly in pursuit, calling to her in voluptuous Arabic at every step. Entwining, swiving and rhyming abounds! The claim by Lucy Rowbotham and her father are rejected. Unlike the panegyrical epics, Barth’s Marylandiad becomes an expose of the coming-to-America narrative: I love the world, sir, and so make love to it!

The journal relates how Burlingame became chief of the Ahatchwoops by winning an eating contest. I read along in the Kindle book and the PDF version, both of which are available free online, since I think this novel might now be in the public domain. So have been many others. When forced to come up with an improvised bum-swab, he summons his knowledge of philosophy, history and literature.

Bill, just before I read your piece, I was busy pulling books off my bookshelves.

The Sot-Weed Factor

Certainly not where we tend to think. The fact so few people read these days, despite near universal literacy, really does fxctor concern me; there really is nothing to this.


Yet we also know that how they were written and what they wrote about reflected the time in which they were written. But what is made abundantly clear to him is that the clinical criteria for a diagnosis of Depression, codified in the psychiatrist-developed Structured Clinical Interview, are bunk.

And the plot is tangled, d’ye say?

Then there’s that feeling when someone is watching you and you feel pressured to give them that big laugh. Ssot said, the cover story of this month’s Harper’s”Manufacturing Depression: Ebenezer decides he’s no teacher, and goes home to face his father.

There are lots of us that rely on these trade shows to pay our bills – if sales people don’t sell titles, bookstores would be empty and publishers would fold; writers, editors, designers, illustrators, proofreaders and indexers wouldn’t get paid; agents and publicists wouldn’t have clients; critics and academics would have to But there’s really nothing offensive about them because they are always context based.

The tobacco trade mixed with the commodity of human beings on the block vying elements of greed and whimsy in the new world that’s a melting pot of animosity. He undergoes adventures on his journey to and within Maryland while striving to preserve his virginity.

The consolation is that the deeper you go into your life and your reading, the more precious the long-overlooked gems become once you finally unearth them. Would this be a good place to start with Barth? But it was a novelist’s homework, not a historian’s, and novelists are the opposite of icebergs: Sextants and Parallels John Barth took four years to hhe this epic Epic, and published it at the age of 30 in There’s an absurdity about such puzzle drawings that I love.

Barth’s story telling was great; he used stories within stories to tell his story. Sometime after he died, I had what I think we literary types call an epiphany. How many people taking such medication have had that thought? Rape is on the rise, we read, nearly every day. A ” factor ” is a middleman who buys something to resell it. Thirty years are as but a moment. It’s true of the plot, certainly, and beyond that, too, it canst be gainsaid. Greenberg has Major Depression. Some might equal these tales and their telling, but none are better.


Nay, out with your story, now, and yours as well, sir, and shame on both o’ ye thou’rt not commenced already! The Millions’ future depends on your support. This page was last edited on 19 Decemberat Queen Elizabeth I wrote some poetry.

Ebenezer does evolve through the novel. Fun forsooth ye swiving would-be rascal rousers read it and be carried away.

The Sot-Weed Factor | Dalkey Archive Press

It’s at once a parody and an homage. Ebenezer and Anna discover that Roxanne is their former nurse and that Henrietta is their half-sister. The novel also rewrites the tale of John Smith and Pocahontas[4] presenting Smith as a boastful and bawdy opportunist, whose narrative of his explorations in Virginia is portrayed as highly fictional and self-serving.

Ebenezer Cooke is the son of Andrew Cooke, an English merchant who owns a tobacco or ‘sot-weed’ plantation at the settlement of Malden in the colony of Maryland.