John Barth


Biography of John Barth

John Barth poet

John Simmons Barth (born May 27, 1930) is an American novelist and short-story writer, known for the postmodernist and metafictional quality of his work.

John Barth, called "Jack", was born in Cambridge, Maryland. Barth has an older brother, Bill, and a twin sister, Jill. He briefly studied "Elementary Theory and Advanced Orchestration" at Juilliard before attending Johns Hopkins University, from which he received a B.A. in 1951 and an M.A. in 1952 (for which he wrote a thesis novel, The Shirt of Nessus).

Barth was a professor at The Pennsylvania State University from 1953 to 1965. During the "American high Sixties," he moved to teach at University at Buffalo, The State University of New York from 1965 to 1973. In that period he came to know "the remarkable short fiction" of the Argentine Jorge Luis Borges, which inspired his collection Lost in the Funhouse.

He then taught at Boston University (visiting professor, 1972–73) and Johns Hopkins University (1973–95) before retiring in 1995.

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