DONALD BARTHELME CITY OF CHURCHES PDF

Phillips said, "ours is a city of churches all right. Both sides of the street were solidly lined with churches, standing shoulder to shoulder in a variety of architectural styles. The spires and steeples of the traditional buildings were jammed in next to the broad imaginative flights of the "contemporary" designs. Phillips said. Will I fit in, Cecelia wondered.

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It is made up entirely of churches. The story opens: "Yes," Mr. Phillips said, "ours is a city of churches all right. Both sides of the street were solidly lined with churches, standing shoulder to shoulder in a variety of architectural styles. Phillips said. Cecelia, who has come to town with plans of opening a car rental company, immediately wonders if she will fit in - especially since she is not very religious.

Phillips replies that she may not be very religious yet, "But we have many fine young people here. The immediate problem is where are you to live?

Most people," he said, "live in the church of their choice. All of our churches have many extra rooms. I have a few belfry apartments that I can show you. Most people are pretty content right here. We have a lot of activities. I was reminded of The Stepford Wives. This was my first experience with Barthelme, and I plan to seek out more of his stories. Is there one you can recommend? An abstract of this four page story can be found on The New Yorker website subscribers have access to the entire text , but I also found it reprinted here.

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A City of Churches by Donald Barthelme

Taken from his Sadness collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Barthelme may be exploring the theme of acceptance and conformity. None of the characters in the story, with the exception of Cecelia, appear to question whether it is normal or reasonable for their lives to be so heavily associated with the churches in the town. Rather they seem to completely embrace or believe it to be not only acceptable but also right that their lives are so entwined with the churches. Something that is noticeable when the reader discovers that the barber shop in Prester is located within a church.

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“Untoward Stories: A City of Churches / Donald Barthelme” by M.E. McMullen

It is made up entirely of churches. The story opens: "Yes," Mr. Phillips said, "ours is a city of churches all right. Both sides of the street were solidly lined with churches, standing shoulder to shoulder in a variety of architectural styles. Phillips said. Cecelia, who has come to town with plans of opening a car rental company, immediately wonders if she will fit in - especially since she is not very religious.

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The story takes place in a small isolated city named Prester. Phillips showing the town around to a woman named Cecelia, who is interested in starting a car rental business in the city. As the two turned the corner a plethora of churces became visible. In fact, the entire city was comprised of churches. Everyone lived in the church they attended, which clearly had Cecelia shocked. Not only did the churches serve as places of residence, but they also doubled other things. For example, the United Methodist was also a barber shop, and the Antioch Pentecostal doubled as the Board of Education.

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