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Sot-Weed Factor, The

The Marylandiad, Barth

novel barth fictional world

a novel by John Barth, published in 1960. The novel, in excess of 800 pages, tells the story of Ebenezer Cooke, a poet, who is made poet laureate of Maryland in the New World and who is commissioned to write a commemorative epic poem for the state, The Marylandiad. His journey to the New World and his adventures there, often political and sexual, provide the loose, picaresque framework on which the novel is constructed. The novel is particularly memorable for its style, a richly inventive and exuberant pastiche of late seventeenth-century English prose, and like many of Barth's novels it has been appropriated for the critical language of fictional post-modernism for its use of fabulation and its interrogation of the very nature of fictional representation. See Barth (1970) by Gerhard Joseph.

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