John Simmons Barth (Born 1930) is an American teacher and novelist. His works include The Sot-Weed Factor (1960), Giles Goat-Boy (1966), Chimera (1972), and The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor (1991).
Life and Works
Barth was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 27, 1930, and attended Johns Hopkins University. Upon graduating high school, he attended Julliard School of Music to study jazz, and then attended Johns Hopkins to study in journalism and creative writing. He wrote his first two novels, The Floating Opera (1956) and The End of the Road (1958) about those who recognize a futility in action. His first notable novel, The Sot-Weed Factor, describes a poet who wrote a poem by the same name, and illustrates him as an innocent confused with why his poem became a satire about the colonization of Maryland. Besides writing, he taught at Penn State, SUNY Buffalo, Boston University, and Johns Hopkins. Penn State was the setting of his mythical satires Giles Goat-Boy and Chimera. He was very popular as a teacher on the Eastern Seaboard.
He is still alive and continues to produce short stories for a living.
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- Davies, Tristan. "Teacher, teacher: A tribute to John Barth." Johns Hopkins Magazine. https://hub.jhu.edu/magazine/2015/spring/john-barth/