Books: Donald Barthelme's Snow White


Snow White living with 7 men. Really? What did you think was going on? In 1967 Donald Barthelme's perversely written account of the fairy tale is reexamined with an adult spin. Shame on  our curiosity, we took a second look. Could it be that Snow White was a nymphomaniac? Good thing Walt Disney's grave was still fresh, he was able to roll a bit more when this little gem came out.


The story of Snow White, brought up to date. Snow White lives with Kevin, Edward, Hubert, Henry, Clem & Dan. They have all come from national parks to the city, where they occupy themselves tending the vats where they make Chinese baby food, and washing the buildings. But there are many problems. Snow White is one. She's waiting for a Prince. Paul, the artist, is the prince-figure. He is pretty much of a flop, everyone agrees. Bill is the leader of the men; he is withdrawing, his ambitions cannot be satisfied. Jane, whose lover is Hogo de Bergerac, is the wicked stepmother figure. She has cultivated her malice. Hogo is simply vile & loathsome. Even the President is worried about them. Hogo falls in love with Snow White, so Jane prepares a poisoned Gibson for her, but Paul drinks it instead (it's too exciting for SW) and dies. The mentry Bill and decide to hang him, primarily for the sin of vatricide - he left the vats to pursue his childhood vendettas. Dan, the practical man is the new leader. Snow White mourns Paul, though there's nothing in it for her. The heroes depart in search of a new principle.