SQ and Writing Prompt for Chapters 1-2 of Robert Coover's The Universal Baseball Association [1968]

Patricia Waugh has argued that the 108 sections of "The Babysitter" cannot be read either "consecutively" with the "causal logic of "realism" or even "spatially" with the "associative logic of modernism." Waugh further suggests that any attempt to "naturalize the contradictory alternatives" of the plot results in frustration, that the story "chooses all" of the potential alternatives (Metafiction 138-39). "The Babysitter" immediately follows The Universal Baseball Association in composition and publication. Similar features [like the father in "TheBabysitter" and J. Henry Waugh in the UBA speaking their fantasies aloud in public and then having to cover their tracks] suggest that Coover was refining his technique as he moved from UBA to "The Babysitter." Consider some of the following issues as you review the novel's first two chapters:

Writing Prompt

For your 30 minute in-class writing prompt, I would like you to answer the following question: What, in your view, is this novel really about? That is, after reading the opening two chapters, what do you see as Coover's motives in writing The Universal Baseball Association? Supporting your comments with selected quotes and brief summaries of key events in the opening two chapters, explain what you think Coover is saying in the novel. This can be done by defining what is in conflict, by identifying what you see as significant developing themes, or by stating what you see as a comment that Coover is making about 1960s American culture.