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ID
b34
Title
The Barber
Genre
Story
Page Count
7
Word Count
1500
Publisher
New Statesman
Publication Year
1929
Document Types
Autobiographical
Comic Fiction
First-Person Narratives
Topics
Boyhood, Barbers


In The Vanished World (36-38), Bates describes the barber shops of his youth that "inflicted on me so considerable an amount of torture that even now, nearly half a century later, I still intensely dislike having my hair cut." Forced to visit them on Saturdays, he and other lads were made to wait until the barber had served each of the "army of men" there: "black-necked, poaching, shoemaking, prizefighting, often stinking men." This story matches closely those boyhood experiences.

Along with another story in the collection, A Comic Actor, this is Bates's first use of the first-person narrative in fiction. In the New Statesman (July 20, 1929), Seven Tales and Alexander (1929), Thirty Tales(1934), and Twenty Tales (1951).