Persiflage! Barthelme's little knives go in like butter, and he twists them just a hair. That Cosmo Girl and the Playboy bunny image are among his targets, and so is Time-ese. As for satirizing the Nixon administration, we've had such a bellyful of that that the laughs don't come easy anymore. Nevertheless don't they all deserve every nasty wise-ass mot of this poison-tipped pen. Castaneda may never recover from ""The Teachings of Don B.: A Yankee Way of Knowledge"" -- Carlitos is strangled slowly, v-e-r-y slowly with the rope of his own ingenuous style. ""L'Lapse"" (a scenario for Antonioni) ridicules the meaning of meaninglessness (and art-film making and blurb-writing reviewers. . .) and the author's use of brand-names and famous-names twits the meaninglessness of mass-culture meaning, which is, after all, where we live. Virtuoso exercises in wit and literary legerdemain, with a touch of nonsense and sometimes even poignancy.