Tao Lin Reading + Q&A + Minireview
Tao Lin reads from the first section of Shoplifting from American Apparel, then answers questions about writing process, influence, shoplifting, etc.
I read and greatly enjoyed this novella a couple weeks ago. It makes some interesting use of what people who want to put tags on things could call verbal minimalism inherting cinéma vérité, as well as a mash of Andys (Warhol and Kaufman), new uses of internet language in print, and a linear-alinear timeline modeling that more correctly models everyday life than most textual attempts at representing everyday life. That’s if you want to put tags on things.
I’d prefer to just say that I laughed more at parts of this book than I’ve laughed in a long time, and I think those who see this book as ‘incomplete’ might be missing part of the point here, which is not to exploit the expectations of Tao Lin’s previous work while also not exploit some kind of forced shifting of an artist’s tone. Like many artists who are ahead of the curve, this book is ahead of a curve that you might not yet see curving, particularly because it most succeeds on the level of entertaining the reader while being ahead of the curve, which then most easily becomes mistaken as unfocused, when in fact it is the extreme opposite: focused beyond focus.
I really enjoyed this book.
You can buy it here.