In ’08 when I got a galley of Reality Hunger, it was pretty clear that the book was going to rouse a little rabble when it came out. After I read it for a grad school class, I invited David to speak on a panel discussion I was putting together and I got to speak to him a little about the book and later did an interview. David also asked me to ferry a copy of the book out to the iceberg where Zadie Smith lives to hand a copy of the book to Zadie Smith, who was teaching at my university that year. I managed to get it the book into her hands, albeit blushing heavily. (I do admire her, despite suspecting her blood might run metallic and cold.) My bet was that she was going to enjoy the manifesto, though not necessarily agree with its every platitude.
When Zadie’s strange review in The Guardian came out, I was surprised to have been mentioned in it as the “excited American writing student,” and the implication that my peers and I are dancing on the grave of the novel. (I would link to the article but it’s not up on their site anymore. Here’s something I wrote about it a while ago.) In fact, Professor Smith, I am not dancing on the grave of anything, especially not the novel.
So after reading Zadie’s essay, Lincoln Michel’s really smart review on The Rumpus and Sam Anderson’s funny but annoyed review in New York Magazine, I feel like I need to say something in Reality Hunger’s defense. READ MORE >
March 18th, 2010 / 5:35 am
That’s right–many things; one bunch of them.
Faster Times books editor and commenter-in-good-standing-here Lincoln Michel takes on David Shields’s Reality Hunger over at The Rumpus. I have to say that Lincoln’s review is thorough, even-handed and thought-provoking; but after reading it, I can’t imagine anything I’m less interested in reading than this book. I say read Lincoln’s piece and call it a day.
Julia Cohen went to a small press festival in Boulder, CO. Then she ate some crappy pizza from a place called Sexy Pizza. She also talks about the new issues of Horse Less Review and Ugly Duckling’s 6×6. Plus, you know, other stuff–flowers, her brother, March.
Valleywag blows the pickles off the Cheezburger empire–sort of.
And what the hell has John Gallaher been talking about lately? Well, he likes the new Double Room, he’s interested in the new Sawako Nakayasu book from Letter Machine, he says the Laurel Review is looking for reviewers, and he digs the paintings of Glennray Tutor (see above), whom you know as the guy whose works adorns several of Barry Hannah’s Grove-Atlantic covers. Here’s Tutor’s site.
Checked in with the Faster Times Books Page lately?
Clancy Martin has been writing a column about love and lying.
And Rozi Jovanovic has interviewed J.A. Tyler of Mud Luscious press.
‘experimental’ is often overused and really doesn’t mean much to readers / writers anymore because of its constant use. for me, it means something that I haven’t seen before, something that hits me as profoundly different – that is why I tend towards describing our work as violent / beautiful / pulsing – I want a text that shatters, that buries me in its lines. and I suppose too that I use ‘experimental’ or sometimes ‘innovative’ in order to scare away the exposition-heavy writers, those who spoon-feed actions / events as if readers are not smart enough to discover what a text is doing. I look to the work of james chapman as well as his fugue state books, jesse ball and blake butler, those writers who aren’t afraid to omit the narrative details in favor of descriptive tones and overall voice, those works that reach into me without pandering, hand-holding, without guiding me as if I am blind.
Big fun. Don’t miss it.
Lincoln Michel of The Faster Times and Gigantic tipped me off to two interviews of probable high-interest to Giant readers, one from each publication. Over at FT, they’ve reprinted Michael Kimball’s conversation with Blake Butler from Unsaid #4. And over at the newly re-designed Gigantic website, Lincoln himself has interviewed Clancy Martin. That second one gets pretty epic, so make sure your boss isn’t around and then get ready to dig your heels in.
Using the novelists’ secret formula — one part research, three parts empathy — I hope I’ve made my Darlene a credible veteran of the Black experience. But you never know; I’ve been faulted for even trying. (My 2000 book Chang & Eng was about the famous “Siamese Twins,” and some reviewers questioned my right even to attempt a novel about Asians.)
Also, FT’s main books guy–as well as regular Giant commenter–Lincoln Michel presents a compilation of literary humor from The Onion. Look for such classics as “Did I Say That, or Did John Updike?”; “Man Reading Pynchon on Bus Takes Pains to Make Cover Visible”; and my personal favorite–so good I can’t stop myself from linking it directly, even though that fucks Lincoln over, so please do not click the following link but instead go and read Lincoln’s post–“Lovecraftian School Board Member Wants Madness Added to Curriculum.”
Double also, how did we miss that two weeks ago Lincoln posted about the re-emergence of a lost George Saunders story?(!?!?!) Holy smokes. We’ll be keeping a closer eye on these guys, from here on out.