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David Shields, How Literature Saved My Life1 ...

Feb 16, 2013
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David Shields, How Literature Saved My Life1

Stephen Colbert: “You say you’re not bound by 19th century conventions, right? So why are you bound to the 19th century convention of [a] book? Why didn’t you just put this on a website, or xerox it, or pass it out on street corners wearing a trash bag for a dress?”
“[U]n- or even anti-literary types haven’t stopped reading. They just don’t get as excited about the book form. The blog form: immediacy, relative lack of scrim between writer and reader, promised delivery of unmediated reality.” (p. 167)
David Shields’ blog is a list of links to reviews of his book. 
He is better at Twitter: @_DavidShields
NYTimes: “When you read David Shields, the first thing you learn is that he takes literature very seriously. The second thing you learn is how seriously he takes his taking seriously of literature.” 
“[Ray Kurzweil] seems to me the saddest person on the planet. I emphasize with him completely.” (p. 86)
“Every quality I despise in George Bush is a quality I despise in myself. He is my worst self realized.” (p. 18)
“Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm. ‘Deep inside, you know you’re him.’” (p. 143, “Fifty-Five works I swear by”)
Larry David’s mother: “You’re not funny, Larry. I’ve never heard you say anything funny.”
“I learned a long time ago that the people whom you most want to love your work…won’t.” (p. 134)
Things that happened to me on the plane ride while reading the galley of How Literature Changed My Life: my pen exploded all over my hand, I forgot to stir the dressing for my caesar salad, the stewardess refused to take my empty salad box because she didn’t have a trash bag, and my 6-foot ashtray of a seatmate fell asleep on my arm at least half a dozen times.
“All criticism is a form of autobiography.” (p. 3)
One of Shields’ “proudest literary accomplishments of middle age” is that “‘good’ and ‘bad’ reviews no longer affect me much.” (p. 159)


Note: I put Reality Hunger on the reading list in the back of Steal Like An Artist. You should read it. ↩

David Shields, How Literature Saved My Life1

  1. Stephen Colbert: “You say you’re not bound by 19th century conventions, right? So why are you bound to the 19th century convention of [a] book? Why didn’t you just put this on a website, or xerox it, or pass it out on street corners wearing a trash bag for a dress?”
  2. “[U]n- or even anti-literary types haven’t stopped reading. They just don’t get as excited about the book form. The blog form: immediacy, relative lack of scrim between writer and reader, promised delivery of unmediated reality.” (p. 167)
  3. David Shields’ blog is a list of links to reviews of his book.
  4. He is better at Twitter: @_DavidShields
  5. NYTimes: “When you read David Shields, the first thing you learn is that he takes literature very seriously. The second thing you learn is how seriously he takes his taking seriously of literature.”
  6. “[Ray Kurzweil] seems to me the saddest person on the planet. I emphasize with him completely.” (p. 86)
  7. “Every quality I despise in George Bush is a quality I despise in myself. He is my worst self realized.” (p. 18)
  8. “Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm. ‘Deep inside, you know you’re him.’” (p. 143, “Fifty-Five works I swear by”)
  9. Larry David’s mother: “You’re not funny, Larry. I’ve never heard you say anything funny.”
  10. “I learned a long time ago that the people whom you most want to love your work…won’t.” (p. 134)
  11. Things that happened to me on the plane ride while reading the galley of How Literature Changed My Life: my pen exploded all over my hand, I forgot to stir the dressing for my caesar salad, the stewardess refused to take my empty salad box because she didn’t have a trash bag, and my 6-foot ashtray of a seatmate fell asleep on my arm at least half a dozen times.
  12. “All criticism is a form of autobiography.” (p. 3)
  13. One of Shields’ “proudest literary accomplishments of middle age” is that “‘good’ and ‘bad’ reviews no longer affect me much.” (p. 159)

  1. Note: I put Reality Hunger on the reading list in the back of Steal Like An Artist. You should read it. 

66 notes

  1. bbpratt reblogged this from austinkleon
  2. numerati reblogged this from austinkleon
  3. millennialmotherhoodaustin reblogged this from austinkleon and added:
    For my blogging classmates - definitely worth a read.
  4. dianebluegreen reblogged this from austinkleon
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