Reality Hunger eBook Ì 240 pages

book × Reality Hunger Æ David Shields

Reality HungerSynopsis Reality Hunger uestions every assumption we ever made about art the novel journalism poet Last week I posted a pedestrian review of a fairly innocuous book Zadie Smith's Changing My Mind After a slow start the ensuing discussion turned into a bloody street fight names were called knives were pulled and tragically feelings were hurt Pretty much everyone involved lost their shit including me Good times good timesStill I’m in no hurry to go through all that again So don’t expect me to mount a fresh defence of my admittedly obnoxious views on the novel which haven’t changed by the way Instead here’s what I’ve done aping the collage format of Reality Hunger I’ve taken some uotes from the book and a few other sources spliced in some comments of my own from old reviews and threads and jumbled them all together in a crunkadelic display of literary turntablism For you sticklers out there I’ll paste a list of attributions into the comments below Don’t hate Masturbate Reality Hunger dance remix 1Whenever I pick up a contemporary novel I’m nagged by a very simple very naïve uestion “Why did this thing get written?” And usually I suspect the answer would be “Um well we’re supposed to write novels aren’t we?” WRONG You’re supposed to investigate reality dumbass in all of its beautiful and horrible multifariousness and a tidy little Booker bait novel isn’t necessarily the best way to go about it2I’ve always had a hard time writing fiction It feels like driving a car in a clown suit You’re going somewhere but you’re in costume and you’re not really fooling anybody You’re the guy in costume and everybody’s supposed to forget that and go along with you3I still read the odd novel but I'm growing increasingly unwilling to suspend my disbelief I find myself thinking Come on man you're just making that shit up4All the technical elements of narrative—the systematic use of the past tense and the third person the unconditional adoption of chronological development linear plots the impulse of each episode toward a conclusion etc—tended to impose the image of a stable coherent continuous uneuivocal entirely decipherable universeTwo hundred years later the whole system is no than a memory; it’s to that memory to the dead system that some seek with all their might to keep the novel fettered5In 1963 Margaret Yourcenar said “In our time the novel devours all other forms; one is almost forced to use it as a medium of expression” No Increasingly the novel goes hand in hand with a certain straightjacketing of the material’s expressive potential One gets so weary watching writers’ sensations and thoughts get set into the concrete of fiction that perhaps it’s best to avoid the form as a medium of expression6Punk rock died when the first punk said “Punk’s not dead”7Jazz as jazz—jazzy jazz—is pretty well finished The interesting stuff is all happening on the fringes of the form where there are elements of jazz and elements of all sorts of other things as well Something similar is happening in prose Although great novels—novelly novels—are still being written a lot of the most interesting things are happening on the fringes of several forms8At this moment all over the world nice old men are playing slavish imitations of classic Dixieland jazz At this moment all over the world nice old ladies are painting pretty neo Impressionist landscapes and selling them to tourists at the local farmers’ market And that’s swell Have fun with that But let’s not pretend they’re producing vital art9In the beginning was the Word In the end there is only Cliché10All novels attempt to cut neural routes through the brain to convince us that down this road the true future of the novel lies In healthy times we cut multiple roads allowing for the possibility of a Jean Genet as surely as a Graham Greene These aren't particu

David Shields Æ Reality Hunger eBook

Old culture in search of something new and authentic it is the most vital book of the new century The Challenges of Writing a Collaged TextWhy revisit Reality Hunger? The book's central argument is that the devices of the novel including plot or narrative character voice and genre are obsolete and that appropriation randomness fragmentation and other strategies of collage can restore a sense of the real In its general form that uestion is still open in contemporary fiction Yet I still find Reality Hunger unconvincing Here I will try to pose two uestions1 What counts as collage in Shields's book?As Wojciech Drąg has pointed out Shields's principal models were the concept of the lyric essay and collage or mosaic The former is an unevenly theorized form It is associated with John d'Agata and carries associations of first person or lyric address but for Shields it was apparently mostly a matter of eclecticism heterogeneity and fragmentation The latter collage or mosaic is the subject of Drąg's book In his wordsCollage embodies most aspects of the idea of art advocated in Shields’s manifesto including the central proposition of drawing on reality in the form of raw unprocessed material As he explains in the collage section borrowing the words of the poet Charles Simic found objects and ready mades abolish the separation between art and life 340 Their familiarity helps create an immediate identification between the viewer and the work of art 364 Drąg suggests that Shields's main points of reference are D’Agata Jonathan Lethem especially his essay The Ecstasy of Influence A Plagiarism 2007 Jonathan Raban and Dave Eggers What Shields has in mind is perhaps clearest in this passageA deliberate unartiness “raw” material seemingly unprocessed unfiltered uncensored and unprofessional Randomness openness to accident and serendipity spontaneity; artistic risk emotional urgency and intensity readerviewer participation; an overly literal tone as if a reporter were viewing a strange culture; plasticity of form pointillism; criticism as autobiography; self reflexivity self ethnography anthropological autobiography; a blurring to the point of invisibility of any distinction between fiction and nonfiction the lure and blur of the realReality Hunger 3; Drąg Collage in Twenty First Century Literature in English 87It's interesting that Shields likes the word mosaic because it imples the fragments add to form a single continuous image Tesserae would have been nearer the mark What he is aiming at is in irrecuperable state of fragmentation because the operation of fragmentating is itself what will restore reality and expunge the obsolete elements of the novel This kind of collage needs to avoid being a single coherent image a mosaic Parenthetically the identification of fragments appropriation and discontinuity with the real makes Shields's argument susceptible to James Wood's objection that Shields poses reality in an overly facile way against fiction Writers like Reznikoff and Metcalf might well have agreed with what Wood implies fragmentation and appropriation in their work hardly make the texts real See Wood Keeping It Real The New Yorker 7 March 2010 Benjamin here is the better example but even his work is not intended to produce a heightened effect of reality he might have found that an amusing symptom of a certain bourgeois longing in relation to literature His own project was about assembling a dossier to exhibit certain thoughts about culture2 Is Reality Hunger original?Why does Lydia Davis think every page abounds with fresh observations? In Drąg's count over two thirds of the entries are exact or modified uotations from other writers Shields says his editors told him he had to acknowledge his sources and as a result it's possible to see which entries he wrote himself The original sections make disappointing reading They tend to be either cliches of lite

text Reality Hunger

Reality Hunger eBook Ì 240 pages Ë ➜ [Epub] ❧ Reality Hunger By David Shields ➦ – Synopsis Reality Hunger uestions every assumption we ever made about art the novel journalism poetry film TV rap stand up graffiti sampling plagiarism writing and reading In seeking to tear up the old Synopsis Reality HuRy film TV rap stand up graffiti sampling plagiarism writing and reading In seeking to tear up the Interesting I love uotations I love reality I love unconventional prose styles So I'm the target audience for this