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Pickle Me This

December 20, 2010

I am going to blame my current lack of focus on

I am going to blame my current lack of focus on David Shields, who thinks that focus is boring, and narrative is boring, and who cares about people or fiction, and that popular music stopped being worthwhile at about the same time he ceased to be young. I just finished reading Shields’ Reality Hunger, which I kept screaming at (“You motherfucking, self-hating book…”), but which I’m glad I read it, because his thoughts about fiction, non-fiction, and memoir gave me a lot to think about. However exasperating, the book is interesting and worthwhile, a collage of various sources intermingled with Shields’ own thoughts and ideas, each numbered paragraph disjunct from what came before it. That there is no whole, just fragments we construct in various ways, but I was left longing for a bit of synthesis. However, that’s just me, the status-quo rally-er cited in the book’s jacket copy. Unlike Shields, who writes books, I really love them, but I just read them so what do I know? I do know that it’s strange that Shields is bored by everything so thinks the entire world should change, rather than just working to improve his pathetic attention span. Also, as an effect of reading his book, my attention span is just a little shot too, and I can’t wait to open up a real book and read it and get my mind back, now that I’m finished with this stomping tantrum of a text. (Which, actually, I didn’t finish at all, but I had had enough of by page 180 and so I decided to put it down, which might be the most David Shieldsian thing I’ve done ever.)

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