Sunday, February 28, 2010

Reality Hunger by David Shields

Reading bits of Reality Hunger, and haven't finished it yet. A couple of things so for have surprised me. He says:

"The Bachelor tells us more about the state of unions than any romantic comedy could dream of telling us."

That's sort of like saying candy corn is unfathomably more nutritious than cotton candy. But I think it's quite a bit more wrong. Shields is saying no one can make another Annie Hall, I guess. That these days love has changed enough that our best pop cultural authority on it is a game show that is reality-based only in name? Sounds like he's torturing an argument to conform to his thesis.

Then he says the origin of storytelling is the Indian Vedas of 1400 B.C. I guess he is excluding oral storytelling. And cave painting. What about the Quipu of the Incas and Tartaria tablets?

Still I like the style and intent of the book. To jolt us awake in our consideration of reality as it's represented.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Are you checking out the new DeLillo?

I am reading so many things right now I'm not sure if I can squeeze in Point Omega.

I didn't like Cosmopolis, the last one of his that I read. When I like DeLillo, he's making the world seem more real than it normally does to me: White Noise, parts of Underworld. Cosmopolis suffered from, I think, its head-on confrontation with a city that has resisted the Joycean program ever since imitators started trying to Ulysses-ize New York.

I suppose I should give Omega a chance. I fear polemic on the Iraq War and the right wing, both targets deserving of as sharp a critique as we can muster.