Staying Alive: Shields on the Future of Literature
March 2, 2011 § 1 Comment
A provocative and interesting interview with the always provocative and interesting David Shields, over at the Rumpus, on the occasion of the paperback release of his provocative and interesting Reality Hunger:
Rumpus: So I ask…do you think lyric essay and collage face the same danger as the poem? What about literature in general? Will there be a day when the only people reading literary art are those who create it? And how important is this to our future?
Shields: I suppose that is a real concern, isn’t it? This is the elitist idea? I guess I don’t think in those terms. I just am trying to stay alive as a writer and reader and teacher. Almost all fiction writing bores me out of my mind. I’ve found, to my great relief and joy, work that thrills me and that I want to write. Many writers who are 55 are phoning in their SOP by now. I feel proud that I’m still completely confused, completely feeling my way in the dark through this new form, this nonfiction drawer labeled nonsocks. People will always read and write. It will take utterly new forms. And one of the main ways we’ll get there is by embracing new technologies and new modes rather than pretending “literature” consists of replaying the hits of 1908.
Shields rules. I love his vibe (which some may call “voice”)and just feed off his energy. Reality Hunger is a jolt, a lightning bolt, Heaven to Earth and back. He makes me feel like telling everyone–Sorry, gotta go write.