David Shields Archive

Ander Monson’s Essaying

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Monson’s newest collection, out tomorrow, continues his exploration of essays and essaying, scrutinizing the “I”; playing with prose and white space on the page; and examining the nature of memory—all while suffusing his observations with the cultural elements he examines in earlier collections.

Alternatives to Blast Open the Forms of Nonfiction

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing No comments
Today’s nonfiction writers have at hand a number of forms other than the essay and the memoir. There’s the flash essay, of course, and literary journalism. Then there’s the catch-all form of nonfiction known as the lyric essay. So, what do they all mean?

Douglas Kearney and the 21st Century Remix

Author: | Categories: Reading No comments
I was at a lecture recently about The Iliad—that beloved epic gorefest—when the scholar discussing the text referred to its author as “DJ Homer.” It wasn’t so much that Homer composed the text of The Iliad, he said. It was more that he remixed old stories that had been

INFINITE JEST as Performance Art

Author: | Categories: Reading No comments
I was at Punta della Dogana in Venice when I first saw Ryan Trecartin’s Center Jenny. The movie was projected on the wall and brooded over Lizzie Fitch’s sculptures: lawn chairs and picnic benches chained to golf course-quality grass like a scary garden party. The film itself follows a

Literary Boroughs #47: Seattle, WA

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 2 Comments
The Literary Boroughs series will explore little-known and well-known literary communities across the country and world and show that while literary culture can exist online without regard to geographic location, it also continues to thrive locally. Posts are by no means exhaustive and we encourage our readers to contribute in the comment section. The

THAT LIT, LIT LIFE (with global characteristics) 12 (of 14)

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized No comments
32 years away from the city of Melbourne and I return to find it in a different “Australia.” For one thing, all the restaurants downtown were Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian or otherwise distinctly “Asian.” Hidden somewhere down one street was a Greek restaurant, reminding me that 32 years ago,