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Reality Hunger: A Manifesto A Manifesto (Hardcover)

Author:  David Shields
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FORMAT: Hardcover
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Learn more about Reality Hunger: A Manifesto:

Format: Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0307273539
ISBN-13: 9780307273536
Sku: 211425430
Publish Date: 2/23/2010
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8.5H x 6L x 1T
Pages:  219
See more in Semiotics & Theory
 
Every artistic movement from the beginning of time is an attempt to figure out a way to smuggle more of what the artist thinks is reality into the work of art. (from the first line)
As a work gets more autobiographical, more intimate, more confessional, more embarrassing, it breaks into fragments. Our lives aren't prepackaged along narrative lines and, therefore, by its very nature, reality-based art--underprocessed, underproduced--splinters and explodes.
An open call for new literary and other art forms to match the complexities of the twenty-first century.

Reality TV dominates broadband. YouTube and Facebook dominate the web. In Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, his landmark new book, David Shields (author of the New York Times best seller The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead argues that our culture is obsessed with “reality” precisely because we experience hardly any.

Most artistic movements are attempts to figure out a way to smuggle more of what the artist thinks is reality into the work of art. So, too, every artistic movement or moment needs a credo, from Horace’s Ars Poetica to Lars von Trier’s “Vow of Chastity.” Shields has written the ars poetica for a burgeoning group of interrelated but unconnected artists in a variety of forms and media who, living in an unbearably manufactured and artificial world, are striving to stay open to the possibility of randomness, accident, serendipity, spontaneity; actively courting reader/listener/viewer participation, artistic risk, emotional urgency; breaking larger and larger chunks of “reality” into their work; and, above all, seeking to erase any distinction between fiction and nonfiction.

The questions Reality Hunger explores—the bending of form and genre, the lure and blur of the real—play out constantly all around us. Think of the now endless controversy surrounding the provenance and authenticity of the “real”: Million Little Pieces, the Obama “Hope” poster, the sequel to The Catcher in the Rye,Robert Capa’s “The Falling Soldier” photograph, the boy who wasn’t in the balloon. Reality Hunger is a rigorous and radical attempt to reframe how we think about “truthiness,” literary license, quotation, appropriation.

Drawing on myriad sources, Shields takes an audacious stance on issues that are being fought over now and will be fought over far into the future. People will either love or hate this book. Its converts will see it as a rallying cry; its detractors will view it as an occasion for defending the status quo. It is certain to be one of the most controversial and talked-about books of the year.

From the Publisher:
The author of the best-selling The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead presents a call for new art forms to match the complexities of the 21st century, exploring how creative expression is being reshaped to reflect today's increasingly artificial and disconnected world.The author of the best-selling The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead presents a call for new art forms to match the complexities of the 21st century, exploring how creative expression is being reshaped to reflect today's increasingly artificial and disconnected world.
Annotation:
David Shields, recipient of the renowned Guggenheim fellowship, follows up his bestselling contemplation of morality (THE THING ABOUT LIFE IS THAT ONE DAY YOU'LL BE DEAD) with a spirited manifesto that grapples with the challenge of bringing "truth" and "reality" into our art forms in an era characterized by mediation and ephemerality. Shields is no reactionary, and his desires are never stodgy--on the contrary, REALITY HUNGER delves into a wide range of media and artists (also: comedians, essayists, rappers, cell phone videographers) as Shields hunts for new ways for art and writing to contend with that elusive and exalted quarry--reality.

Praise

"[I]nvigorating....Despite my quarrels with its premise, I find Shields's book absorbing, even inspiring....The ideas he raises are so important, his interests are so compelling, that I raved about this book the whole time I was reading it....Even when he's ranging on unsound terrain, Shields is a funny and sharp writer with a flair for the dramatic." - Jami Attenberg 02/01/2010

"[REALITY HUNGER] is entertaining, insightful and impressively broad....Most important, it's a guidebook for where literary writing could go in the future....REALITY HUNGER is ultimately an invigorating shakedown of the literary status quo: recommended for readers, essential for writers." - Scott Indrisek 02/18/2010

"This, and I say this as a reader grateful for this beautiful (yes, raw and gorgeous) book, is the voice of a child (or an adolescent). Genre has failed us; narrative has failed us; literature fell to pieces when it was wrested (and it had to be) from the clutches of elites. We live in a loud, phony, unsubtle culture in venal times. We have been failed. We will write a manifesto that says we will do something different....Shields is not even trying very hard to convince us of his opinions. They just are." - Susan Salter Reynolds 03/07/2010

"David Shields...urgently and succinctly addresses matters that have been in the air, have relentlessly gathered momentum and have just been waiting for someone to link them together....[H]e is a benevolent and broad-minded revolutionary, urging a hundred flowers to bloom, toppling only the outmoded and corrupt institutions. His book may not presage sweeping changes in the immediate future, but it probably heralds what will be the dominant mode in years and decades to come." - Luc Sante 03/14/2010

Product Attributes

Product attributeBook Format:   Hardcover
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0219
Product attributePublisher:   Knopf Publishing Group
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