Posts Tagged ‘David Shields’
“Even If You Hate Writing, You’re Going to Love James Franco and David Shields’s I Think You’re Totally Wrong” – Charles Mudede, The Stranger
Hugo House will hold three screenings of James Franco’s film adaptation of David Shields’s and Caleb Powell’s book, I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel. The screenings will begin at 7 p.m. and be followed by a Q&A session with Shields and Powell.
- Saturday, May 30, 7 p.m.
- Sunday, May 31, 7 p.m.
- Monday, June 1, 7 p.m.
The Hugo House screening will serve as the U.S. premiere of I Think You’re Totally Wrong, which had its international debut at the DOXA Festival in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada earlier this month.
The book I Think You’re Totally Wrong was published by Knopf in January 2015; in the Boston Globe, Saul Austerlitz called it “outrageously entertaining . . . a warm, funny, and charming book that questions not only what it means to live for art but what it means to live.” It’s the heavily edited transcript of an extended conversation between Shields and Powell, recorded during a weekend retreat in the woods. Powell, formerly Shields’s student at the University of Washington, chose raising his family over a writing career. Shields, meanwhile, is a prolific author and a professor of creative writing. (trailer here)
From the Los Angeles Review of Books (5:49):
Caleb Powell: Why did you get so angry about the letter?
David Shields: Good question…I mean, all you’re doing is fucking me over. (Riding Lawn Mower video)
Caleb Powell: …I have a license to antagonize, ’cause anything I do wrong to you will end up helping us.
Caleb Powell: We should bomb the world with images that offend these terrorists…
David Shields: That’s a typical sort of Caleb move, which is ostensibly about politics but is really meant to reflect a sort of moral glory on himself.
David Shields on Mark Rothko: “I listened to a tour guide at the National Gallery ask his group what made Rothko great. Someone said, ‘The colors are beautiful.’ Someone else mentioned how many books and articles had been written about him. A third person pointed out how much people had paid for his paintings. The tour guide said, ‘Rothko is great because he forced artists who came after him to change how they thought about painting.’ This is the single most useful definition of artistic greatness I’ve ever encountered.” – from Reality Hunger
21 Rothkos: Rothko may well have changed how artists think. Good thing? Take a look at the 21 Rothko’s on the right, all replications of the same concept. Rothko had modest skills, above average talent, but recognized his lack. He chose the path of Egregious Difference. In moderation, this is admirable, but. From Pollock to Frankenthaler to Eva Hess to Jeff Koons to Tracey Emin, Rothko led chunks of the art world into riches, but also a pretentious mess. Check out this quack: New York Artist Creates Invisible Art. For every Rothko there are thousands of quasi-worthless artists walking the path of Egregious Difference, hoping for Rothko’s success, and deadening the world. And that’s how Rothko changed art.
PUBLISHERS MARKETPLACE ANNOUNCES: December 4, 2013 – James Franco to direct I Think You’re Totally Wrong, based on the book written by David Shields and Caleb Powell. (Movie Finished – James Franco directs I Think You’re Totally Wrong)
I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel: A debate, nearly to the death, about life and art. Caleb Powell always wanted to become an artist, but he overcommitted to life (he’s a stay-at-home dad to three young girls), whereas his former professor David Shields always wanted to become a human being, but he has overcommitted to art.
“Film rights – NYT bestselling author of Reality Hunger David Shields and Caleb Powell’s I THINK YOU’RE TOTALLY WRONG: A QUARREL, a debate about life and art, enacting an impassioned and ongoing “quarrel” between the two actors: Powell always wanted to become an artist, but he overcommitted to life (he’s a stay-at-home dad to three young girls), whereas Shields always wanted to become a human being, but he has overcommitted to art, optioned to James Franco for his production company, Rabbit Bandini Productions, with Franco directing, and Shields and Powell adapting and playing themselves, by Charlotte Gusay at The Charlotte Gusay Literary Agency.”
Caleb Powell: You excoriate the traditional novel and fiction in Reality Hunger, yet you began writing fiction. It turned out not to be your forte. Why the attack? Isn’t it like an impotent man vowing abstinence?
David Shields: That’s a funny analogy. And I’d be a fool to think that type of criticism won’t emerge… (from The Rumpus)
David Shields and I, at antipodes since the UW, headed into the Cascades for a few days and threw down. The focus? Art vs. life. The result was announced 4/26/13 at Publishers Marketplace:
NONFICTION – General/Other – NYT bestselling author David Shields’s I THINK YOU’RE TOTALLY WRONG: A QUARREL, a debate about life versus art, in which Shields’s co-author, Caleb Powell, always wanted to become an artist, but overcommitted to life (stay-at-home dad to three young girls), whereas Shields has overcommitted to art and forgotten to become a human being, to Ann Close at Knopf, by PJ Mark at Janklow & Nesbit (NA).
“Twenty years ago, another undergraduate, Caleb Powell, was in my novel-writing course; we’ve stayed in touch. I’ve read and critiqued his stories and essays. A stay-at-home-dad and freelance journalist, he’s interviewed me occasionally when a new book came out. We disagree about nearly everything. I’ve sacrifice my life for art; Caleb, vice versa. He’s one of the most contrary people I’ve ever met…” David Shields, from How Literature Saved My Life
Caleb: …that opening of our interview in the Rumpus, when I asked, “You began writing fiction; it turned out not to be your forte. Why the attack? Isn’t it like an impotent man vowing abstinence?”
David: Only about fifty other reviewers used the same trope. I’d say I’m more like a man in love pointing out to the man on Viagra that he’s fucking a sex doll. (from I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel)
Update: I Think You’re Totally Wrong – The Move
“Riding a Mower” vs. Reality Hunger:
Over the last year I reviewed David Shields‘ Reality Hunger and interviewed the author multiple times (here). This reviewer called it the “book book-lovers love to hate in 2010″ (here). One purpose of art is to antagonize; whether in a political, cultural, or societal arena. If you think otherwise, you have a mighty docile aesthetic. To coincide with the paperback release, we interviewed again; published 3 places online, at HTML Giant, The Nervous Breakdown, & The Rumpus.
FROM HTML Giant: Flaubert claimed: “The value of a work of art can be measured by the harm spoken of it.” Reality Hunger, by David Shields, was one of the most controversial and talked-about books of 2010, reviewed nearly everywhere. Shields debated with journalists, writers, and artists such as Nicholson Baker, Simon Critchley, Leonard Lopate, John Cameron Mitchell, Rick Moody, Michael Silverblatt, Zadie Smith, DJ Spooky, Judith Thurman, and Simon Winchester. This past February saw the paperback release of Reality Hunger. Recently I met with Shields to analyze the polemics and decipher the carnage…
This should be the end of Reality Hunger interviews…for now!