I borrowed Garth Stein “Racing in the Rain” today from library mainly because I think David Shields lauds it. A quick search is iffy” Shields jokes about Stein in his new book “I think you’re totally wrong”. isn’t this going to be a james franco movie?
is it too late to suggest AOL “Wrong” for the soundtrack?
Franco was Shields’ student in Warren Wilson College’s MFA, read the book, and wanted to make a film. I asked Shields to what extent does the film — complete with this director, who famously plays with notions of authenticity — disrupt the apparently documentary ethic of the book?
“For the movie, Caleb and I wrote a screenplay, treatment, beat sheet, scene sheet, etc.,” Shields said, “and then on the first day an argument broke out among Caleb and James and me, so we threw away the script and let the argument play out — which argument was/is a perfect embodiment of the life-art debate that is the core of the book (and now, too, of course, of the movie).”
This core is a (faux) battle between the art-obsessed Shields — so fixated on his next book that he’s forgotten to live — and Powell, in the opposite corner — full of travel and perspective, but a so-far-unsuccessful writer. They inhabit these positions the way red or blue states express monolithic political ideology, but it’s a useful and delightful conceit. Shields can free himself from a semi-mid-career existential crisis and Powell can push back against a former teacher whose values are so effete and disconnected from life as to be almost irresponsibly thin air.
edit to add, the next day, actually a Snday, sitting around Oak Creek clubhouse: this might be a good place to list the 100 or so books I have bought or borrowed but have not really read, and I will return Garth Stein unread and maybe untracked, although Terry my Terry likes it. Consider:
Consider the state of literature at the moment. Consider the rise of the memoir, the incidences of contrived and fabricated memoirs, the rash of imputations of plagiarism in novels, the overall ill health of the mainstream novel. Consider, too, culture outside of literature: reality TV, the many shades and variations of documentary film, the rise of the curator, the rise of the D.J., sampling, appropriation, the carry-over of collage from modernism into postmodernism. Now consider that all these elements might somehow be connected, might represent different aspects of some giant whatsit that will eventually constitute the cultural face of our time in the eyes of the future. That is what David Shields proposes in “Reality Hunger: A Manifesto.” He further argues that what all those things have in common is that they express or fulfill a need for reality, a need that is not being met by the old and crumbling models of literature. I was also tripping on the real Selma vs. Ava Duvernay version, the real Chris Kyle versus American sniper, Mo AbdulRasul shooting 66 percent in basketball from 3-point range versus “Palo Alto Teen Sniper” by Anderson; “Whiplash” versus Stanton Moore’s true story, or the guy from Miami I met in New York, part of a sax group when not teaching. Brian? Also, I was calling the Joe Lonsdale ordeal Bazelonsdale because I base my thoughts too heavily on this one source, the Times article, by Emily Bazelon. Also, James Franco is making a movie on race and basketball based on another Shields yarn. Miles Teller the kid in “Whiplash” the movie Terry thinks is a good drummer and I read that he has been in five car crash scenes, and one in real life, on this way to Gathering of the Vibes jam band festival, compared to me Mark Weiss, rolled my new Toyota truck on my way to Bottom of the Hill matinee with the Curbfeelers, 1995. Is this reality or just a flash as the car is rolling? You bet your life it is, Tori tells me. Tori or Terry. Questions mark.
and1: Chris Kyle’s killer may have been inspired by Seinfeld, I cannot imagine what that means.