Reading a quarrel (they like calling it that way) between a professor and his former student regarding art and life by itself is an interesting theme. And when you have experienced a glimpse of that quarrel live in person the book becomes quite dear to you.
David Shields is the author of fifteen books and Writer in residence at the University of Washington and Caleb Powell is a writer and stay at home dad and David’s former student. Caleb blogs at notesofasexiststayathomefather.com
The book is made into a movie by James Franco and would be released later this year. We got a chance to see a bit of that during the PWlive at San Francisco
If you love art and life and think they can talk to each other, sorry quarrel with each other then you should read this book. There are many times artists feel that these two aspects of them ‘art and life’ fight with each other for their time. Some give way to art and some to life.
As I was reading the book I felt myself leaning towards Caleb at times but then with David. And this taking sides went on throughout the book. The reason for me is simple because I have not been able to make a real choice when it comes to Art and life. I sometimes feel that the art is trying to project itself as the life and at times life finds excuses to dress up as art. But yes obviously always with compromises to their own individual existence. So for someone who can’t make a choice, the book is a important ride to take.
It is a very fun read and they are brutal with each other. The interesting thing is that every piece of quarrel ends with them moving a bit closer so they can comfortably pounce on each other with more vigor and proximity. During the whole process of debate you can experience how they connect, counter, respect and acknowledge one another through dialogue about anything and everything. Often quite personal and with loads of sense of humor.
The ability to quarrel and progress in my opinion is very important because even if not for a book or in public, people often shy away from debates just because they do not want to start a quarrel. But quarrels are progress… they help you to know the other person up close and build up a whole new perspective of their own self. And here I am happy that the reader also becomes part of the quarrel.
I would highly recommend the book…. And the movie when it comes. And Thanks David and Caleb for the Signed copy….. I think you both are totally right about the other person being wrong