Wednesday, February 3, 2010


David Shields is interviewed over at BookSlut. It starts off with the interviewer talking about a box of galley copies being brought to a creative writing course. I saw a couple galley copies of this book while I was in Iowa, read a galley copy when I was on the West Coast, and borrowed another friend's galley copy in Chicago. And I have absolutely no connection to David Shields, which begs the question, how many galley copies were printed? And why? Isn't that kind of weird, that they were being distributed to writing classes and handed off to drunk people at bars and what-have-you? The book isn't even released yet and I feel like everyone's done reading and discussing it.

If I were going to write a manifesto about nonfiction I would say the only people allowed to use numbered sections anymore are zombie Pessoa and Olena Kalytiak Davis is she ever writes a book-length essay.


  1. I saw that over at HTML Giant. Just the quip about the numbered sections. Once upon a time, a very drunk member of my grad program got up and read a poem about a train: Number 9, he read. Number 9. Then he stumbled off stage, walked right to the reception table, took the carafe of wine and drank straight from it. Now, when I read numbered sections, his voice is in my head ringing, Number 9. Number 9.

  2. Who is T__? Who iS KJS?

    I've identified the rest of you, but geez, inquiring minds want to know.


  3. I am Tom Fleischmann.

    Reading this, I am self-concious that it sounds like I'm trashing David Shields, which I don't mean. What I mean is that I love Olena Davis.

    I like the number 9 story. I always want to make a scene when I am invited to read somewhere, but never have the follow-through. The best I ever did was to throw some glitter in the air when I started reading, but the ceiling was really low so it just fell back onto my head without getting the chance to glitter. Everyone thought it was salt.

  4. Agreed, Tom, that there is a story in the marketing of this book. I think I've received five copies in various ways. I wonder if it's even going to sell copies, or if it will actually be "published" traditionally. Maybe the galleys ARE the publication, which would make me extremely happy. Though probably not much of a model for the press to make money on the thing...

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.