Master Class: Collage [David Shields]
The novel is dead; long live the anti-novel, built from scraps. / I’m not interested in collage as the refuge of the compositionally disabled. I’m interested in collage as an evolution beyond narrative. / A great painting comes together, just barely. / It may be that nowadays in order to move us, abstract pictures need, if not humor, then at least some admission of their own absurdity – expressed in genuine awkwardness or in an authentic disorder. / These fragments I have shored against my ruins. / Collage is the primary art form of the twenty-first century.
Discussion of Anne Carson, “Just for the Thrill: Essay on the Difference between Women and Men”; Marguerite Duras, The Lover; Annie Dillard, For the Time Being; Amy Fusselman, The Pharmacist’s Mate/8; Eduardo Galeano, The Book of Embraces; Sarah Manguso, The Guardians; David Markson, This Is Not a Novel; Leonard Michaels, “Journal”; Maggie Nelson, Bluets; David Shields, Reality Hunger; George W.S. Trow, Within the Context of No Context; Joe Wenderoth, Letters to Wendy’s; other collage books and essays, including line-by-line examination of Dinty Moore’s short collage essay “Son of Mr. Green Jeans.”