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.”