I have finally read David Shields. He is one to read in our time – or isn’t he?
How Literature Saved My Life is a collage of thoughts, a collection of things David Shields enjoys reading, watching, and thinking about, assembled loosely by theme, with the overarching message that he loves literature.
I have noted that some critics praise him for
… his uncanny ability to tap into the short attention span of modern culture and turn it into something positive. He doesn’t linger on any subject for more than a few pages—not because it isn’t worth the time, but because he’s so adept at concision that any more elaboration is unnecessary.
Personally I wonder if he is not choosing the easy way out here, adept at concision – or just not patient enough to stay around to develop his own ideas?
Shields advocate form experimentation, but experimentation in itself is not enough – it has to be well done to be really interesting. To put it short: Shields has to work on his style.
I like the idea of this book – an attempt to say something valuable about the importance of literature – a lot better than the final result. Maybe Mr. Shields should give it another go & try again (preferable in his own words) to explain How literature saved his life???