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Life Is Short - Art Is Shorter  By  cover art

Life Is Short - Art Is Shorter

By: David Shields,Elizabeth Cooperman,Donald Barthelme,Kate Chopin,Lydia Davis,Annie Dillard,Barry Hannah,Amy Hempel,Jamaica Kincaid,Wayne Koestenbaum,Jonathan Safran Foer
Narrated by: Mike Maloney,Jill Iverson
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Publisher's Summary

Life Is Short - Art Is Shorter is not just the first anthology gathering both mini-essays and short-short stories. Listeners, writers, and teachers will get an anthology; a course’s worth of writing exercises; a rally for compression, concision, and velocity in an increasingly digital post-religious age; and a meditation on the brevity of human existence.

1. We are mortal beings.

2. There is no God.

3. We live in a digital culture.

4. Art is related to the body and to culture.

5. Art should reflect these things.

6. Brevity rules.

The book’s 40 contributors include Donald Barthelme, Kate Chopin, Lydia Davis, Annie Dillard, Jonathan Safran Foer, Barry Hannah, Amy Hempel, Jamaica Kincaid, Wayne Koestenbaum, Anne Lamott, Daphne Merkin, Rick Moody, Dinty W. Moore, George Orwell, Jayne Anne Phillips, George Saunders, Lauren Slater, James Tate, and Paul Theroux.

©2015 David Shields (P)2021 David Shields

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  • R. D. Rosengarten
  • 01-11-22

fabulous book, terribly read

David Shields is a master of the short form, of the essay, of the memoir. This is a terrific reflection on the way short prose (or poetic prose) can and often does punch above its weight. So far so terrific. But why would someone who cannot pronounce French be asked to read a book in which many French names appear? Here are some. Prowst. Baudely-Air, Jorgé Baa-tie-ee (go figure, Georges Bataille), Rim-baud (prounounce the full word rim), Barthes (read it with a soft TH rather than the french "t" - so Barthes rather than "Barte"). Then there are words like Meez-en-seen. And so on. Absolutely intolerable.