Posts by: Thomas Larson

How Literature Saved My Life

“How Literature Saved My Life,” by David Shields


Something similar about desire and resistance to desire is going on with David Shields, a core theme begun in Reality Hunger and now extended with How Literature Saved My Life. Dramatizing uncertainty, in authors Shields devours and lauds (think Geoff Dyer on D. H. Lawrence), is a new, largely nonfictional form, doggedly essayistic, bleedingly memoiristic. This genre amalgam is displacing traditional literary categories, especially the novel, “an artifact,” Shields writes, “which is why antiquarians cling to it so fervently.” ...more

Zona, by Geoff Dyer


To appreciate Zona, Geoff Dyer’s twelfth book, you’ll need to watch the Andrei Tarkovsky film, Stalker, among the most treasured and troubling movies in the history of cinema. If you’ve never seen it, you’ll need to take your time with the film—it is relentlessly bewitching—before reading Dyer’s discursive exploration of its maze of meanings and its thirty years’ spell upon him.