Bill Murray and Me

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Always first aware not of the naked feeling itself but of the best way to phrase the feeling so as to avoid verbal repetition, you come to think of emotions as belonging to other people, being the world’s happy property and not yours—not really yours except by way of disingenuous circumlocution. Hence my iron grip on ironic distance; hence my adoration of Murray; hence my lifelong love of novels (The Great Gatsby, A Separate Peace, Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier, Günter Grass’s Cat and Mouse) in which a neurasthenic narrator contemplates his more vital second self; hence this essay.

On the Tin House blog, David Shields shares the reasons behind his adoration of and identification with Bill Murray—and analyzes himself in the process.


Guia Cortassa was born, lives, and works in Milan, Italy. After working as a Contemporary Art curator, she went back to writing. She is a contributing editor for Ondarock and her writing has appeared on Rivista Studio, Flair and the Quietus. She compulsively tweets @gcmorvern. More from this author →