HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Disappointment Artist: Essays by…
Loading...

The Disappointment Artist: Essays

by Jonathan Lethem

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4291224,588 (3.49)3
None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 3 mentions

English (11)  Spanish (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
I love this guy. I love his novels, I love his essays, I love his stories, I love his articles, I love his Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. I love his truth, I love his style, I love his sensibilities, I love his sentences, I love his name-dropping, I love his nerdly-ness, I love his Collected Works, I love his OCD, I love his diatribes & analyses of film and music, I love his 12 years in a used bookstore. The comics? Well, it's a guy thing, it passed me by.

Still. I love these essays. I get them. I used to write things like this myself, about movies, about dance, about loss, about terrifying visits to scary dentists, and about the struggle to try to understand your art and your self. There's nothing so wrong about them & his are particularly amusing & well-written. Mine are too, yet mine live on my blog and his are collected into this beautiful book. I love you, man. Keep the hits comin'! ( )
  ReneeGKC | Aug 16, 2014 |
Although I haven't read more than a paragraph of Chuck Klosterman, I'm reminded. If you're into 70s art rock, PKDick, Magritte, Godard, Kubrick, and well, finish the list yourself, this should be a treat. I'm into those things too, but what boy isn't? But this boy likes to learn something when he reads.

Then there's the 'densely allusive' quality of the essays. Er. Watch for the echo from Finnegans Wake, congratulate yourself for catching it, berate yourself for your self-congratulation given the obviousness of the allusion, and then wonder why it's there at all. Hella Catchall Egotism?

For nostalgics only. I wish I hadn't read it.

And I suppose I just don't see the point of memoir, a genre Lethem does nothing to justify. ( )
  karl.steel | Apr 2, 2013 |
1 vote MSarki | Mar 29, 2013 |
Sweet and sour in the right amounts, with occasional attacks of lachrymose sentimentality and preening self-awareness, but all in all, crisp like a whip-snap and exuberant in all its tweedy, four-eyed enthusiasms. IT WAS NICE. I HAD A NICE TIME. ( )
2 vote nohablo | Dec 12, 2010 |
Jonathan, you're lonely and scar(r)ed. I get that and I respect that. Whether I get anything out of that… well, I think I'm just too well-adjusted, and this isn't irony.

I'm willing to forgive hell of a lot for sentences such as "In either case, and in dozens of others, I wanted to submit and submerge, even to die a little. I developed a preference, among others, for art that required endurance, that mimicked a galactic endlessness and wore out the nonbelievers. By ignoring my hunger or need to use the bathroom during a three-hour movie by Kubrick or Tarkovsky I'd voted against my body, with its undeniable pangs and griefs, in favor of a self comprised of eyeballs and brain, floating in the void of pure art."

and, even more so,

"I tried to obliterate my teenage years in movie theaters because my teenage years embarrassed and saddened me. Between double features of French films, between putting one book down and picking up the next, I'd glance at my wristwatch to see if I was in my twenties yet."

Anyhow – get rid of the adverbs, would you?

Love,
me ( )
1 vote dst | Oct 26, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jonathan Lethemprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
gray318Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Testa, M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385512171, Hardcover)

In a volume he describes as “a series of covert and no-so-covert autobiographical pieces,” Jonathan Lethem explores the nature of cultural obsession—in his case, with examples as diverse as western films, comic books, the music of Talking Heads and Pink Floyd, and the New York City subway. Along the way, he shows how each of these “voyages out from himself” have led him home—home to his father's life as a painter, and to the source of his beginnings as a writer. THE DISAPPOINTMENT ARTIST is a series of windows onto the collisions of art, landscape, and personal history that formed Lethem’s richly imaginative, searingly honest perspective on life as a human creature in the jungle of culture at the end of the twentieth century.

From a confession of the sadness of a “Star Wars nerd” to an investigation into the legacy of a would-be literary titan, Lethem illuminates the process by which a child invents himself as a writer, and as a human being, through a series of approaches to the culture around him. In “The Disappointment Artist,” a letter from his aunt, a children’s book author, spurs a meditation on the value of writing workshops, and the uncomfortable fraternity of writers. In “Defending The Searchers” Lethem explains how a passion for the classic John Wayne Western became occasion for a series of minor humiliations. In “Identifying with Your Parents,” an excavation of childhood love for superhero comics expands to cover a whole range of nostalgia for a previous generation’s cultural artifacts. And “13/1977/21,” which begins by recounting the summer he saw Star Wars twenty-one times, “slipping past ushers who’d begun to recognize me . . . occult as a porn customer,” becomes a meditation on the sorrow and solace of the solitary movie-goer.

THE DISAPPOINTMENT ARTIST confirms Lethem's unique ability to illuminate the way life, his and ours, can be read between the lines of art and culture.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:20 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In a volume he describes as "a series of covert and no-so-covert autobiographical pieces," Lethem explores the nature of cultural obsession, with examples as diverse as western films, comic books, the music of Talking Heads and Pink Floyd, and the New York City subway. Along the way, he shows how each of these "voyages out from himself" have led him home--home to his father's life as a painter, and to the source of his beginnings as a writer. This book is a series of windows onto the collisions of art, landscape, and personal history that formed Lethem's richly imaginative, searingly honest perspective on life as a human creature in the jungle of culture at the end of the twentieth century.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
3 avail.
84 wanted
2 pay4 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.49)
0.5 1
1 1
1.5
2 5
2.5 1
3 32
3.5 5
4 31
4.5 2
5 8

Audible.com

Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,349,012 books! | Top bar: Always visible