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The Disappointment Artist

Jonathan Lethem

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.

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.
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Description:

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.

Language:

English

Length:

3h 46m


Chapters

Chapter 1
Chapter 1

07:49


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

06:33


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

05:35


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

03:30


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

04:42


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

05:47


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

02:29


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

03:21


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

02:35


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

01:39


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

01:58


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

03:58


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

04:26


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

04:58


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

07:04


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

05:07


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

03:21


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

04:44


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

06:02


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

05:17


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

04:03


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

03:17


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

06:49


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

04:55


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

06:31


Chapter 26
Chapter 26

04:15


Chapter 27
Chapter 27

04:58


Chapter 28
Chapter 28

05:14


Chapter 29
Chapter 29

03:27


Chapter 30
Chapter 30

04:51


Chapter 31
Chapter 31

03:34


Chapter 32
Chapter 32

07:20


Chapter 33
Chapter 33

05:43


Chapter 34
Chapter 34

02:13


Chapter 35
Chapter 35

01:51


Chapter 36
Chapter 36

09:12


Chapter 37
Chapter 37

04:36


Chapter 38
Chapter 38

05:47


Chapter 39
Chapter 39

06:27


Chapter 40
Chapter 40

05:15


Chapter 41
Chapter 41

04:58


Chapter 42
Chapter 42

05:27


Chapter 43
Chapter 43

05:41


Chapter 44
Chapter 44

03:37


Chapter 45
Chapter 45

03:51


Chapter 46
Chapter 46

11:40