I’m sort of almost reading David Shield’s new book, Reality Hunger, A Manifesto. I think the bullshit detector that he says is the most important piece of equipment a writer can possess stopped working when it came to the title. This is no manifesto. It’s a defense of how he wants to write and thinks he writes best. He likes something he calls the lyrical essay. I guess he thinks Reality Hunger falls into the category of lyrical essay. Yet the book is 618 of his own observations interspersed with quotations from others that shore up his premise. He says that narrative fiction is irrelevant. Naturally, I don’t like that. But I’ve been dipping into it. By that I mean I open it up randomly, and digest one of the 618 items. Here are two short ones. “I hate quotations.” “Nothing is going to happen in this book.” Is this lyrical? Is it an essay? I’ll read more and say more later.