Wednesday, August 3, 2011

a little Dave Eggers...

I am currently reading Dave Eggers' memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and wow! am I blown away.  His bold, in-your-face style breaks so many rules but is brilliant nonetheless.  I love it when writers take huge risks, and in this case, Eggers has pulled it off. Congrats my friend!

One aspect of Eggers’ style that I love is his strange obsession with death and blood. Eggers’ is his little brother Toph’s guardian, and when he leaves Toph with a babysitter, his mind goes crazy with things that could go wrong.

“I will come home and the door will be open, wide. The babysitter will be gone and there will be silence. And at once I will know. There will be the smell of everything being perfectly wrong. At the steps up to Toph’s room there will be blood. Blood on the walls, handprints soaked in blood. A note to me, from Stephen, taunting; maybe a videotape of everyth—I will be to blame. His little body, bent, blue” (126).

I think this image represents Eggers’ mindset pretty well…

Chaime Soutine, the painter of this work, was also obsessed with blood and gore. He used to paint dead animal carcasses all the time. His use of vivid reds, oranges, and yellows really throw gore in your face. Don’t you think?

Here’s another work that relates to Eggers’ book...

This is a work by Marcel Duchamp. Duchamp was a boundary pusher just like Eggers. He loved to poke fun at the system and do his own thing. He was a real revolutionary, just like Eggers, who was all about pursuing his dreams through Might Magazine.

“Of course, we, and our magazine, can’t let on that we’re part of this scene, or any scene. We begin to perfect a balance between being close to where things are happening, knowing the people involved and their patterns, while keeping our distance, an outsider’s mentality, even among other outsiders. Ridiculing other magazines, especially Wired upstairs” (172).

Isn’t it crazy how artists from completely different time periods and places can match up so well? Are there any other paintings that deal with blood and gore or 20-something ambition on a similar level that you think Eggers would appreciate? Leave me a comment!

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