The Thing About Life is That One Day You'll Be Dead

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 5 de febr. 2008 - 256 pàgines
Mesmerized and somewhat unnerved by his 97-year-old father's vitality and optimism, David Shields undertakes an original investigation of our flesh-and-blood existence, our mortal being.Weaving together personal anecdote, biological fact, philosophical doubt, cultural criticism, and the wisdom of an eclectic range of writers and thinkers—from Lucretius to Woody Allen—Shields expertly renders both a hilarious family portrait and a truly resonant meditation on mortality.The Thing About Life provokes us to contemplate the brevity and radiance of our own sojourn on earth and challenges us to rearrange our thinking in crucial and unexpected ways.

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LibraryThing Review

Revisió d'Usuari  - juniperSun - LibraryThing

Shields uses facts and statistics to distance himself from the emotions he feels about his father. Interspersed stories about their lives show the competitiveness he feels toward him. He also tries to show how closely sex and death are tied together. Not a very rewarding read. Llegeix la ressenya completa

LibraryThing Review

Revisió d'Usuari  - grandpahobo - LibraryThing

This is an unusual book. The author combines myriads of statistics related to human physiological development with reminiscences and current stories about his father. He even includes some stories ... Llegeix la ressenya completa

Continguts

Our Birth Is Nothing but Our Death Begun
3
Decline and Fall
9
Paradise Soon Lost
19
Motherhood
27
Hoop Dream ii
34
Rattlesnake Lake
43
Boys vs Girls ii
49
Superheroes
59
Notes on the Local Swimming Hole I2 I
121
Hoop Dream viii
135
Decline and Fall iii
139
The Thing About Life Is That One
151
Boys vs Girls iv
160
Death Is the Mother of Beauty
173
How to Live Forever i
181
How to Live Forever ii
189

Hoop Dreams iv and v
66
Ye Olde MindBody Problem
78
Decline and Fall ii
87
Bloodline to Star Power ii
98
Sex Changes Everything
104
The Trouble with Being Food III
111
Bloodline to Star Power iii
200
The Story Told One Last Time
211
Notes for Eulogy for My Father
218
PERMISSIONS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
227
Copyright

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Passatges populars

Pàgina 152 - At thirty man suspects himself a fool ; Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan ; At fifty chides his infamous delay, Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve; In all the magnanimity of thought Resolves and re-resolves; then dies the same.
Pàgina 78 - SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy.
Pàgina 198 - What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time. It is the little shadow that runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
Pàgina 142 - Jesus. *T is strange that it is not in vogue to commit hari-kari, as the Japanese do at sixty. Nature is so insulting in her hints and notices ; does not pull you by the sleeve, but pulls out your teeth, tears off your hair in patches, steals your eyesight, twists your face into an ugly mask ; in short, puts all contumelies upon you, without in the least abating your zeal to make a good appearance ; and all this at the same time that she is moulding the new figures around you into wonderful beauty,...
Pàgina 146 - when we speak of "seriousness" in fiction ultimately we are talking about an attitude toward death - how characters may act in its presence, for example, or how they handle it when it isn't so immediate
Pàgina 119 - Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight, Make me a child again just for tonight! Mother, come back from the echoless shore, Take me again to your heart, as of yore; Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care, Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair: Over my slumbers your loving watch keep, Rock me to sleep, mother, rock me to sleep.
Pàgina 7 - The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.
Pàgina 78 - SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Smoking By Pregnant Women May Result in Fetal Injury, Premature Birth, And Low Birth Weight.

Sobre l'autor (2008)

David Shields is the author of eight previous books, including Black Planet: Facing Race during an NBA Season (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), Remote: Reflections on Life in the Shadow of Celebrity (winner of the PEN/Revson Award), and Dead Languages: A Novel (winner of a PEN/Syndicated Fiction award). A senior editor of Conjunctions, Shields has published essays and stories in dozens of periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine, Harper's Magazine, Yale Review, Village Voice, Salon, Slate, McSweeney's, and Believer. He teaches at the University of Washington and lives in Seattle with his wife and daughter.

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