Editorial Reviews. From Bookforum. Heti truly has a startling voice all her own, and a fresh take Person Be?: A Novel from Life - site edition by Sheila Heti. Chosen as one of fifteen remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write in the 21st century by the book critics of The New York Times. In contrast to this notion, Heti offers authentically authentic action as of being admired” nor to please nor “to win someone's regard”—to act in.
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Sheila Heti Irreverent, brilliant, and completely original, Heti challenges, questions, frustrates, All good books should be called just that. . Download PDF. Sheila Heti's book is “part literary novel, part self-help manual.” How could I know which would look best on me?” She speaks with that. There are a few sentences early on in “How Should a Person Be?,”. Sheila Heti's fifth book and second novel, that are bound to be quoted.
I remember none of the details of our conversation until the subject turned to ugliness.
I said that a few years ago I had looked around at my life and realized that all the ugly people had been weeded out. Sholem said he couldn't enjoy a friendship with someone he wasn't attracted to. Margaux said it was impossible for her to picture an ugly person, and Misha remarked that ugly people tend to stay at home.
How Should a Person Be? Summary & Study Guide
These are a few of the sordid fruits that led to the Ugly Painting Competition. They didn't think it was practical, and encouraged him to go to art school instead. So he went, and his first year there, up late one night painting, as the sun began rising with the morning, a sudden and strong feeling came up inside him that said, I must be an artist.
I must paint for the rest of my life. I will not settle for anything else.
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No other future is acceptable to me. It was an epiphany and a decision both, from which there would be no turning back — the first and most serious vow of his life.
So this past spring, he completed his M. I don't remember, but once I got enthusiastic, suddenly we all were.
The idea was that Margaux and Sholem would compete to see who could make the uglier painting. I really hoped it would happen. I was curious to see what the results would be, and secretly I envied them. I wanted to be a painter suddenly. I wanted to make an ugly painting — pit mine against theirs and see whose would win.
What would my painting look like? How would I proceed? I thought it would be a simple, interesting thing to do. I had spent so much time trying to make the play I was writing — and my life, and my self — into an object of beauty.
It was exhausting and all that I knew.
Margaux agreed to the competition right away, but Sholem was reluctant. He didn't see the point. The premise turned him off so much — that one should intentionally make something ugly.
But I egged him on, pleading, and finally he gave in. As soon as Sholem returned home after brunch, he set about making his entry — so he wouldn't have to think about it anymore, he explained to me later, or have looming before him the prospect of having to make something ugly. He went straight into his studio, having already decided what he would do.
How Should a Person Be?
He imagined it would be like this intellectual exercise that he could sort of approach in a cold fashion. He would just do everything he hated when his students did it. He started the composition smack-dab in the middle of a piece of paper, since paper is uglier than canvas.
Heti's rousing, unapologetically messy, beautifully written, insightful and provocative book explores the frustrations and rewards of female friendship, and of trying to make art as a young woman in the 21st century Heti is doing something very exciting within the form of the novel. It reflects life in its incredible humor--and in some of its weird bits that might be muddled or unclear Instead there are several intertwined, grinding and brilliantly uncomfortable ones that require the reader to shed a few dozen layers in the service of self-discovery She may depart from broad harbors, but she is an analytic zealot, never imparting trite one-liners or excusing herself.
Reading her is an act of participation, discomfort and joy. And the prose, often taking the form of a numbered list, is always engaging.
Her tone can be earnest and eager to please, flippant and crass, terribly lucid and darkly funny Her tortured self-deprecation can read a little like Violette Leduc's, and her poetic bluntness sometimes reminds me of Eileen Myles, but these authors come to mind mostly because, like Heti, they have written about women with unusual detail and feeling.
Heti truly has a startling voice all her own, and a fresh take on fiction and autobiography's overlap. I don't know how to begin talking about Sheila Heti or how good she is.
But I am still reeling from the originality of this novel. There are passages here so striking, to read them is to be punched in the heart.
It is book peopled by twentysomethings but works easily as a manual for anyone who happens to have run into a spiritual wall. Heti subtly weaves together ideas about sex, femininity and artistic ambition. Reading this genre-defying book was pure pleasure. Watch for it — it's great.
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Complex, artfully messy, and hilarious. Gorgeously rendered. About the author. Sylvia Plachy.There is also her casual, relatively banal drug use, her under-developed work ethic. I was always listening to their answers, so if I liked them, I could make them my answers too. Read it in a great swooping gulp. Never finding it, by the way. That is all I deserve to be. So she filled up most of the book with whatever vapid thoughts came to mind and planned to go back and fix them later.
But then when she finished the draft she was too tired to go back and fix all the vapid sections, so she decided to act as if they were part of the plan all along and hope An interesting idea, not very well done. She learns very, very simple lessons that you dismissively think a child should know, but then you must sheepishly admit are harder than that.
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