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.
Of course we all know that the more inward-looking we are, the duller we become, especially as most of us have similar anxieties, hopes and dreams. Recording what we had for breakfast must surely be more interesting than how we felt about it. But some writers have managed to find mileage in their angst and self-obsession.
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Now, in this mashup of memoir, fiction, self-help and philosophy, Sheila Heti has added a bit of story, quite a few blow jobs and some cheeky exclamation marks, and finally made it credible. And she's thrown in a bit of the who-slept-with-whom stuff as well.
Oh — and most of its characters are based on Heti's actual friends: In an episode of Lena Dunham's sitcom Girls , the character Ray tells protagonist Hannah that writing about her personal life is "trivial". He lists some more suitable subjects, including "acid rain", "the plight of the giant panda bear", "urban sprawl" and, finally: Death is the most real. Our heroine, Sheila, a playwright who can't finish her latest commission, tells us: They are so serious.
They lectured me for my lack of morality. Does a person have to be moral to produce art? Or can a person sometimes just articulate their own triteness?
It's just a fact of nature. Can it even begin with the question How Should a Person Be? Luckily everyone Sheila knows finds a way to help with her questions.
Even Israel, the man with whom she has intense, compelling sex, and who seems rather depthless "Would you like to have my cum in your mouth right now, talking to those rich people? Sheila's Jungian analyst advises her to suffer more. It ruined the place somewhat, but the food was cheap, it was never crowded, and they always had a place for us.
I shared a breakfast special and a grilled cheese with Margaux. Jon asked for our fries.
I don't remember what we started off talking about, or who was the funniest that day. 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. 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. 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.
How Should a Person Be?
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.
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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.Related Information. Oct 08, Stella rated it did not like it. What is it about Canadian women who write? To write so much about what is likely a common typo related to keyboard muscle memory would, should , could, soul… sould is ridiculous.
Anything could happen next, within reason. I still feel strength and warmth and courage from this book, but it is more like the kind you feel when you come into the house after being soaked in a pounding rainstorm. I think degradation has jumped the shark. The level of intelligence is somehow a bit higher. Art is a conversation.
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