I don’t find the book reviewed here very interesting but the opening raises some interesting points about artistic (and other) innovation in America’s cities. The paradox that rubs is : 1. It’s too expensive to fail (experiment, do basic research or literally fail) in NYC or LA and 2. Smaller cities don’t have the population for the exchange of ideas or economic base necessary to achieve scale. This is one of Detroit’s biggest problems. It’s a tiny city at this point and their are too many people who want to take the stage and not enough audience.
But I invested in you!: How to be and asshole. by Sheila Heti
London Review of Books
“There was a time when artists and writers flocked to inexpensive cities to allow themselves the trials of making art over the trials of making a living. In North America today, the main site of literary activity or literary business – which more and more amount to the same thing – is Brooklyn. Yet it’s probably one of the toughest places for a writer to live cheaply and noodle about, wearing rags. What happens when artists gravitate to places where they can make art only with great financial effort; where writers have to be journalists, adjunct professors, or work in cafés to pay the rent, leaving little time to write their novel, while learning every few months that one of their herd has secured a six-figure advance for their first book? What do their relationships and values look like, and how do their love stories unfold? This is the world of Adelle Waldman’s first book.”