I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel
David Shields and Caleb Powell
Knopf, September 2014
A debate, nearly to the death, about life and art.
Caleb Powell always wanted to become an artist, but he overcommitted to life (he’s a stay-at-home dad to three young girls), whereas his former professor David Shields always wanted to become a human being, but he has overcommitted to art.
Shields and Powell spent four days together in a cabin in the Cascade Mountains, playing chess, shooting hoops, hiking to lakes and an abandoned mine; they rewatched My Dinner with André, Sideways, and The Trip, relaxed in a hot tub, and talked about everything they could think of in the name of exploring and debating their central question (life and/or art?): genocide, marriage, sex, Toni Morrison, sports, porn, the death penalty, baldness, evil, James Wood, happiness, sports-talk radio, George Bush, drugs, death, facial scars, betrayal, alcohol, Rupert Murdoch, Judaism, bad book-titles.
Actor-writer-director James Franco will be directing a film of the book later this month with Shields and Powell striving mightily to play themselves. Both the book and the film will be released in September 2014. On Thursday, December 12, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. at Powell’s Books, Shields and Powell will be rehearsing some of the scenes from the book.