A piece for Wired magazine accompanying a review of David Shields’s novel Reality Hunger, here’s an extract from the article:

Since it was released in March, David Shields’s Reality Hunger has become either a bete noir or a cause celebre, depending on your philosophical outlook and mastery of the French language. In his self-described manifesto, Shields argues that the novel is dead, that nonfiction needn’t hew to factual truth, and — most controversially — that writers should feel free to crib one another’s words and ideas. To prove the point, he composed his book using hundreds of lightly-attributed quotes and paraphrases, everyone from Sonny Rollins to James Joyce. He included endnotes at his publisher’s insistence, but urged readers to remove the section with a boxcutter. So if we go buy these rules, does that mean we can just crib whatever we want, instead of having to write stuff or, say, come up with original questions for a Q & A? Yes. Yes it does. —Jason Tanz