Collections of Nothing

Collections of Nothing☉ Collections of Nothing PDF / Epub ❤ Author William Davies King – Oaklandjobs.co.uk Nearly everyone collects something even those who donOCOt think of themselves as collectors William Davies King on the other hand has devoted decades to collecting nothingOCoand a lot of it With Colle Nearly everyone collects something even those who donOCOt think of themselves as collectors William Davies King on the other hand has devoted decades to collecting nothingOCoand a lot of it With Collections of Nothing he takes a hard look at this habitual hoarding to see what truths it can reveal about the impulse to accumulateaPart memoir part reflection on the mania of acuisition Collections of Nothing begins with the stamp collection that King was given as a boy In the following years rather than rarity or pedigree he found himself searching out Collections of PDF/EPUB ² the lowly and the lost the cast off and the undesired objects that merely by gathering and retaining them he could imbue with meaning even value As he relates the story of his burgeoning collections King also offers a fascinating meditation on the human urge to collect This wry funny even touching appreciation and dissection of the collectorOCOs art as seen through the life of a most unusual specimen will appeal to anyone who has ever felt the unappeasable power of that acuisitive feveraWhat makes this book bred of a midlife crisis extraordinary is the way King weaves his autobiography into the account of his collection deftly demonstrating that the two stories are essentially one His hard won self awareness gives his disclosures an intensity that will likely resonate with all readers even those whose Collections of Nothing contain nothing at allOCoNew YorkeraKing''s extraordinary book is a memoir served up on the backs of all things he collects His story starts out sounding odd and singularOCowho is this guyOCobut by the end you recognize yourself in a lot of what he doesOCoJulia Keller Chicago Tribunea. Oh god you don't know how it pains me to give this book two stars The cover is beautiful and the subject matter fascinating I know that William Davies King is a kindred spirit a fellow collector obsessive but that doesn't change the fact that I feel after finishing this book like someone just threw up on me If you want to write a book about your weird habits so that I can admire and respect them please do If you want to write a book and talk circularly and melodramatically about how your parents didn't love you enough and how you collect objects because they will never leave you please DON'T You can even call me and talk to me about it on the phone if you want But if you're going to write a book at least edit it? He's always complaining about how his collecting is self indulgent but I would way rather look at his collection of dictionary illustrations or tuna can labels in fact I really do want to see them than read this I'm sorry I'm sorry I really amWilliam you seem like a super guy It's just that your genius is in collage art not memoir In some ways this memoir strikes me as the most naked kind of confessional as if the author instead of being a collector were a professional masturbator or someone who wove carpets from the hair of all the women he dated It is a memoir steeped in shame and pathology yet also normalness since the type of collecting and acuiring done here is both an attempt to fill emptiness and compensate for emotional wounds and a path to self definition a way of sketching the world and my place in it This is not hoarding in the strictest sense King doesn't live among canyons of teetering newspapers and garbage but curates his collections with obsessive care; over the past 25 years he has filled 83 binders with food and consumer products labels and this is just one of his many collections Other smaller ones are teabag tags expired credit cards and library cards illustrations cut from old dictionaries and pasted onto paper The book's cover shows a page from his binder containing security envelope linings He is acutely aware of the low utility and limited aesthetic appeal of his collections of the lost hours spent accumulating them life marches on while collectors trail behind carrying a shovel and a sack Yet he also recognizes their congruity with art the way art and collecting both share elements of curation of synthesis of animating found objects Joseph Cornell's boxes were a source of inspiration for him as a youthIt also feels like a naked confessional as we learn late in the book because King's health insurance plan has stopped paying for his therapy sessions He has discontinued his retail therapy and the book is his homemade continuation of it though not necessarily the end of his collecting I felt eual measures of empathy and horror reading it which was well expressed by Henry Alford's review in the New York Times I wanted by turns to breast feed and strangle himKing a professor of theater at UC Santa Barbara writes poetically I enjoyed this charmingly cruel bit of name dropping from his days as a student at the Yale School of Drama I was turned to dust by a simpering snorting aerobics instructor an iota named John Guare He always called himself the world's oldest promising playwright and the world treated him well and not too well accordingly To me he was the world's worst teacher and I was his worst student and he treated me badly and very badly accordingly There was a jerky rhythm in his step that said I really need this teaching job and also I really need to make them think I don't need this teaching job and also I really need to learn to like teaching and also I don't It was like he was running away from us to us over us all at onceHe torued his upper body to right to left jazzercising in a sweatless Hamptons boat society way Izod draped across his slack gutHe needed always to see himself better in his students not to see his students better in themselves He ran his comb through his hair to make sure we were never a tangle never a stray I was with King for the first few chapters in spite of the occasional cornball line I thought he might collect those too And I'm sympathetic to anyone who devotes the hours and days and years to such impractical activity But about halfway through on page 94 to be precise King lost me with his therepyphilia I can't stand the idea of therepy except perhaps for people who have lived through some genuine tragedy or abuse and I don't have time for anyone who looks to writing as a source of it I also didn't like the way King seemed to soften his prose and crank up the corn after his revelation that he'd spent the last eight or so years in therepyI felt betrayed Here I thought I was reading something singular about a singular life a singular mind And what I got was a feel good movie aimed at the plurality I was supposed to take his therpist's embrace as a victory I believe But instead I saw it as a failure And a bore I'd like to see his collections though I hate to say itbecause he is a real person after all but I'd have rather seen King's obsessions get the better of him It would have made for a better read I had really high hopes for this book and there were moments that were everything I'd hoped for but mostly I found the whole thing rather dull almost shockingly so And sometimes uite repetitive Ultimately Davies can't seem to decide whether what he's doing is perfectly reasonable and no big deal or whether he wants us all to see how absolutely cool and strange he is Also although he alludes to having had therapy and seems uite well read he never addresses in a meaningful way the extent to which his collecting and especially the particular forms his mania takes might be indicative of a larger psychological issue Really an autobiography in very academic language which is not what I expected If you want to read an autobiography of a collector this is a good place to start King talks about his collection habits and how they have changed during his life and had an influence in it In some ways this is the typical tale of the negative image of an collector he collects because he lacks something in his life and collecting takes overe ruins relationsships and the like King also has the typical thoughts about what will happen with his collection after he is no longer here and how it will live on in some way or other and thereby keeping him alive in a wayA lot of the book is textbook this is how collectors are but I get the impression that King sees himself as special in a weird and somewhat counterintuitive way because he collects nothing as he states it He collects food labels cereall boxes and stuff like that which actually isn't nothing but over time becomes really interesting as a showcase of material culture And besides the collection having some objective value in this way his collection has the normal subjective value any collection has for it's collector and that makes his collection of nothing just as important as any other collectionIt bugged me that the author at the same time tries to make himself be somebody ua his collection but constantly rejects it as nothing and talks about all the time he has spend gluing labels to papers etc and how that could have been spent better the book would have been much interesting in my opinion if he had written an honest account of his life and his collection habits but had been proud of itIn some ways he achieves that pride through therapy and with a bit of help from his daughters when they help him organise one part of the collection the cereal boxes and he realize how much information is hidden in them and that they also have an aesthetic uality and the power to make people remember the pride of his collection just comes too lateHe sees himself as different from other collectors because he doesn't go on Ebay and doesn't buy things just for his collection he only collects what he either eats or uses or what comes to him like chain letters or what he can pick up on the street or in the trash But this is just one way to show your personality through your collection and at the same time as it distinguishes you as an individual it is also part of the collection proces and thereby makes you a part of the whole a part of the collecting world at large Especially because he does pick through trash a trash can for him is another collector's EbayThe book is in form like a long essay written to come to terms with life after divorce and yet another break up and as a cheaper way of therapy after his health benefits provider stops covering his therapy bills and it has that kind of therapeutic associative uality to it and in some ways I really liked thatAnd he does bring up some interesting points mostly points that have been made in other litterature see Russell W Belk and Susan M Pearce for instance but one point towards the end was interesting He points out that young people now collects in a different way like on Facebook or on the Ipod all the platforms for compiling countless digital objects carefully arranged in categories and containers just like any collection 151 now anybody say Goodreads? But this point is really an interesting one and one I would like to write about as a sort of after thought to my master thesis on collectingInteresting uotes Collecting is a constant reassertion of the power to own an exercise in controlling otherness and finally a kind of monument building to insure survival after death For this reason you can often read the collector in his or her collection if not in the object themselves then in the business of acuiring maintaining and displaying them To collect is to write a life 38It is a paradox that use degrades value that what is most precious is the untouched object I had touched my books and they had touched me 40An old clock in a collection does not so much tell time as it tells of time and the tale is a sad one 55I love it all I love you for what you do not love what you throw away There's a sad paradox in that I love you for your lack of love for what I love 90 Either this book is really pretentious or I am not its intended audience Or I suppose bothThe author spends a lot of the book circling back to analytical thoughts about his collecting habit I can tell you what it boils down to objects have no inherent value above what we assign to them Also if what you are is lonely then you need people not objects There now you don't have to read the whole bookIt's puzzling to me because obviously this author can write There is a really excellent sestina in here and a paragraph riffing on the word putter in such a subtle way that I didn't figure out until the end of the paragraph what he was doing There are puns and riffing There is some simple concrete discussion of the author's life that was easy to read what he wore what people said what the landscape was like etcBut always there is the crushingly going nowhere analysis Also a lot of words on how my habit is totally not hoarding and how my habit is totally different from other collectors I think the author knows that these are defensive thoughts and left them in to be revealing but it didn't work for meI just didn't care by the time I got to the end and read how the author's life is so much better now I agree with everyone who was disappointed in this book Fascinating topic dull and self absorbed treatment by William Davies King I don't see how anyone could enjoy spending time inside what apparently is a rather sparsely furnished mind If you want to read a fabulous book biography rather than autobiography though about someone with a mania for collecting peculiar detritus read Deborah Solomon's UTOPIA PARKWAY a life of Joseph Cornell It has the added attraction of being about a genius I liked the way this book started out While reading this book I found myself alternately wanting to collect some obscure thing the waxed inter packing of cereal and other food boxes?or getting a dump box and throwing out every item in my house I no longer use The later part of the book where King tries to come to terms with his collecting I found cumbersome As if the over abundance of objects in his world resulted in an over abundance of words The final chapter does wrap in up in a way that makes the book a worth while read Some parts are wonderfully written some parts are too much My general sense of Dave King is that he is a genius but that I would hate him I like the idea paying attention and finding value in mundane things such as security envelopes see cover which isn't exactly what he is saying but that's what I am taking to my life His treatment of personal relationships and horrible cruelty about his sister were very offputting which is why I didn't give 5 stars I bet that a lot of people will find it too precious but I think he does precious well

Collections of Nothing ePUB æ Collections of
  • ebook
  • 171 pages
  • Collections of Nothing
  • William Davies King
  • 28 December 2016
  • 9780226437095