You Don't Love This Man a novel by Dan DeWeeseYou Don't Love This Man was released by Harper Perennial in March, 2011. The book is available online at:

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It can also be found in fine bookstores everywhere, of course.

Writers on literary blogs have posted their thoughts on the book. Other responses to the book include:

"Of particular interest--spotlighted wryly by DeWeese--is just what the women around Paul know that he doesn't (quite a bit, it turns out). Paul is utterly sympathetic even in his faults, and as he comes to a sort of reckoning with his own limitations--and with what, exactly, he is losing on his daughter's wedding day--DeWeese details the process with subtlety and humor." --Alison Hallett, The Portland Mercury

"Life, both mundane and off-kilter, is revealed in this fine novel about a man who may not be as lost as he thinks." --Kirkus Reviews

The book includes a Harper Perennial "P.S." of additional material. What follows is the text of the "Read On" section from the P.S. I've added some video clips for the entries that are films.

READ ON

Throughout the years I spent writing You Don’t Love This Man, readers of drafts (pronounced: my friends) often asked to what degree I felt the main character was aware of how others see him. I was never able to answer this question definitively, but I will now claim this is mostly because I didn’t want to say something like: “He is highly aware of how others see him, but he can’t do anything about it, because he is almost entirely blind to how others see him.”

I think most thinking and feeling human beings are trapped in that same nonsensical sentence, and I’m far from the first person to have written about it. The following are things I sometimes refer to when trying to explain to someone that I have a strong sense of self, but I have a hard time communicating it, because I haven’t the slightest idea who I am.

Blow-Up, directed by Michelangelo AntonioniBlow-Up, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
Antonioni’s landmark depiction of the fact that the more closely we examine an image, the less clarity we have on what we see—or think we see—within its borders. It’s not that we fail to see accurately, it’s that each image is really just a smaller part of a larger, more complex image. And the reason we can’t see the larger image with any clarity is that we’re inside of it. It’s the world.

 

Late Spring directed by Yasujiru OzuLate Spring, directed by Yasujiru Ozu
Ozu is a master of depicting situations in which characters feel compelled to say or go along with something socially acceptable, while simultaneously revealing the degrees, sometimes desperate, to which they wish they could refuse. Setsuko Hara smiles and smiles and smiles in this film, and it’s a stunning, beautiful smile. It is also, often, a mask.






Low by David BowieLow, David Bowie
David Bowie, Brian Eno, Tony Visconti, Europe, the mid-1970s. The brilliance of this album isn’t news. But in a world that often feels designed to reduce the opportunities for headspace, these artists crafted music—here and elsewhere—that created not only more opportunities for headspace, but offered brand new flavors of it. My son was playing a cheap retro version of the old video game “Pole Position” the other day when a track from this album came on, and I started laughing. It was “Always Crashing in the Same Car.”


Solaris, directed by Andrei TarkovskySolaris, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
If you could live with your thoughts and memories instead of in the real world, would it be paradise or hell? Tarkovsky’s answer, built atop the scaffolding of Stanislaw Lem’s novel, only complicates the question, but in a way that feels moving and true. Late in the film, the sequence of weightlessness and a Bruegel painting breaks my heart, every time.

 

Eclipse by John BanvilleEclipse, by John Banville
Here and elsewhere, Banville reveals his mastery at treading the line—he has expanded it into an entire territory, really—between what we call a “literary novel” (a suspicious redundancy) and that item named “the detective story.” In addition to his crackling lexical energy, Banville’s work hums along on the delightful paradox that “the literary” has always been that sound thrumming at the heart of the detective story, while the desire to make investigations has always been a motor that drives literature. So which is a subcategory of the other? Like Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars, Banville doesn’t dissolve the two forces—he exploits them.

 

The Friends of Eddie Coyle, directed by Peter YatesThe Friends of Eddie Coyle, directed by Peter Yates
A low-level, working class con in Boston has gotten busted again, and now he’s going to have to do time. Unfortunately, he happens to be married, with two kids, so he can’t let that happen. He begins the game of acquiring, or crafting, information about fellow criminals, to offer the cops in exchange for his freedom. He believes he’s good at this game. The degree to which we can see that this man is not evil, but neither is he clever, is heartbreaking. This is 1970s filmmaking at its best, and with Robert Mitchum at the center of it, to boot. The film feels like a gift.

The New York Times' A.O. Scott on the film:

 

 

Ways of Seeing, by John BergerWays of Seeing, by John Berger
Now that we are ensconced in the info- and media-centric world of the great 21st century, this non-fiction book based on a series of television shows that aired on the BBC in the 1970s should be dated and obsolete. Berger won the Booker Prize for the fantastic novel G, but every year, I watch students go home to read Ways of Seeing, and return a few days later surprised to discover that a slim little book, half of which is pictures, offers so many strategies for describing men, women, the images we make, and what we say about each other in those images.

 

 


The Counterlife by Philip RothThe Counterlife
, by Philip Roth
The Counterlife is the tour de force of a mind—Roth’s—that not only senses the manifold potentials bound up in any constellation of characters, but can then play those potentials out, with and against one another. Reading this novel is like watching a person play multiple games of chess simultaneously, and win them all. And here’s the kicker: after that overheated description, it’s also true to say that each section of this book reads fairly straightforwardly, and includes some good laughs.