Are You Serious? by Lee Siegel
How to Be True and Get Real in the Age of Silly

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Synopsis

LeeSiegel, author of Falling Upwards, Not RemotelyControlled, and Against the Machine delivers a provocative critique ofmodern lightness and frivolity, and a timely guide to being serious in an unserious age. In the vein of The Culture of Narcissism, Shop Class as Soulcraft, and How Proust Can Change Your Life,Siegel offers a revelatory look at how a serious bearing is vital toaccomplishing any worthwhile goal in an era increasingly defined by a sardonicapproach to life.
 

About Lee Siegel

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Lee Siegel writes about culture and politics for a wide variety of publications, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and is a recipient of the National Magazine Award. He is the author of three books: Falling Upwards: Essays in Defense of the Imagination; Not Remotely Controlled: Notes on Television; and Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and two children.
 
Published June 28, 2011 by Harper. 229 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Are You Serious?

Kirkus Reviews

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Culture critic Siegel (Against the Machine: How the Web is Reshaping Culture and Commerce—and Why It Matters, 2009, etc.) begins with a 1904 cartoon and ends with a discourse on today’s political climate.

Jun 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Are You Serious?: How to Be T...

The New York Times

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The tension between Beerbohm as gadfly and Arnold as authority figure is a paradigm for similar tensions throughout the book, which tries to explain how the seriousness of public figures ossifies over time into caricature, into “the mere performance of seriousness.” It then gets bumped into obsol...

Jul 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Are You Serious?: How to Be T...

Publishers Weekly

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"We spend our days searching for a way to be serious," writes critic Siegel (Falling Upwards) in this shallow investigation of seriousness from its essential elements ("Attention, Purpose, and Continuity") and Renaissance roots to how it has been overtaken by our culture of surging silliness, fri...

Jun 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Are You Serious?: How to Be T...

New York Journal of Books

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Both sides are unable to picture the other’s reality, so fresh seriousness that entails true listening and the generation of real ideas is no longer the norm.It is hopeful that this phase will also pass the way of our earlier cultural and political attempts at seriousness, so Mr. Siegel’s organic...

Jun 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Are You Serious?: How to Be T...

Slate

Until now, Siegel argues: We seem to have hit a serious logjam, thanks partly to the Internet, which was the subject of Siegel's last book, Against the Machine, where he made a convincing case that the Internet is driving Lee Siegel crazy and is perhaps making the rest of us more sadly generic in...

Jul 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Are You Serious?: How to Be T...

Portland Book Review

I bet you will find something that will interest you wp.me/P2DwkQ-bv0 5 stars for a cleverly devised mystery set in PDX a must read for the tween reader in your family wp.me/p2DwkQ-cmT http://t.co/FN0NuUFC It is author Lee Siegel’s belief that when “serious” and “seriously” became intensif...

Apr 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Are You Serious?: How to Be T...

Bookmarks Magazine

Are You Serious? is a thoughtful and enlightening exploration of seriousness in all its incarnations, from the heights of intellectual endeavor to the depths of political conflict to how the word itself is used in ordinary situations, from romance to business.

Jul 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Are You Serious?: How to Be T...

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