Classy Talk with Michael Shilling

Posted Sat, 12/21/2013 - 1:17am by  |  Category:

What is the title of your class? 
Being Funny

People should take this class if… 
…they want to understand how to use comedy in the service of the serious. Really funny stuff that’s great is always, at heart, serious as a heart attack. Some examples: Pride and Prejudice, American Psycho, Lolita, and most of Flannery O’Connor’s short stories. 

Can your students connect with you on social media? If so, how?
They may indeed, at 
Twitter: @Shilling664

Are any of your works online and available to the public?
You can read the start of my first novel on Amazon.

What’s your teaching philosophy?
Listen to students and help them get better in a way that aligns with their individual needs as artists, not your needs as a teacher. 

If you could only bring one novel, story, or poem to a deserted island, which would you bring and why?

American Taboid by James Ellroy, because it’s funny, vicious, and elegiac all at once. That’s a troika of awesome. 

What are you currently working on?
A coming-of-age novel about criminals in Miami. It has funny bits. 

If there was one piece of advice you could give an aspiring writer, what would it be? 
Everything that you write and don’t like is a big step to writing something you love. So, get to work. 

What do you like best about Hugo House?
The students are committed and smart, talented and generous. They teach me as much as I teach them. 

What are you reading now? If you could pair it with a beverage (alcoholic or otherwise), what would you choose?
My favorite book to drink to is Stanley Booth’s The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones. I’ll take Lillet on the rocks, because no one in the Stones would. I like to aggravate the text a little.