Conversational Philosophy

I have just finished a book I started some time ago. It was the first book I bought in Kindle format, long before I got the device. The computer is good for a lot of things, but reading books on it just doesn´t work. I get distracted. The name of the book is "The Chairs are Where the People go - How to Live, Work, and Play in the City" by Misha Glouberman and Sheila Heti. I´m not entirely sure how I heard of it, but I´m sure it was on some excursion on the internet.

Heti writes in the foreword that Glouberman is her friend, and that she has always liked the way he speaks and thinks. She then had the idea to write a novel about him, but ended up collaborating with him instead. What they did was meet up, he talked, and she typed. The book contains 72 chapters, some short, some longer, on topics like:
How to make friends in a new city
How to be good at playing charades
Miscommunication is nice
Is monogamy a trick?
Seeing my friends drunk for the first time
A decision is a thing you make
Feeling like a fraud
Why computers only lasts three years
Who are your friends?
and many more. They don´t sound so profound, but the content often is. There is much talk of games, as Glouberman spends a lot of his time doing theatrical workshops for non-actors, or something like that. I don´t think that anything he does is very clear cut, actually. He seems to be a boundry-crossing cultural worker, and some of his ideas for getting people to talk to each other, like a concept he calls "un-conference", is really clever. I had to bookmark some bits for the husband to read, as he plans conferences now and then, and may even find these ideas useful in his teaching profession.

Three short, clever quotes that I picked:
"It´s both reassuring and frustrating to understand that, whatever you do, some people are going to like it and some people won´t."
"It´s useful to remember that friendship needs an activity associated with it."
"It seems to me that the most pleasing thing you can find yourself saying in a conversation is something you haven´t said before."

I have seen reviewers call this "conversational philosophy" or "pop philosophy". If it seems like a good idea to listen to (ok, read, but it feels like listening) a very clever person with a very interesting job, whom you are not likely to ever meet in real life, this is a read I can highly recommend.

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