— Grant Potter (@grantpotter) November 1, 2017
Last week I put out a call for someone to talk with me about Richard Matheson’s 1955 novel The Shrinking Man. The Great Grant Potter heeded the call and came fully prepared to talk about the numerous depravities of shrinking a man’s world. Grant was awesome, and the conversation consists of me making broad claims about the book in sweeping language, while he digs into the text with laser focus and produces nugget after nugget. I first read the book over a year and a half ago in Scotland, and it has haunted me ever since. I tried to talk with Brian Lamb about the book in an Argentinian Steak House in Amsterdam, but he wasn’t ready to explore the limits of manhood. I felt like I needed to exorcise the perverse demons of shriveling manhood it had borne in my brain, and I think that contagion is what I liked so much about the book. It reads like a deconstruction of what it means to be a man in the 1950s. And while very much a book of that period, it’s incisive critique of reality’s relative hold on the social order seems very contemporary. The story of Scott Carey is one that highlights how quickly your own reality can turn on you once you’ve lost any sense of your place within the power structure you depend upon for stability. It was a fun conversation, and Grant was awesome and generous as usual.