Please welcome Andrew Shaffer to The Qwillery.TQ
: Describe Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love
in 140 characters or less.Andrew
: A humorous look at the less-than-spectacular love lives of 37 of history's most revered thinkers.TQ
: What is your most interesting writing quirk?Andrew
: My most interesting quirk was that, for years, I didn't write with my true voice. In college, I attempted to write deadly serious literary fiction. It was dry and boring. My writing didn't really take off until I dropped the pretension and started adding humor to it.TQ
: Out of all the philosophers in Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love
, who is your favorite? Why?Andrew
: My all-time favorite philosopher is Friedrich Nietzsche, simply because he's imminently quotable. Syphilis drove him insane, but the insanity made his writing that much more entertaining – albeit incoherent and rambling at times. Probably the same reasons that people are fascinated with Charlie Sheen right now. (I'm not saying Charlie Sheen has syphilis, but I'm not ruling it out either.)TQ
: What inspired you to research and write Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love
: As a kid in junior high, I was a nerd. I was near the top of my class in terms of test scores, grades, etc., but at the very bottom in terms of interaction with the opposite sex. Same with all of my friends. Philosophers are sort of the ultimate nerds, and the thesis that big brains and broken hearts go hand-in-hand is something I had fun exploring while researching the book.TQ
: What songs would you put on a playlist for Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love
: A lot of Cure and Joy Division. Although I think I was listening to Slipknot on repeat while writing the book.TQ
: What's next?Andrew
: I will be contributing to a couple of "pop culture and philosophy" books over the next year – "Yoga: Philosophy for Everyone" and "Hunger Games and Philosophy." I'm also writing a second book for Harper Perennial, although I don't think the subject has been announced yet.TQ
: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.About the BookGreat Philosophers Who Failed at Love
HarperPerennial, 1/4/2011Few people have failed at love as spectacularly as the great philosophers. Although we admire their wisdom, history is littered with the romantic failures of the most sensible men and women of every age, including: Friedrich Nietzsche: "Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent." (Rejected by everyone he proposed to, even when he kept asking and asking.) Jean-Paul Sartre: "There are of course ugly women, but I prefer those who are pretty." (Adopted his mistress as his daughter.) Louis Althusser: "The trouble is there are bodies and, worse still, sexual organs." (Accidentally strangled his wife to death.) And dozens of other great thinkers whose words we revere—but whose romantic decisions we should avoid at all costs.
Andrew Shaffer is the creative director of Order of St. Nick, the greeting card company whose irreverent cards have been featured on The Colbert Report and NPR. He is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and reviews Harlequin romance novels for RT Book Reviews magazine. He lives in Iowa with his wife.
Website: Order of St. Nick
Website: Great Philosphers Who Failed at LoveThe Giveaway
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