(David Shankbone/Wikipedia)

Writer Geoff Dyer really, really likes to sit

The journalist talks about sitting on various chairs as if it is an artform

Prachi Gupta
July 10, 2013 7:30PM (UTC)

In the New Republic today, Ben Crair stands up for sitters everywhere, surveying writers about their specific postural preferences. For example, who knew that Philip Roth wrote standing at a lectern? Or that Gary Shteyngart writes everything lying down? ("As a result I suffer from tendinitis, rotator cuff injuries, poor posture, and hamburger helper syndrome," he jokingly explains to Crair.)

The most entertaining bit, however, comes from award-winning writer and journalist Geoff Dyer, who has very specific preferences:


Sometimes when people give up their seat for me—as they ought—they accompany this generous gesture with the words “I’ve been sitting all day.” “Me too!” I say, happily taking the weight off my feet. If I've sat on my arse all day—and it’s definitely my English arse I sit on, not an American ass—then what I most want to do come evening is sit on it some more. But I do like to change where I sit on it. In the day I'm at my desk in one of those Herman Miller Aeron chairs that make one feel like a mid-level executive with back problems. For a while in the afternoon I move to a red leather chair that tilts back like a prototype of the first-ever business-class airplane seat in order to read, i.e. induce a nap. Having recovered from my nap, I put in a further quarter-hearted shift in my Aeron before moving to the living-room sofa for some real sitting: sitting in the sense of almost lying down with all parts of the body evenly supported. “Up go the feet,” I say out loud and from then until bed-time they come down only reluctantly.

In other words, behind the success of any writer, there is always some solid support -- usually a chair, but sometimes a bed frame or just the floor.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Gary Shteyngart Geoff Dyer Philip Roth Sitting The New Republic Writing

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