Posts Tagged: David Foster Wallace

Excavated Heartbreaking Interview with David Foster Wallace

By

I didn’t really understand emotionally that there are people around who didn’t have enough to eat, who weren’t warm enough, who didn’t have a place to live, whose parents beat the hell out of them regularly. The sadness isn’t in seeing it, the sadness is in realizing how phenomenally lucky I am, not only to have never been hungry or cold, but to be educated, to have access to books.

...more

Word of the Day: Recrudescence

By

(n.) breaking out afresh or into renewed activity; from the Latin recrudescere (“to become raw again”)

The point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about … this is just a banal platitude, but the fact is that in the day to day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have a life or death importance, or so I wish to suggest to you on this dry and lovely morning.

...more

Public (Image) Domain

By

What happens when the reproduction rights of literary works and an author’s public image are taken out of their owner’s control, but without any law infringement?

Over at the Paris Review, Evan Kindley tries to find out. He compares the case of the upcoming David Foster Wallace movie, adapted from David Lipsky’s memoir Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, to what happened to James Joyce when Ulysses was reprinted by another author in the U.S., where the book wasn’t under copyright.

...more

The Evils of Irony

By

At one time, irony served to reveal hypocrisies, but now it simply acknowledges one’s cultural compliance and familiarity with pop trends. The art of irony has lost its vision and its edge. The rebellious posture of the past has been annexed by the very commercialism it sought to defy.

...more

The Cliché of Leadership

By

Think about it. A real leader is somebody who, because of his own particular power and charisma and example, is able to inspire people, with ‘inspire’ being used here in a serious and non-cliché way. A real leader can somehow get us to do certain things that deep down we think are good and want to be able to do but usually can’t get ourselves to do on our own.

...more

Grammar Master David Foster Wallace

By

The interview was a byproduct of an article Wallace started in the late nineties on the grammar wars. Most writers think of grammar as uninteresting, the machine code of literature, but Wallace loved it for many reasons—because his mother did; because it was full of rules, and limits gave him pleasure; and because his mastery of the subject reminded everyone how smart he was.

...more

Remembering David Foster Wallace

By

Five years ago today, groundbreaking writer David Foster Wallace took his own life.

Maria Popova at Brain Pickings remembers him with a post excerpting Conversations with David Foster Wallace, a “collection of 22 interviews and profiles of the beloved author.” A preview:

Really good work probably comes out of a willingness to disclose yourself, open yourself up in spiritual and emotional ways that risk making you look banal or melodramatic or naive or unhip or sappy, and to ask the reader really to feel something.

...more

Possibility: Essays Against Despair

“Possibility: Essays Against Despair,” by Patricia Vigderman

Reviewed By

I like Patricia Vigderman because she likes jickjacking. She describes in “A Writer’s Harvest”, an earlier piece in Possibility: Essays Against Despair, how the sight of that slangy word, in two distinct (but linked) stories—one by Mary Karr, the other by David Foster Wallace—motivate her toward personal tangents and pleasures.

...more

New DFW Books: Both A Good Idea and Not

By

Both Flesh and Not, the latest posthumous David Foster Wallace book, has been released, and Rumpus pal Andrew Altschul has written an extensively titled essay about it for the Quarterly Conversation.

In it, he explores with a springy verbosity not unlike Wallace’s own the book’s strengths and shortcomings, the publisher’s motivations for releasing it, and the legacy with which Wallace left us.

...more

Improve your prose with Math

By

Alright fiction writers, put down your pens for a moment and let’s talk math.

If you recoil when hearing the “M-word” or brace your index fingers into a cross at the sight of algebra or calculus books—you’re not alone. But according to Alex Nazaryan’s article, “Why Writers Should Learn Math,” writers  could improve their prose by embracing math instead of cowering from it.

...more

David Foster Wallace Was A Comedy Nerd

By

Blythe Robertson unpacks David Foster Wallace’s thoughts, and impacts, on American comedy for Splitsider.

Wallace often worried about the overwhelming amount of irony on television – talking heads poking fun at those watching the show while viewers laugh along at themselves, neither party doing much to fix their apparent boredom with the shallowness of the medium.

...more

A Virtual Tour Of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest

By

Attention All David Foster Wallace Fans,

Writer William Beutler is compiling real life Boston, MA locations featured in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest:

“About each I will write some 300–500 words, endeavoring to say something interesting about the role a given location plays in the story, how it appears in the present day, and what it was like to visit.

...more

On “Proper” English and Objective Legislation

By

It’s no secret that English is a constantly shifting, malleable, many-headed beast of a language, yet, much of the time, writers and speakers insist emphatically on obeying its many ostensibly rigid rules.

At The New York Times, linguist John McWhorter writes about the myth of “proper” English:

“We are taught that a proper language makes perfect logical sense, and that allowing changes willy-nilly threatens chaos.”

In the article, McWhorter argues that changes in the English language are akin to shifts in fashion: they have real, tangible effects, but should not be used in any way to infer the “intelligence or moral worth” of a speaker or writer.

...more