Reviewing The Pale King is a difficult process, for a number of reasons. The most obvious of which include that it is a last novel (though we wish it weren’t) whose author isn’t alive to see its publication (though we wish that weren’t true) and it is an unfinished novel, whose author’s own intended shape is unknown....more
Posts Tagged: David Foster Wallace
You read last week in The Rumpus about the new “statistical analysis tool” that tells you who you write like. Coding Robots, a group of software developers, seemingly created I Write Like just for fun; the page analyzes your word choice and writing style and spits back a writer it compares you to (out of a list of 50 writers, according to Dmitry Chestnykh in his interview with The Awl)....more
In 1994, David Foster Wallace published an essay about the difficult-to-pin-down pleasure of watching great athletes during their most intense moments of competition. The essay, “How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart,” looks simple on the surface: it is “unaccompanied,” by which I mean there are no numbered footnotes, no preambles, no subtitles and no flow charts framing or attached to the text....more
“I think avant-garde fiction has already gone the way of poetry. And it’s become involuted and forgotten the reader. Put it this way, there are a few really good poets who suffered because of the desiccation and involution of poetry, but for the most part I think American poetry has gotten what it’s deserved....more
My relationship with the book blogs has hit a snag. Today, we got in a throw-down fight, and I came pretty close to breaking some china.
It’s just that the blogs whine and worry and complain a lot, and they always seem to want to cheat on me with famous writers, like Martin Amis or David Foster Wallace or Marquis de Sade, and then it rubs off on me, and I end up whining and worrying and complaining more than they do, and then I stop liking myself....more
The filmography of the fictional Wild Turkey drinking filmmaker and visionary tennis instructor at Enfield Academy, James Incandenza, the central character of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, will make an appearance of sorts at the Gallery at The Leroy Neiman Center for Print Studies....more
“Nothing can’t be made with wood.” Street legal wooden car!
I don’t know about you, but I could use some good news this Monday morning. Cell phones might not cause brain tumors after all!
Evidently the US Defense Department is way more whimsical than we’d thought....more
My boyfriend insisted I read Brief Interviews with Hideous Men when we started dating. “It will help you understand the way men think!” he exclaimed. Secrets of those bearing a Y chromosome would be revealed, he promised; David Foster Wallace had explored the shadows of the psyche of his generation and had rendered them on the page in all of their dark, desperate beauty....more
Reasons to attend the 2009 Brooklyn Book Festival: 1) it’s one of the most hip, smart and diverse American literary events, 2) because Ben Marcus, Sarah Manguso, Thurston Moore, Heidi Julavits and Tao Lin are just some of the stars and emerging writers who will be talking/reading, 3) panels will talk about DFW , rappers and upward mobility, among a lot of other great things read and discussed, and 4) because it’s free (though for some events you need to secure tickets in advance)....more
As you probably already know, David Foster Wallace left an unfinished novel called The Pale King upon his death. Today Tim Martin of the Telegraph UK wrote a remembrance of DFW that, among many other things, includes details of the novel, a version of which will be published in the spring....more
I’ve been collecting articles and links connected to the Infinite Summer challenge, and Infinite Jest itself, and three weeks in seems like a good time to share them: if you’d like to participate and somehow haven’t heard of it yet, there’s still enough time to catch up with the other participants!...more
Tom McCarthy’s Remainder was a bit of a darkhorse darling when it first arrived on the scene, enjoying attention from everyone and their mother, the latter of whom rightly celebrated it and nearly exhausted it, marking it as possibly “one of the great English novels of the past ten years.” I can do nothing much here in the way of aesthetic appreciation but agree, reiterate and repeat, and thus much of the customary cuddling I might do with what the book is I’ll leave to my precursors in the interests of an appreciation of what the book represents—which is, to say the least, promising....more
Infinite Summer is a Web site presenting the world with the following challenge/life-better-maker:
“Read Infinite Jest over the summer of 2009, June 21st to September 22nd. A thousand pages ÷ 92 days = 75 pages a week.” Plus endnotes.
The site features notable participants and four guides/writers, “who have never before read Infinite Jest [and] will do so for the duration of Infinite Summer....more