Posts Tagged: David Foster Wallace
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
“He left us this book—the people closest to him agree that he wanted us to see it. This is not, in other words, a classic case of Posthumous Great Novel, where scholars have gone into an estate and unearthed a manuscript the author would probably never want read....more
In September 2008, David Foster Wallace stepped out onto his patio and did what most of us occasionally imagine doing, but hopefully never go through with....more
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
I often wonder if reviews can be great. Can a book (or an essay) that is essentially “about” another book compare to an original work?...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
When life is not the slightest bit luminescent, I read Lorrie Moore. She honors a commitment to the search for truth and morality through emotional and reachable means....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
With so many shopping days left until whenever, there is no end to the amount of printed matter out there that is riveting, ravishing and ultimately rewarding.
The book blogs are overwhelming to someone like me who wants to read everything....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
It’s fall! The air is crisp, the leaves are falling, and I can’t seem to leave my house....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
Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler takes a crack at the underworld in a hit-and-miss new novel....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
Donald Rumsfeld is my grandmother....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