Conversations with David Foster Wallace

Author: Stephen Burn

Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi

ISBN: 1617032271

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 186

View: 6263


Collection of interviews that profiles Wallace's career of twenty years, from 1987 until his suicide in 2008, that provides insight into his development as a writer and complicated persona.

Conversations with David Foster Wallace

Author: Stephen J. Burn

Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi

ISBN: 161703228X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 208

View: 9281


Across two decades of intense creativity, David Foster Wallace (1962-2008) crafted a remarkable body of work that ranged from unclassifiable essays, to a book about transfinite mathematics, to vertiginous fictions. Whether through essay volumes (A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, Consider the Lobster), short story collections (Girl with Curious Hair, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Oblivion), or his novels (Infinite Jest, The Broom of the System), the luminous qualities of Wallace’s work recalibrated our measures of modern literary achievement. Conversations with David Foster Wallace gathers twenty-two interviews and profiles that trace the arc of Wallace’s career, shedding light on his omnivorous talent. Jonathan Franzen has argued that, for Wallace, an interview provided a formal enclosure in which the writer "could safely draw on his enormous native store of kindness and wisdom and expertise." Wallace’s interviews create a wormhole in which an author’s private theorizing about art spill into the public record. Wallace’s best interviews are vital extra-literary documents, in which we catch him thinking aloud about his signature concerns—irony’s magnetic hold on contemporary language, the pale last days of postmodernism, the delicate exchange that exists between reader and writer. At the same time, his acute focus moves across MFA programs, his negotiations with religious belief, the role of footnotes in his writing, and his multifaceted conception of his work’s architecture. Conversations with David Foster Wallace includes a previously unpublished interview from 2005, and a version of Larry McCaffery’s influential Review of Contemporary Fiction interview with Wallace that has been expanded with new material drawn from the original raw transcript.

David Foster Wallace: The Last Interview

Author: David Foster Wallace

Publisher: Melville House

ISBN: 1612192076

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 128

View: 1213


In intimate and eloquent interviews, including the last he gave before his suicide, the writer hailed by A.O. Scott of The New York Times as “the best mind of his generation” considers the state of modern America, entertainment and discipline, adulthood, literature, and his own inimitable writing style. In addition to Wallace’s last interview, the volume features a conversation with Dave Eggers, a revealing Q&A with the magazine of his alma mater Amherst, his famous Salon interview with Laura Miller following the publication of Infinite Jest, and more. These conversations showcase and illuminate the traits for which Wallace remains so beloved: his incomparable humility and enormous erudition, his wit, sensitivity, and humanity. As he eloquently describes his writing process and motivations, displays his curiosity by time and again turning the tables on his interviewers, and delivers thoughtful, idiosyncratic views on literature, politics, entertainment and discipline, and the state of modern America, a fuller picture of this remarkable mind is revealed.

David Foster Wallace: Fiction and Form

Author: David Hering

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1628920580

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 192

View: 8577


In David Foster Wallace: Fiction and Form, David Hering analyses the structures of David Foster Wallace's fiction, from his debut The Broom of the System to his final unfinished novel The Pale King. Incorporating extensive analysis of Wallace's drafts, notes and letters, and taking account of the rapidly expanding field of Wallace scholarship, this book argues that the form of Wallace's fiction is always inextricably bound up within an ongoing conflict between the monologic and the dialogic, one strongly connected with Wallace's sense of his own authorial presence and identity in the work. Hering suggests that this conflict occurs at the level of both subject and composition, analysing the importance of a number of provocative structural and critical contexts – ghostliness, institutionality, reflection – to the fiction while describing how this argument is also visible within the development of Wallace's manuscripts, comparing early drafts with published material to offer a career-long framework of the construction of Wallace's fiction. The final chapter offers an unprecedentedly detailed analysis of the troubled, decade-long construction of the work that became The Pale King.

Approaches to Teaching the Works of David Foster Wallace

Author: Stephen J. Burn,Mary K. Holland

Publisher: Modern Language Association

ISBN: 1603293922

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 205

View: 3550


David Foster Wallace’s works engage with his literary moment--roughly summarized as postmodernism--and with the author’s historical context. From his famously complex fiction to essays critical of American culture, Wallace’s works have at their core essential human concerns such as self-understanding, connecting with others, ethical behavior, and finding meaning. The essays in this volume suggest ways to elucidate Wallace’s philosophical and literary preoccupations for today’s students, who continue to contend with urgent issues, both personal and political, through reading literature. Part 1, “Materials,†offers guidance on biographical, contextual, and archival sources and critical responses to Wallace’s writing. The essays in part 2, “Approaches,†discuss teaching key works and genres in high school settings, first-year undergraduate writing classes, American literature surveys, seminars on Wallace, and world literature courses. They examine Wallace’s social and philosophical contexts and contributions, treating topics such as gender, literary ethics, and the culture of writing programs.

David Foster Wallace: The Last Interview Expanded with New Introduction

Author: David Foster Wallace

Publisher: Melville House

ISBN: 1612197426

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 224

View: 2654


An expanded edition featuring new interviews and an introduction by the editor, a New York Times journalist and friend of the author A unique selection of the best interviews given by David Foster Wallace, including the last he gave before his suicide in 2008. Complete with an introduction by Foster Wallace's friend and NY Times journalist, David Streitfeld. And including a new, never-before-published interview between Streitfeld and Wallace.

Gesturing Toward Reality: David Foster Wallace and Philosophy

Author: Robert K. Bolger,Scott Korb

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1441164081

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 272

View: 1310


Asked in 2006 about the philosophical nature of his fiction, the late American writer David Foster Wallace replied, "If some people read my fiction and see it as fundamentally about philosophical ideas, what it probably means is that these are pieces where the characters are not as alive and interesting as I meant them to be." Gesturing Toward Reality looks into this quality of Wallace's work-when the writer dons the philosopher's cap-and sees something else. With essays offering a careful perusal of Wallace's extensive and heavily annotated self-help library, re-considerations of Wittgenstein's influence on his fiction, and serious explorations into the moral and spiritual landscape where Wallace lived and wrote, this collection offers a perspective on Wallace that even he was not always ready to see. Since so much has been said in specifically literary circles about Wallace's philosophical acumen, it seems natural to have those with an interest in both philosophy and Wallace's writing address how these two areas come together.

Suicide Century

Author: Andrew Bennett

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 110841804X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: N.A

View: 2068


Suicide Century investigates suicide as an increasingly 'normalised' but still deeply traumatic and profoundly baffling act in twentieth-century writing.

The Unspeakable Failures of David Foster Wallace

Author: Clare Hayes-Brady

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1501313533

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 208

View: 6866


This book examines the writing of David Foster Wallace, hailed as the voice of a generation on his death. Critics have identified horror of solipsism, obsession with sincerity and a corresponding ambivalence regarding postmodern irony, and detailed attention to contemporary culture as the central elements of Wallace's writing. Clare Hayes-Brady draws on the evolving discourses of Wallace studies, focusing on the unifying anti-teleology of his writing, arguing that that position is a fundamentally political response to the condition of neo-liberal America. She argues that Wallace's work is most unified by its resistance to closure, which pervades the structural, narrative and stylistic elements of his writing. Taking a broadly thematic approach to the numerous types of 'failure', or lack of completion, visible throughout his work, the book offers a framework within which to read Wallace's work as a coherent whole, rather than split along the lines of fiction versus non-fiction, or pre- and post-Infinite Jest, two critical positions that have become dominant over the last five years. While demonstrating the centrality of 'failure', the book also explores Wallace's approach to sincere communication as a recurring response to what he saw as the inane, self-absorbed commodification of language and society, along with less explored themes such as gender, naming and heroism. Situating Wallace as both a product of his time and an artist sui generis, Hayes-Brady details his abiding interest in philosophy, language and the struggle for an authentic self in late-twentieth-century America.

David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest

Author: Stephen J. Burn

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1441186328

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 144

View: 313


Infinite Jest has been hailed as one the great modern American novels and its author, David Foster Wallace, who committed suicide in 2008, as one of the most influential and innovative authors of the past 20 years. Don DeLillo called Infinite Jest a "three-stage rocket to the future," a work "equal to the huge, babbling spin-out sweep of contemporary life," while Time Magazine included Infinite Jest on its list of 100 Greatest Novels published between 1923-2006. David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest: A Reader's Guide was the first book to be published on the novel and is a key reference for those who wish to explore further. Infinite Jest has become an exemplar for difficulty in contemporary Fiction-its 1,079 pages full of verbal invention, oblique narration, and a scattered, nonlinear, chronology. In this comprehensively revised second edition, Burn maps Wallace's influence on contemporary American fiction, outlines Wallace's poetics, and provides a full-length study of the novel, drawing out the most important themes and ideas, before surveying Wallace's post-Infinite Jest output, including The Pale King.