1. The amazing and important New Yorker article about David Foster Wallace’s final, unfinished novel, The Pale King. A couple of quick quotations from the article, the first from DFW himself:

“It seems like the big distinction between good art and so-so art lies . . . in be[ing] willing to sort of die in order to move the reader, somehow. Even now I’m scared about how sappy this’ll look in print, saying this. And the effort to actually to do it, not just talk about it, requires a kind of courage I don’t seem to have yet.”

And the second from a character in TPK: “Maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain, because something that’s dull or opaque fails to provide enough stimulation to distract people from some other, deeper type of pain that is always there, if only in an ambient low-level way, and which most of us spend nearly all our time and energy trying to distract ourselves from.”

Apparently the manuscript uses a group of I.R.S. employees to further explore DFW’s interest in the redemptive possibilities of AA-inspired mindfulness. More on this soon…

2. Another fascinating theological review of U2’s No Line On The Horizon.

3. Slate nails the Watchmen comic-book legacy. Take it from a guy who first read it when he was in 6th grade. (Thanks for the heads-up, J.Stamper!).

4. Revised Mbird Conference schedule! We have added an in-depth Q&A with Dr. Paulson on Friday afternoon.

4a. Apocalypto (top ten movies ever) was only the beginning