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Posts tagged "David Foster Wallace"


When Don Gately’s Spider Started to Starve

For as much burn as we’ve given David Foster Wallace on this site, I was surprised and a bit embarrassed to realize that we’ve never quoted from his opus Infinite Jest. Well, no longer! Here’s a favorite: the stunning passage where Wallace recounts one of his “protagonists”, Don Gately, praying for the first time. It […]

We’ve Only Just Begun? The Law of Legacy and the Club of Hundred

The other day, I was asked a question that I dread. We were talking about Mockingbird, but the query would have inspired just as much trepidation if it had been concerned with my parenting or marriage. I was asked what success might look like. I’ll spare you my answer (which wasn’t really an answer). The […]

Perfect Tennis, Clever Students, and Mozartesque Semi-Colons (Plus)

I Know This Moment To Be True: Some Thoughts on DT Max’s Reading of His Biography of David Foster Wallace

We could not possibly be happier to bring you the following essay from Daniel Matthew Varley on one of our absolute favorite subjects. Please note: If you don’t feel like wading through the whole thing but would like to garner some nuggets about David Foster Wallace not found in the biography or elsewhere on the […]

Another Week Ends: Gucci Addictions, Narcissism Epidemics, DFW, Phone vs. Heart, PZ on Drones (on CNN), R. Crumb, Tale of Two Suedes, and Kung Fu Grandpa

1. The author of the original Friday Night Lights, Buzz Bissinger, dropped as offbeat and not-quite-repentant a tale of addiction on GQ this month as I have ever come across. A convergence of shopping and sex addiction rooted in Law-induced despair (never being able to measure up to initial success) and plain old powerlessness, the […]

Is Contemporary Literature Post-Christian?

An essay in last week’s NYTimes written by Paul Elie grabbed my attention, prodded me in the gut, and provoked some mixed reactions on my behalf. Written with a sensitivity to the oft-referenced ‘post-Christian society,’ Elie surmises that contemporary American fiction lacks the believer: “In American fiction, belief is like that. Belief as upbringing, belief as […]

Another Week Ends: Exceptional Children, Holiness Holes, AA Slogans, Reformation Sincerity, Online Niceness, Grateful Dead, Aimee Mann and Seinfeld-ized Game of Thrones

1. An encouraging number of signs of life in the bibliosphere this week. First, over at The New Statesman, much to my surprise (and much to his credit), renowned atheist Alain de Botton selected Francis Spufford’s Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense as his favorite book of the year. For […]

On the Comfort of Bad Books; or, What You and David Foster Wallace Have in Common

How does David Foster Wallace pass the time during a 1600-mile trip across America? With a Dean Koontz novel, of course. The Rumpus, a site for literary commentary, recently published an unsettling little article on “The Comfort of Bad Books”, exploring the attraction and validity of bad books. Way more of us than we’d care […]

David Foster Wallace on Love, Identity and the Numbness of Achievement

From the modern bard’s short story collection, Oblivion, specifically the beginning to the stream of consciousness tour-de-force, “Good Old Neon”, ht DJ: My whole life I’ve been a fraud.  I’m not exaggerating.  Pretty much all I’ve ever done all the time is try to create a certain impression of me in other people.  Mostly to be liked or admired.  It’s […]

Another Week Ends: Incarnational Kerouac, Lutheran Austerity, Dream Identities, Rev, Arrested Development, Mormon Sci Fi, Foodie Piety and Daytrotter

1. Newsweek published an excerpt of D.T. Max’s forthcoming Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace and what an excerpt! It concerns Wallace’s relationship with Mary Karr, and the genus of Infinite Jest. Almost enough to dispel the reservations we voiced earlier this week. It also makes for a […]

David Foster Wallace Went to Church Constantly?

The next few months are shaping up to be eventful and exciting ones for devotees of David Foster Wallace. At the end of August the first major biography of Wallace, D.T. Max’s Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story, hits the shelves. And then in November, a long-awaited volume of uncollected essays arrives, Both Flesh […]

“The Way of People” from DFW’s The Pale King

The fifth effect has more to do with you, how you’re perceived. It’s powerful although its use is more restricted.  Pay attention, boy. The next suitable person you’re in light conversation with, you stop suddenly in the middle of the conversation and look at the person closely and say, “What’s wrong?” You say it in […]