David Foster Wallace and

David Foster Wallace and "The Long Thing"

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Of the twelve books David Foster Wallace published both during his lifetime and posthumously, only three were novels. Nevertheless, Wallace always thought of himself primarily as a novelist. From his college years at Amherst, when he wrote his first novel as part of a creative honors thesis, to his final days, Wallace was buried in a novel project, which he often referred to as qthe Long Thing.q Meanwhile, the short stories and journalistic assignments he worked on during those years he characterized as qplaying hooky from a certain Larger Thing.q Wallace was also a specific kind of novelist, devoted to producing a specific kind of novel, namely the omnivorous, culture-consuming qencyclopedicq novel, as described in 1976 by Edward Mendelson in a ground-breaking essay on Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. David Foster Wallace and qThe Long Thingq is a state-of-the art guide through Wallace's three major works, including the generation-defining Infinite Jest. These essays provide fresh new readings of each of Wallace's novels as well as thematic essays that trace out patterns and connections across the three works. Most importantly, the collection includes six chapters on Wallace's unfinished novel, The Pale King, which will prove to be foundational for future scholars of this important text.Ita#39;s interesting: Ia#39;ve never read really good essays aboutthedifferent kindsof seduction in different kinds of art. (Lipsky72) The beginnings ofsuch aa€œreally good essaya€ might be found in the work of Roland Barthes, who, as wellaswriting about theanbsp;...

Title:David Foster Wallace and "The Long Thing"
Author:Marshall Boswell
Publisher:Bloomsbury Publishing USA - 2014-07-31


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