Friday, April 8, 2011

We are all of us brothers

David Foster Wallace at the Hammer Museum in L...Image via WikipediaIt's actually proving rather hard this past week or so to get any sort of work done during the day with the incredible amount of articles and whatnot issuing forth on the subject of David Foster Wallace and/or/also The Pale King. While Nick Mantias over at The Howling Fantods has it all collected, collated and curated I humbly wanted to draw your attention to three particular writings that I thought were rather moving and altogether excellent.

1) Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library
by Maria Bustillos
2) In Which We Explore the Archives of David Foster Wallace
3) How to be Happy Leland de la Durantaye

The Pale King is currently sitting on my bookshelf. I've hesitated to start it. I was so excited when the UPS guy dropped it off that I walked the apartment holding it triumphantly over my head like some sort of trophy. When David Lipsky's book came out, I devoured it and read many sections twice wanting that extra view into the road trip and Wallace's thinking. I've hunted down many of the audio clips from Wallace's appearance at the Lannan Foundation and other readings. I've even got a subscription to Harper's so I could download some of his essays to compare the different versions. The field of Wallace studies has barely been scratched. Starting with Hering's fantastic collection entitled Consider David Foster Wallace there is a tremendous amount to explore/connect/discuss/debate about what Wallace has written. Especially with the recent opening of the archives at the Ransome Center being made available, one can almost go straight to the source.
But the Pale King is different-it's the last novel. I started reading Wallace the summer of 2008 three months before he committed suicide. I had come into his work as many others through A Supposedly Fun Thing and Consider the Lobster and was hungry for more. I came across the aforementioned Howling Fantods while surfing the Web for info about him and in the midst of this fervor to one morning reading the NYTimes article that Wallace had indeed died. I'm grateful that he left what had come together of The Pale King for us to read. I'm looking forward to one last first time of starting a DFW novel.

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