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  • David Foster Wallace dead.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/book....ap/index.html

  • #2
    And Richard Wright too.

    Seems like the start of a bad week.

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    • #3
      Interview with Karen Green on DFW.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by heartbreak View Post

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        • #5
          David Foster Wallace? Dead? Oh...how awful...he was...he was like...wait. Who was he again?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ellimist View Post
            I finally started The Pale King. I am 1 page in... this is going to be a long read. The problem I'm seeing is what the editor mentioned in the introduction, there was no refining or editing on DFW's part. So, there is some repetition and oddity that would have been fixed up in the editing process. It's a bit raw. My opinion may change as I progress through the book.



            I'm about 300 pages into this myself. I think it's great. Then again, my profession is currently tax credits, so a lot of the jargon and riffs on the IRS are right up my alley.

            DFW's style is pretty verbose. If you’ve read Infinite Jest you know what I’m talking about. But perhaps because of that he's able to really put his finger on some abstract concepts and end up explaining them really well. This is hard to explain, but an example would be when he talks about making the kind of big decisions that affect the rest of your life, like what school you end up going to, or what your profession is going to be. It's not like you sit down one day and tell yourself "I'm going to think about this now" and then you arrive at your decision. Rather, it's thinking that goes on almost unconsciously, while you’re doing other things, and often you arrive at a decision without ever realizing exactly why or how. DFW just has a knack for writing about things like this in a, pardon the pun, novel way.

            Even more so than in IJ, you really get into the man’s (DFW’s that is) head. And that’s fascinating. I think it’s pretty apparent that he had some mental issues. Depression at least if I remember correctly. Anyway, his style really allows the reader into his brain, and you can see how parts of his writing are colored by some of those darker thoughts that all of us have from time to time.

            Ell, you’re not quite there yet, but an interesting part (no spoilers here) is where he explains that in any novel, at the front, is a disclaimer that the publisher uses that explains that the book is fiction. All the characters and situations in this book etc. etc. DFW notes that this is in front of the dedication, so in effect the disclaimer renders even that fictitious. And then of course he goes on for another 12 pages or so explaining all of the angst and tension this invariably creates. I thought that this particular idea would be interesting to HOL fans, and I meant to take a look at my copy of HOL and see the implications of the observation, but in the end I probably got sidetracked making a pizza or something.

            Anyway, the book is great. There are some extremely long chapters. And of course, nothing happens in the book. But despite that seemingly insurmountable hurdle, it delivers. It’s not often I laugh out loud when I read, but I just can’t help chuckling to myself reading this. It takes me right back to when I read IJ, and I remember how much I enjoyed that book. I hope you end up enjoying it as much as I am Ell.

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            • #7
              Awesome. I loved IJ. I am looking forward to this one.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Slow Dog Noodle View Post
                And of course, nothing happens in the book.
                Indeed.

                I finally finished, but I found those parts you mentioned - the ones that were funny and insightful. It was good to see those parts of DFW again.

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