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Thursday, January 21, 2010

A menagerie of DFW links

In case you haven't been paying attention I am* obsessed with David Foster Wallace. I believe he is certainly one of the greatest authors of the second half of the 20th century, and possibly one of the greatest of all time. His magnum opus, Infinite Jest, is so multi-layered, intense, and heartfelt that it deserves every bit of the critical and academic recognition it is only now beginning to gain, over a decade after it's first publication.

When DFW died in 2008 he left a ton of finished, or partially finished, manuscripts behind, the most highly anicipated being his soon-to-be-released posthumous novel, The Pale King. In anticipation of the novel's publication long-time DFW champion The New Yorker has published a chapter from the book titled "Wiggle Room" in which one of the protagonists, Lane Dean Jr., tries his best to deal with the mind-numbing boredom of his job at the IRS. You can read the chapter by clicking here.

In addition to the chapter, The New Yorker has recently published a previously unreleased short story titled All That. The story is classic DFW, incisive, witty, and heartbreaking all at the same time. It can be read here.

Also D.T. Max does a good job of trying to demystify DFW's last days and the unthinkable horror that lead such a talented writer to commit suicide. The article is here.

Just in case you were interested, Infinite Jest can be purchsed here. I highly suggest you all get it...and then also read it.

*And will likely always be, at least marginally.