Marco V Morelli is organising a new Infinite Jest read, Summer of Jest, starting June 1, 2013.
If you haven't already read Infinite Jest, or want to read it again, this looks to be the way to do so.
David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97
Well it's finally on the way. The Uncollected David Foster Wallace Fiction is due on Dec 1st 2013 in hardcover (Euro paperback 16th Jan 2014?). 432 pages and plenty of uncollected fiction out there to appear in it.
Matt Bucher (as always - follow him @mattbucher) has been on the ball tweeting about possible pieces sitting in the DFW archive that might be included such as 'The Planet Trillaphon as It Stands in Relation to the Bad Thing', 'The Piano in the Pantechnicon' and maybe even, 'The Enema Bandit and the Cosmic Buzzer' (the last also described by some as 'juvenalia' so possibly not... I've no idea yet - I'm just guessing).
I assume 'All That' (a section that didn't make it into The Pale King but is still an excellent stand alone piece) will make it in, and I'm interested to know if there are any other polished excerpts from The Pale King papers that might work as stand alone fiction too...
Hmm. Not sure now. Page gone on the Hachette site. Waiting on an update.
Latest update 22/5/12: (See below)
An excerpt from David Foster Wallace's Kenyon Commencement Speech, This is Water, from The Glossary. I'm not a huge fan of the ongoing music... detracts from it somewhat. Or the little meta-story in the vid. Some neat stuff in the visuals, though. [You can listen to the complete recording of the original speech here , then purchase it here, or buy the text version.]
Without permission...What did you have to do to get permission to use the audio?
We had little to no budget for this project and we knew that the publishing house was going to be really skeptical of our little company’s request to utilize his work. We had faith in our vision for the video and that once it was complete they would see that this was something made with the best intentions in mind. We are in no way making any money directly from this video; it was purely a passion project. While we had high hopes for this, we could have never seen all of this attention coming. Sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.
Surely there's a revenue stream generated by those millions of views. :/
The Youtube vid is now sitting at 5.1 million views. Wow. DFW's speech is now listed on the TED site - at TED Best of the Web, and was listed as a TED bonus talk (via twitter too, so it exploded again). I personally loved seeing Stephen Fry tweet about it (to his 5.7 million followers!), and then watch another retweet explosion. David Foster Wallace searches on twitter come up almost 99% for this video (which is so much better than a few years ago when it was tweeted results from that horrid web based 'style' bot - the "I write like... [insert random author e.g. David Foster Wallace]". )
In the comments section below Tay points out that the video resulted in library borrowings and visiting this site. If that experience is extrapolated I'm guessing many more people have done the same thing.
I've had significant flow-on success here too. I can't deny it. I just hope the success now means The Glossary sorts something out with the Wallace estate. If they're the Wallace fans they appear to be I'm betting they already have. This vid, while not 100% true to the original speech, has done a great service to the profile of Wallace's writing.
...and it's gone (at least from the primary Youtube location). I'm not at all surprised (The Glossary did suggest not having the rights) but maybe placing an official ad for the upcoming uncollected fiction in the description would have been a good way to tap into the publicity?"THIS IS WA..." This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by David Foster Wallace Literary Trust."
Streisand effect in 3... 2... 1... ?
Update 20/5: My copy arrived today. It's a beautiful little publication (I'm impressed) and arguably one of the most polished sections of The Pale King - proceeds to a great cause too.
It's nice to be able to mention this. Madras Press is releasing the Chris Fogle Chapter of The Pale King as The Awakening of My Interest in Advanced Tax, with the proceeds going to Granada House. Pre-order now.
From the back cover:All net proceeds from the sales of this book will benefit Granada House, a substance addiction-recovery facility in Boston MA. Residents of Granada House are provided a safe, stable environment in which to begin their substance-free lives, with supportive peers, counseling services, and a variety of integrative 12-Step programs.
Andrea and Roberto over at the excellent Italian blog, Archivio David Foster Wallace Italia, [ Follow them on twitter @ArchivioDFW] conducted an interview with D.T. Max, (@D_T_Max - dtmax.com) author of Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace.
archivioDFW: Can you remember the first time you heard about David Foster Wallace? What were your first impressions?
D.T. Max: I knew about David very early. I was in my mid 20s and an editor in New York, when Gerry Howard, DFW's editor, sent me an advanced copy of Broom of the System, in the hopes I would review it. I still have the book, now yellow and aged but cherished.
aDFW: We had a poll among Italian fans, but I’d like to ask you too: which of David’s books would you recommend as an introduction to someone who has not read DFW before and why?
D.T. Max: I think it's sensible to begin with A Supposedly Fun Thing. The special DFW tone is there though the book is considerably easier to read than the fiction is.
aDFW: Your book is an expansion of your excellent New Yorker piece from 2009. We are wondering how (and if) the way you approach DFW’s work as a reader has changed as a result of your research into his biography. In general, should we expect our reading of his books to change after learning so much about how they came about?
D. T. Max: I grow more and more respectful of David as a writer the more I know about him and his life, more and more in awe. More and more in love. I'm constantly struck by how remarkably he took what he saw and turned it into fiction. I always say about biography that it can tell you everything you want to know about a writer except the one thing you really want to know: what the genius consists of. Before that, as Freud might have said, the biographer must lay down his arms.
aDFW: About the title you chose for your book: We know it is a sentence used at least twice by Wallace (in Tri-stan [from Brief Interviews] and The Pale King). What is its meaning for you? And for David?
D.T. Max: For David, it's anyone's guess. He writes it at the bottom of a letter to one of his teachers in graduate school for the first time when he is in his mid20s. Then it appears again and again. He clearly liked the phrase. In a New Yorker post [and more here, about my part - Nick], I trace its origin to an unpublished story of Christina Stead, a story David could not have seen. Dunno.
For me, the phrase sums up the effort of the biographer, who is, metaphorically and literally, all too often chasing a ghost. And when I think of DFW and his hope that writing could free him of his demons, well, wasn't that another love story that ended with a ghost?
aDFW: In his 2004 review of the biography Borges on the Couch, DFW realizes the challenges of a biographer trying to create literary interest with a story that might not be necessarily interesting. He argues that the life of Kafka or Dostoevsky is worthy of a biography, but not that of Borges. So my question is: why is David’s life an interesting story to tell?
D.T. Max: Intuitively, I think, we agree with David in his distinction: there's a disconnect between fiction and life that in Borges's case is unspannable. DFW seems to me rather the opposite: biography throws so much light on DFW's fiction, the concerns of the life and the work overlap so extensively it's almost as if David were the perfect example of a biographizable author. There's little David tries out in his fiction that he hasn't already tried out in his life.
aDFW: Italy was certainly one of the first countries to read DFW in translation. But we also find a strange relationship between DFW and Italy; for instance Capri was the destination of one of his few trips out of US [here for le conversazioni 2006], and there’s plenty of allusions to Italy in Infinite Jest (the origin of Incandenzas, the Bernini’s Santa Teresa, the Appian Way where Hal dreams to run, Dr. Zegarelli...). Can you find an explanation for this?
D.T. Max: Did he like Italy in particular? I think there's something to that but what i'm not sure. And it's also true that Italians responded to DFW's work before most other Europeans. As for the presence of Italian surnames in DFW's work, it may be for comic effect—in English long names read as enthusiastic, bombastic, chaotic.
aDFW: Wallace was a great fan of maths. Have you found, in your research, something new and surprising about his hugely exhibited but often shaky relationship with the discipline?
D.T. Max: Well I came to appreciate that DFW's reach exceeded his grasp, as we say in English. Also I found a letter where he admits he doesn't really like math at all but “meta-math”; what turns him on is theory of math. He talks of it as “sort of cheaty,” in a letter I quote in the book, “something like throwing a girl’s skirts over her head and kissing her on the bare stomach before you’ve even introduced yourself or taken her for a malted or anything.”
aDFW: Reading your book we discover that a lot of the themes in DFW’s fictions are actually very biographical (addictions, depression, tennis, maths, and apparently issues with IRS). Would it be correct to consider this somewhat limits David’s work as a writer?
D.T. Max: Oh, not at all. David was in some ways not very inventive—he took the materials he had on hand—but my God, he was imaginative. Just look at the things he did with those materials.
aDFW: In your book you speak about David’s journals (for example you tell us he kicked out a girlfriend when he discovered she was reading them). We could not find traces of them in the Austin Archive, but I am guessing you’ve read them: what was the impact of them in the biography you wrote?
D.T. Max: There are only a few known journals and some spare pages, most of which are in the Austin archives now and which I have read. David sometimes scribbled in the margins or on the backsides of drafts of stories and these often contain very personal reflections. Of the hundreds of journal books he must have kept, we have only a small percentage. I don't know if they will turn up later or if he destroyed them or threw them out. He was not, in general, a keeper of things—journals, letters, drafts.
aDFW: According to you which writers are showing to have read DFW and are going along the lines defined by David in terms of going beyond po-mo and so on?
D.T. Max: I think you'd want to look at George Saunders in particular here—another writer whose early mastery of technique and tone eventually expanded to include a sympathetic reading of the human condition.
Jenni B. Baker got in touch to let me know about a new opportunity just launched over at Found Poetry Review. To mark the fifth anniversary of David Foster Wallace's passing, they'll be publishing a special issue issue of the journal in September. They recently put out a call for submissions inviting individuals to submit found poems sourced from DFW's writings, speeches, interviews and letters. More information can be found here: http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/special-issue-wrt-david-foster-wallace
From the guidelines:Poems may -- but do not have to be -- responses or reactions to Wallace's life and works.
Individuals may submit up to three poems for consideration. Poems must demonstrate some intervention on behalf of the poet in terms of rearrangement or erasure. Submissions that merely add line breaks or spacing to an existing passage of text will not be considered.
|The Broom of the System|
|Girl with Curious Hair|
|Supposedly Fun Thing|
|Everything and More|
|Consider the Lobster|
|This is Water|
|The Pale King|
|Both Flesh and Not|
|New to DFW?|
|Interviews and Audio|
|The B.I. Project|