My copy arrived a couple of weeks ago and I've been slowly making my way through the essays and thoroughly enjoying them. As Marshall Boswell mentions in his introduction, the essays originally appeared (in slightly different form) across two special issues of Studies in the Novel, although in this collection they've been organised differently. Having read both of the Studies in the Novel issues I knew what to expect and I'm not disappointed to have all of these essays focusing specifically on Wallace's novels all in the one place.
The opening essay, Adam Kelly's, 'David Foster Wallace and the Novel of Ideas', is a fantastic start to the collection that considers all three of Wallace's novels. Kelly delves deeply into select scenes in each novel to highlight how Wallace uses dialogue to get to the very core of the ideas he is exploring in each book. It sets the scene and tone for the collection perfectly.
I've been taking notes while reading and I'll post some highlights once I'm a bit further in.
Order it via Amazon here :David Foster Wallace and "The Long Thing": New Essays on the Novels.
The book succeeds because the essays are not only substantial and provocative, but also because they are, like Wallace’s novels, in conversation with each other. It will lead the conversation about Wallace in exciting new directions.
Read the rest of the review.
This is just one of two Wallace related collections released by Bloomsbury recently, the other, Robert K. Bulger and Scott Korb's Gesturing Toward Reality: David Foster Wallace and Philosophy, is also worth picking up. Read some of my first impressions here.