Both Flesh and Not
Both Flesh and Not: Essays is an unusual collection of David Foster Wallace's essays. Unusual because I've read them all before, as I'm sure plenty of big fans of David Foster Wallace non-fiction will have too. Some of the essays in this collection (such as the title essay about Roger Federer) are still available online in slightly different versions, others in the collection have been read by dedicated fans by visiting libraries to seek past issues of magazines, passed as photocopies between friends, or even 'discovered' on the internet.
That said, this is the first time these have been collected together. They span Wallace's career, and range for fantastic must-read pieces, to some that are here because they've not been officially collected before. I'm not going to get drawn into arguments as to the why of this release, or the timing. I'm honestly happy this collection is available for those of us that want them now (or close enough to be now) and crave polished and bound versions to sit on the shelf near the others. There's no doubt these were going to be collected at some stage.
But this is also a great collection for the many DFW readers who love his non-fiction, devour his essays whenever they appear in sight, and have not seen these before. I'm going to bet that many of the readers that buy this collection have not read all of the essays contained within before. And that's pretty much why this little website exists. I want more people to read the work of David Foster Wallace.
There are also a couple of little surprises that I didn't really expect to be included. One of them, 24 Word Notes, collects the word note entries that David Foster Wallace contributed to the Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus (which I bought on release, yes, for DFW's word notes). If you're not quite the completist that I am, and thus haven't already read these then you're in for a treat. There's much elation and entertainment to be found in DFW's precision about specific word usage. At least for me.
Pre-order/buy Both Flesh and Not: Essays now.
Reviews and Articles (let me know if you find any more):
- Extract: What words really mean: David Foster Wallace's dictionary, The Telegraph. [6/12/12]
- David Annand's review for The Telegraph. [5/12/12]
- Tim Groenland's review of BFAN and the D.T. Max biography for The Dublin Review of Books, A Ghost Is Born. [3/12/12]
- Sumanth Prabhaker's review for Slant Magazine, The Better of What's Left: David Foster Wallace's Both Flesh and Not. [2/12/12]
- Brandon Christopher's review for The Winnipeg Free Press, Wallace essays hold attention of disparate readers. [1/12/12]
- Michael Gaffney's review for The Middlebury Campus, Booking It: Both Flesh and Not. [29/11/12]
- Robert Schaefer's review for The New York Journal of Books. [28/11/12]
- Izzy Kornblatt-Stier's Daily Gazette review, Grown-Up Stories: Beyond the Tricks of David Foster Wallace. [26/11/12]
- L.A. Review of Books, What Would DFW Do: Maria Bustillos, Eric Been, and Mike Goetzman on "Both Flesh and Not" and All Things Foster Wallace by Eric Been, Maria Bustillos and Michael Goetzman. [25/11/12]
- L.A. Review of Books, Ben Mauk on Both Flesh and Not : Essays and The Way the World Works : Essays The Thrills of Miscellany: David Foster Wallace, Nicholson Baker, and Supplemental Work. [25/11/12]
- Ben Hamilton's review for The Independent, IoS book review: Both Flesh and Not, By David Foster Wallace. [25/11/12]\
- John Broening's Denver Post review. [25/11/12]
- Josh Davis' Time Out New York review. [21/11/12]
- Culture Critic review, Lessons in feeling: David Foster Wallace's Both Flesh and Not reviewed... [21/11/12]
- Stuart Kelly's Scotland on Sunday review. [18/11/12]
- Extract: David Foster Wallace on 'The Nature of Fun'. [16/11/12]
- Matt Bucher's Simple Ranger review. [16/11/12]
- Sebastian Stockman's Kansas City Star review, Posthumous Wallace collection is a grab bag of remnants. [15/11/12]
- Michiko Kakutani's NYT review, Lengthy Insights, Vividly Served At High Velocity. [15/11/15]
- D.T. Max's review for The New Yorker Page-Turner Blog, D.F.W's Nonfiction: Better with Age. [14/11/12]
- Vadim Rizov's review for A.V. Club. [12/11/12]
- Michael Darer's review for The Wesleyan Argus. [12/11/12]
- Webster Bull's ilsussidiario.net review, Both Flesh and Not: A Beginning. [12/11/12]
- Kevin Stachelek's review for Neon Tommy. [8/11/12]
- Richard Marshall's review for 3:AM Magazine, asmodeus' flight. [8/11/12]
- Michael Robbins' Chicago Tribune review, David Foster Wallace scrapes the stars ... and the barrel. [5/11/12]
- David Masciotra's review for The Daily Beast, David Foster Wallace, Traditionalist? Considering ‘Both Flesh and Not: Essays. [2/11/12]
- James Ley for the Sydney Morning Herald, A Genius Revealed. [27/10/12]
- Sean Conner's Anobium review, Grappling With the World: Both Flesh and Not. [28/8/12]
- Publishers Weekly review. [13/8/12]
- Gideon Lewis-Kraus's Bookforum review, Viewer Discretion.