The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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New Sincerity

(An edited/expanded version of a recent wallace-l post of mine)
I'm still unpacking stuff frm my head, but the most interesting thing I took from the conference were the few mentions of 'New Sincerity' as -maybe - the kind of name/label/approach to DFW and his contemporaries.

Post-post-modernism (as discussed by many speakers at the conference, including Burn in his fantastic keynote - at least for those people like me who have not read his latest book on Franzen) doesn't sit soundly with me. I understand that there are important evolutionary, critical,categorical and analytic reasons that make it useful and apt to use the term post-postmodernism, but the label itself appears (to me at least) to fall into the meta-trappings of post modernism and don't help to categorise just how different Wallace is from his predecessors. DFW's power is in his sincerity, his ability to connect with his readers and contemporaries, and better enable and encourage us to connect with others. New Sincerity sounds useful to me (particularly as an outsider reading the critical community with keen interest, but not - yet - current literary theory understandings).
Adam Kelly (Hi, Adam!) presented a paper at the Liverpool conference (as well as one this week about DFW's political essays), 'David Foster Wallace and the New Sincerity in American Fiction', to be published next year in, 'Consider David Foster Wallace' (edited by David Hering and published by the SideShow Media Group). I'm looking forward to reading it tremendously.
I am aware that New Sincerity isn't really as 'new' as I'm making it out to be (mostly because I don't play a part in the academic analysis of Wallace so I'm always playing catch-up) but this doesn't dull my excitement for there possibly being a useful and common point of reference to talk about authors like DFW, Eggers, Franzen, Powers, Chabon, Foer (whose latest non-fiction book Eating Animals I read on the plane) and others.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 November 2009 03:42  

The Howling Fantods