The group read of this book seems to have come to a halt. Coincidentally, so had my reading of it. So, I decided to finish up the last few essays of the book to have it done in time for the April 15th release of The Pale King (yay!). It’s been three months since I last posted about this book so I’ll give my disclaimer: because I don’t have a lot to say about the pieces (I’m not an academic anymore), I’m only going to mention things that I found puzzling/confusing. But be assured that if I don’t mention the vast majority of the article it’s because I found it interesting/compelling/believable. I don’t feel comfortable paraphrasing the articles’ argument, so I won’t really summarize.
This is a collection of 7 essays that DFW wrote from 1990-1996. Three were published in Harper’s, two in academic journals, one in Esquire and the last in Premiere. I devoured this book when it came out (I had adored “Shipping Out” when it was published in Harper’s) and even saw DFW read in Boston (where he signed my copy!).[...] The epigram about these articles states: “The following essays have appeared previously (in somewhat different [and sometimes way shorter] forms:)” It was the “way shorter” that intrigued me enough to check out the originals and compare them to the book versions. Next week, I’ll be writing a post that compares the two versions, especially focusing on things that are in the articles but NOT in the book (WHA??). But today I’m just talking about the book itself.
Note that this post is about the book itself and a future one will be about differences between the original essays and the versions published in the collection. I can't wait to read the next instalment.