The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Eugenides Answers Wallace Character Question

Updated 8/10/11
Back in July there were some discussions about the reportedly 'Wallace-like' character in Jeffrey Eugenides' new novel, The Marriage Plot.

[WSJ] A number of early reviews noted similarities between Leonard and David Foster Wallace. Leonard wears a bandana and chews tobacco, and is a brilliant philosophical polymath who's depressive and stops taking his meds, all traits that match Wallace. Were you purposefully evoking him?

[JE] No. I started this in the '90s. It's the bandana that I think makes people think it was him. I was thinking like Axl Rose from Guns N' Roses, and other people I knew in college. It was popular to wear a bandana for people who would be in the co-op and play hacky sack. I think that was it.  
James Ley weighs in on all this over at The Medusa vs. The Odalisque. Lay has read, and reviewed, The Marriage Plot, and thinks Eugenides is being disingenuous:
So it's not just the bandana, which is not even the only reference to quirky Wallacean headgear in the novel. At one point in The Marriage Plot, Leonard is seen in a photograph that depicts him 'standing in a snowy field, wearing a comically tall stocking cap'. Now, where have I seen a photo like that before ... ? (Continue reading)
Last Updated on Sunday, 09 October 2011 09:19