The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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The Great Concavity - Eps 18 & 19

Two more fantastic episodes have dropped since my last update:


Episode 18's guest on The Great Concavity is Sean Pratt (@SPPresents) the narrator of the 56-hour-long audiobook of Infinite Jest. It's an absolutely engrossing conversation about the recording of the audiobook and many other things. And yes, I did say I couldn't recommend the audiobook without endnotes. And yep, I understand there were technological issues at the time. And, yes, I think Sean makes a good case for why the end notes were not originally recorded and a .pdf was included (but as a podcast and audiobook listener while cycling or driving the reading pdf option seemed flawed), and, like mentioned in the podcast, I still wonder why each end note isn't a skippable track so the listener can decide to skip them if they wish...

But you know what? In all my negativity I never actually acknowledged how much hard work went in to making it, and I NEVER gave Sean credit for the incredible job he did narrating the novel.

Thank you, Sean.

(I think a little more credit than is due was sent my way too... but that's another story.)


Episode 19 has two guests, Rachel Laird & Amy Pelletier, who speak with Dave about reading Infinite Jest for the first time. I know I'm not the only one who pulled one of my copies of Infinite Jest back off the shelf after listening to this episode...

(Follow the show on twitter @ConcavityShow and subscribe to the podcast here)


The podcast is hosted by Dave Laird (@DaveLaird2) and Matt Bucher (@mattbucher,wallace-l,, Simple RangerSide Show Media Group) two Wallace enthusiasts with a wealth of Wallace knowledge to share.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 October 2016 23:04

Amazing Fiction and Form Excerpt

Oh, wow.

If you want a taste for how impressive David Hering's book, David Foster Wallace: Fiction +Form, is going to be then check out the excerpt of the chapter about The Pale King, Too Much Too Little, in the LA Review of Books.

I can't even decide what to quote to try and get you to read it because it's all so awesome. Hmm. How about this? (Emphasis mine)

This note clearly represents a crisis point in the life of The Pale King, exacerbated by the fact that a number of sections earmarked for the novel had been published in the short story collection Oblivion the previous year, leaving Wallace with less workable material from which to draw. In the period immediately following, Wallace devised a new narrative strategy to bring the disparate drafts together: he wrote himself into the novel.

Fiction + Form is available now at Amazon or 30% off in the Bloomsbury back to Uni sale now.

[Previously: Oh and be sure to listen to The Great Concavity podcast epidside starring David Hering too!)

Last Updated on Friday, 16 September 2016 19:42

. 2016











(So I really struggle with doing this every year but I can't not do this. Classic double bind.)



[External memorial posts below here later]


Other tributes to add to this list? (Even your own?) Let me know here.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 00:10

David Hering's Fiction and Form

I can't believe it is September already and thus David Hering's new book, David Foster Wallace: Fiction and Form is now available! Either at Amazon or 30% off in the Bloomsbury back to Uni sale right now!

Episode12 of the The Great Concavity was dedicated to a engaging interview with David Hering, (Lecturer in contemporary and American literature at University of Liverpool) and part of the conversation was about this release.

All kinds of interesting things were talked about in the episode, but the best parts of the conversation involve finding (a little) about , David Foster Wallace: Fiction and Form. I'm so excited to read this, especially the chapter about The Pale King.

David Hering also edited Consider David Foster Wallace: Critical Essays.

Last Updated on Friday, 09 September 2016 14:45

Alan Moore on Infinite Jest

(Image via NYT by Jillian Tamaki)

Alan Moore's 'By the Book' interview in the New York Times Review of Books reveals that he has incredible respect for Infinite Jest; a book he's only just recently read:


After thinking about this long and hard, the last truly great book I read would have to be “Infinite Jest,” by David Foster Wallace. Yeah, sorry. This was my first exposure to Wallace’s work, only a month or two ago, and I don’t think there’s anything about the novel that doesn’t impress me: its stream of satirical invention, with conventional dating gone in favor of a subsidized calendar and the Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment; its mandarin prose that perfectly conjures the trancelike drift of a modern consciousness overwhelmed by detail; and its breathtaking risks with structure, so that the whole experience seems to pivot upon a climactic resolving chapter — either right at the end of the narrative or right at the beginning — which does not actually exist and which therefore requires the reader to create it herself, from slender inference. I think the moment I probably fell in love with Wallace as a writer was the point where I realized that I was actually meant to be irritated by all of the occasionally crucial footnotes. An author after my own heart, and a genuine modern American diamond in the tradition of Thomas Pynchon, Robert Coover and Gilbert Sorrentino.


There are more references to Wallace in the interview, check it out here.



Last Updated on Friday, 09 September 2016 15:00

Excited! (2016 Update)

Big shout out to any Gungahlin College students or staff I'll be seeing later this week on Thursday morning. Duncan Driver (The Natural Noise of Good) once again kindly asked me to present a short DFW seminar as part of a lit unit he's teaching out there.

Last year was great fun. I'm so pleased to be heading out again.

So excited!


The Great Concavity - Ep 17.2 Live from DFW16


Episode 17.2 of The Great Concavity (the second of two parts) is an essential companion if you missed the 3rd Annual Wallace Conference! Dave Laird took his podcast microphone along to the conference and interviewed heaps of incredible attendees.

Special shout out to Dr. Tony McMahon who is organising the Oz Wallace conference in Sep 2017 (and p.s. I am helping and supporting as much as I can, but I'm not the lead on this one, Tony is. Credit where it's due and all!) Hi Tony!

(Follow the show on twitter @ConcavityShow and subscribe to the podcast here)


The podcast is hosted by Dave Laird (@DaveLaird2) and Matt Bucher (@mattbucher,wallace-l,, Simple RangerSide Show Media Group) two Wallace enthusiasts with a wealth of Wallace knowledge to share.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 September 2016 14:48

The Howling Fantods