The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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Infinite Wallace - Paris Conference Program

Infinite Wallace Conference - Paris September 2014

The Infinite Wallace Conference Program is out and it looks amazing.

It will be difficult to sit here in Australia knowing this is happening on the other side of the world... super keen for reports and live-blogging. If you're interested in helping out with some DFW reportage let me know.


Last Updated on Friday, 07 February 2014 16:55

Infinite Boston - Full Podcast of Show

You can now listen to the podcast of The Radio Open Source David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest, and Boston, Infinite Boston, which aired on 90.9 wbur at 9pm Thursday (rebroadcast 2pm Sunday).

Listen to Infinite Boston.

Additional/extended material:

Sven Birkerts: Present at the Creation of “Infinite Jest”

The Infinite Boston Tour

D.T. Max on David Foster Wallace’s Boston

(Also, listen out for proof that my 2:30am maths skills are... problematic. Vox pop from me at the top of the show claiming I read Infinite Jest 19 years ago. ie. before it was published.)

Last Updated on Friday, 31 January 2014 18:23

Radio Open Source - 9pm Tonight - Preview Now

The Radio Open Source show about David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest, and Boston, Infinite Boston, airs at 9pm tonight on 90.9 wbur (rebroadcast 2pm Sunday).

A preview of the episode can be found here, D.T. Max on David Foster Wallace’s Boston.


Also, check out Reddit's /r/literature for a conversation leading to this episode of radio open source.

Last Updated on Friday, 31 January 2014 00:46

Radio Open Source - Infinite Jest

Update: The show will air Thursday 30th Jan at 9pm and be rebroadcast on the following Sunday at 2pm.

Also, check out Reddit's /r/literature for a conversation about this upcoming episode.

Following from the most recent show, Activism in Memory of Aaron Swartz (follow the link and listen from around 31 minutes to hear Maria Bustillos - @mariabustillos - speak about Swartz and Infinite Jest) next week's show will look more closely at Infinite Jest.

Some information about the Infinite Jest show from Max, Producer with Radio Open Source, Christopher Lydon's new show on WBUR:

Radio Open Source will be broadcasting a full hour next Thursday 30th Jan on the connection between Boston itself and David Foster Wallace's Boston — Endless Stem, CITGO sign, Chickens Fresh Killed, all of it. They have taken Bill Lattanzi's terrific tour and plan to have audio and video thereof go up around airtime.

They are also seeking audio, ideas and recommendations.

They have a call-in line where you can leave a message about favorite passages, characters, Boston vignettes in the book — that's here: (617) 353-0692. Those soundbites will be woven into the radio show. Please email the info account, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , if you can think of anything they should know about or anything that they really shouldn't leave out.

[Thanks, Max]

Last Updated on Friday, 31 January 2014 00:49

English Studies Journal Special Issue - The Pale King

Special Issue: Unfinished: Critical Approaches to David Foster Wallace's The Pale King English Studies Volume 95, Issue 1, 2014.

If you have access through a library or university to English Studies then this looks to be a fantastic issue to track down (unfortunately my NLA membership with access to thousands upon thousands of journals doesn't seem to include this one).

It's co-edited by Luc Herman and Toon Staes (he organised the Antwerp Wallace conference) and features - among other things - a number of contributions by speakers at the Antwerp conference (including the keynote speakers, Burn and Boswell). It will be circulated in print around April.


Introduction: Can The Pale King (Please) be a Novel? Luc Herman & Toon Staes

Pay Attention! David Foster Wallace and his Real Enemies.  Tore Rye Andersen

Author Here: The Legal Fiction of David Foster Wallace's The Pale King.  Marshall Boswell

Forms, Punch Cards and LETTERS: Self-Reference, Recursion and (Un)self-Consciousness in The Pale King's Representation of Bureaucracy.  Simon de Bourcier

Subjective Politics in The Pale King.  Emily J. Hogg

Work in Process: A Genesis for The Pale King.  Toon Staes

Toward a General Theory of Vision in Wallace's Fiction.  Stephen J. Burn


I can't wait to read these!


Last Updated on Thursday, 23 January 2014 12:50

ISU May 2014 DFW Conference - Call For Papers

Download the call for papers for Illinois State University's First Annual David Foster Wallace Conference. Friday, May 23, 2014 at The Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference  Center, 201 Broadway Street, Normal, Illinois 61761.



Featured presenters may be selected from early submissions.

Submissions will be considered in three categories: Scholarship of David Foster Wallace; Scholarship of Contemporary Literature, Publishing, or Culture that considers issues including, but not limited to: innovative/experimental literature; the future of literature and/or publishing; digital vs. traditional publishing/literature; the field of publishing in relation to contemporary literature and/or culture; literature, publishing, or scholarship as art; etc.; and the presentation of Original Creative Work exemplified by any of the above issues and/or that engages its subject from an original, committed, and human perspective.


Download the call for papers now.


Registration for the conference is now open


[Thanks Jane and Shelly]

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 January 2014 12:12

The Fine Print: Uncovering the True Story of DFW and the “Reality Boundary”

Josh Roiland's (@JoshRoiland) super detailed and extensive review of Both Flesh and Not, A Review EssayThe Fine Print: Uncovering the True Story of David Foster Wallace and the “Reality Boundary", can be found in Literary Journalism Studies and here.

It is much more than a review of Both Flesh and Not; at it's heart is an analysis of "the reality boundary" in Wallace's work:

Although it contains only two works of literary journalism—stories that have been reported and sourced and then told using a variety of literary devices—this book is useful for the ontological questions it raises about the nature of genre formation, literary categories, and “the reality boundary.”8 Moreover, the collection offers clues on Wallace’s thoughts about the genre and these attendant issues—a topic that has garnered modest attention since his death, with charges of embellishment and exaggeration made by his close friend Jonathan Franzen and repeated by his biographer D.T. Max.


During a public conversation at the 2011 New Yorker Festival, Wallace’s close friend and literary competitor, Jonathan Franzen, told David Remnick that he and Wallace disagreed about whether embellishment was an acceptable journalistic trait. Unsolicited, Franzen tells Remnick, “David and I disagreed on that.” Surprised, Remnick then randomly picks Wallace’s 1996 story “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again” and asks Franzen, “He said it was okay to make up dialogue on a cruise ship?” To which Franzen replies, “For instance, yeah.” Franzen, who regularly contributes to Remnick’s magazine, then posits that one reason Wallace never published any nonfiction in the New Yorker was because of its historically rigorous fact-checking process. Remnick admitted Wallace tried, but he never says why the proposals were turned down.


Very interesting reading.

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 January 2014 02:14

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