The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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Taking DFW's English 170R

D.H. Sayer is going to 'take' David Foster Wallace's English 170R, Taking David Foster Wallace's English 170R: Introduction:

Last week, the David Foster Wallace Reader was published. It’s a selection of his work from the very beginning (there’s a story he wrote for the Amherst Review when he was a student there) to the posthumous Pale King. One of the never-before-seen additions to the book is a collection of his teaching materials. Wallace taught college courses fairly regularly throughout his adult life, starting pretty much right after graduation. He settled at Pomona College for the last years of his life, no doubt inspiring a few students to matriculate there for the express purpose of taking his class. I know that, were he still alive, I would’ve seriously considered it at some point.


There is no doubt that taking his class would be one of the most memorable experiences of one’s life.

Well, since that is no longer an option for me, I’ve decided (with at least one other person) to do the next best thing: I’m “taking” one of his classes. Specifically English 170R, which I believe is one of the first classes he taught at Pomona. It concentrates on “Obscure/Eclectic Fiction.” I’m going to do all the required reading, complete all the assignments, and follow the schedule as best I can. (The syllabus can be found here. I’m moving the schedule back two months, so 1/22=11/22, etc.)

Continue reading Taking David Foster Wallace's English 170R: Introduction

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 00:24

Finite Laughter - Castle

A little nod to Infinite Jest on Castle a couple of weeks back.

"The Time of Our Lives" Season 7 Ep 6 (706) Nov 10,2014

Castle finds himself in a parallel universe where he and Beckett have never met. While investigating this new case, Castle finds the way back to the real world, and asks Beckett to marry him straight away. Finally, Beckett and Castle marry in the Hamptons.

[Via wallace-l and @peterknox]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 00:18

Madame Psychosis by Set In Sound

Madame Psychosis On Air by Set In Sound over at Soundcloud.

Surprisingly good.

Text artistically pilfered from Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Edited, read and soundscaped by Dr ML Godin
Music seized out of Arthur H's cover of Jacques Brel's "Sur la Place"

Listen here.


US Release Day - The David Foster Wallace Reader

Well it's (almost depends where you are!) release day in the US for The David Foster Wallace Reader.

As I've mentioned previously, you can read the intro and the first few pieces in the online preview, and check out the table of contents from the sampler.

It's already available in the UK, and soon to be released in Australia on the 8th of December.

Honestly, I love it. Not so much the excerpts from the novels (though they would be great if this was a required text for a DFW overview study course), but the collection of fiction and non-fiction is just the best of the best. Sure, there's probably some loss, particularly with respect to the fiction, not being read in context of the individual collections (they are great collections, particularly the structure and flow of Oblivion: Stories), but to have many of Wallace's finest fiction and non-fiction in the same place is wonderful.

In my afterword I write about Incarnations of Burned Children being the story I use to introduce new readers to Wallace. This collection may well function as the next step in that process for me.




Okay now the thing I've been avoiding writing about...

So all my links are Amazon affiliate links and I'm kind of uncomfortable with it being the only option on my site right now. Based on traffic I know many of you have been redirecting your purchases elsewhere in response to the Amazon vs Hachette thing (many articles to read about this... here's just one) and I'm fine with that. I'm trying to set up B&N affiliate stuff, but I'm running into difficulties with signing up internationally (I'm not sure why, any advice hit me up in the comments below). I'm thinking of setting up the ability to donate (Paypal? Bitcoin?) or be a site patron, but these things always make me uncomfortable because I hate feeling I have to update because readers have paid me to do so. It also makes it much more difficult to walk away from updates for a few weeks when things get tricky in real life. i.e. the last month or so. Any thoughts or ideas? Let me know in the comments. Nick

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 November 2014 14:02

Salon: David Foster Wallace’s mind-blowing creative nonfiction syllabus

Salon have another excerpt (first excerpt here) from the upcoming David Foster Wallace Reader right here: David Foster Wallace’s mind-blowing creative nonfiction syllabus: “This does not mean an essayist’s goal is to ‘share’ or ‘express herself’ or whatever feel-good term you got taught in high school”.


Biblioklept - Phantoms and Ghosts in TPK

Check out Edwin Turner's Biblioklept piece about ghosts and phantoms in The Pale King.

It's comforting to know that someone put time into considering one of my favourite aspects of the novel.

Phantoms and Ghosts in DFW’s Novel The Pale King (Ghost Riff 2)

[Here's Ghost Riff 1 if you were wondering...]


The DFW Reader Goodreads Giveaway

15 copies of The David Foster Wallace Reader are being given away over at Goodreads (if you live in the US).

(Looks like there'll be something to win here too next week...)

Last Updated on Friday, 07 November 2014 01:27

The Howling Fantods