The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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

More Pre-Conference Stuff

So I'm running with the email subject Tony sent me. More Pre-Conference Stuff, over to Tony:

Paris, September 9 2014.

The 'Australian Contingent' (Mitch Cunningham from Deakin and Tony McMahon from RMIT, aided and abetted by Matilda Knowles and Priscilla Davies) got together today to scope out just what was going on with the Infinite Wallace Conference. The idea was to formulate our plans for the Land Down Under becoming the new hot spot for Wallace scholarship.

The first thing we thought we'd do is just have a good look at where we'd be speaking:

Pretty unimpressive huh?

Not sure we could work in such shabby environs, we decided to wander down the Rue to what appeared to be a philosophy shop:

Then it was back to the section of The Sorbonne where the conference is being held. The posters are up, it's actually happening. No Mitch, no Tony, it wasn't a dream, you really do have to deliver your papers at the conference.

So we thought the thing to do then would be to get a good look at the inside of the room.

And effect our best Wallace scholar poses...

(I had nothing to do with this photo and I love it - Nick)



Paris Conference 2014 This Week

The international David Foster Wallace conference Infinite Wallace / Wallace infini kicks off in Paris later this week (Sep 11, 12 and 13) and the great news is that two readers have offered to report their experiences to us while they are there!

Program here and paper abstracts can be found here.



Tony McMahon (School of Media and Communication RMIT University) is already in Paris blogging his trip. Here's his first post:


Paris, September 2, 2014.

Please find attached pictures of your correspondent doing some pre-conference acclimatising at The Sorbonne. Forever the nervous type, I wanted to familiarise myself with the surroundings in which I fully fear I will make, well, a complete berk of myself, thus bringing shame on my university, my family and, you know, the House of Atreus or... whatever.

Anyway... what would you read on the steps of the Grand amphithéâtre of the Institut du monde anglophone before a Wallace conference but Hemingway's A Moveable Feast?

Wallace maybe, sure, but I would have needed to walk ten paces across the street to some chainy-type bookstore where I found French translations of Girl With Curious Hair, The Pale King and Broom of the System, but not, interestingly, Infinite Jest. (Given the Infinite Wallace Conference is, I believe, in part, a celebration of the first French translation of said Magnum Opus, I'm assuming I'll be able to pick one up there).

Five paces across from the selfied university entrance there's a cinema.

Fitting, since cinemas are everywhere in Paris; the majority of my fellow panel members on the morning of Thursday September 11 are talking about Wallace and cinema; and Wallace himself was one of the most cinema literate writers that ever lived.

Two paces from the entrance there's a plaque commemorating (I think) Sarah Bernhardt's appearance at the same venue, just in case your hapless reporter wasn't feeling enough Antipodean/ PhD Student With A Bad Case Of Imposter Syndrome pressure already.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 01:26

Oblivion Film - Indiegogo

The crowd funding campaign for the film adaptation of David Foster Wallace's Oblivion (the actual story found in the Oblivion collection) is back!

This time via Indiegogo rather than Kickstarter (Previously).

I gave a lot of support (and pledged towards) the Kickstarter campaign last time and was tremendously disappointed that it didn't make its funding goal.

This time around, any money you pledge will go to the team behind this, that's the nature of Indiegogo and I'm very happy with the decision the producers made to go down this path.


Support this campaign. I will be.


From everything I've seen, read, and every conversation I've had... This appears to be THE DFW film to support.

You can pledge at many different tiers, and there are all kinds of different rewards, including a copy of Greg Carlisle's Nature's Nightmare at the $100 level. (Here's my interview with Greg about Nature's Nightmare).


Support David Foster Wallace's Oblivion over at Indiegogo now!

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 01:37

First Annual DFW Conference Report

Great report from Thomas Cook about the ISU's First Annual DFW conference over at The Hairsplitter, Normalizing David Foster Wallace:

Over Memorial Day weekend of this year, the Department of English at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, where Wallace taught for most of the 1990s, hosted their First Annual David Foster Wallace Conference at the Marriott in uptown Bloomington. Yes, Bloomington has an “uptown” neighborhood, I was surprised to learn, where The Coffee Hound responsibly sources Costa Rican beans from Oscan and Olga Mendez and offers a range of paleo-friendly and gluten-free menu items. My wife and I were in attendance at the conference, having made the trip from Massachusetts to the oasis of corn and soy in central Illinois, a landscape we’d inhabited in college and readers of Wallace would, if they were to make the sojourn, recognize from Wallace’s early essays (“Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley”) as well as his last novel, The Pale King, which is grounded in Peoria, Illinois. Even though we were familiar with the landscape, the flatness overwhelmed; we hadn’t been back in half a decade.

Continue reading...



Salon - David Foster Wallace-Inspired Art

Via Salon - From fan fiction to tattoo sleeves: The weirdest David Foster Wallace-inspired art:


Flowchart on How to Live a Compassionate Life

Co.Design - Flowchart: David Foster Wallace On How To Live A Compassionate Life

This is Water


Erasing Infinite - BuzzFeed Books

Erasing Infinite's Jenni B. Baker (check out her interview with The Howling Fantods here) had 13 poems from her Infinite Jest erasure poetry project featured on BuzzFeed Books today, One Writer Is Creating Her Own Poetry By Erasing Words From Pages Of “Infinite Jest”.


The Howling Fantods