Octopus recovery projects are brief essays celebrating a single book that you feel people should be reading but are not reading:
According to its preface, Practically Painless English “strives to convey some of the fun and excitement that working with language can offer [and] to involve students in the beauty, logic, pizzazz, and joy of English.” Keywords “fun” and “logic” will raise flags in the minds of diehard loyalists to the cult of St. Dave. For the uninitiated, it may be interesting to begin with a remedial primer that seems almost to premonish the emergence of DFW’s preternatural talent. From its unconventional title to its quirky sample sentences to its stated concern with readerly comprehension, Ms. Wallace’s instructional prose smacks at times of DFW’s own writerly conventions (she even signs the preface: S.F.W.), at others it’s more than mere familial likeness; seems like DFW himself could’ve penned it. And even a cursory read-through of Practically Painless yields a great many similarities and remarkable moments.