If you missed the first two parts make sure you catch up before reading the 3rd and final piece of this interview:
Part 1 - Before Nature's Nightmare.
Part 2 - Elegant Complexity, Post Publication.
Part 3 - Writing Nature's Nightmare
THF: Nature's Nightmare, how did it all begin? Was SSMG on board from the beginning? I know it had been in the works for a long time...
Greg Carlisle: I truly thought I was done writing about Wallace when Elegant Complexity came out. (By the way, my wife secretly arranged for Matt to ship copies to a friend's house so she could throw a surprise launch party for me, complete with video congratulations from Matt.) But I had been writing obsessively for months, so I just kind of kept going. As Elegant Complexity was germinating in 2002, I was in a production of Hamlet, and I was just as obsessed with Hamlet as I was Infinite Jest, blocking in a notebook a production I want to direct someday and things like that. So with EC done, I spent the first half of 2008 writing a beat-by-beat explication of Hamlet from two points of view. Then I made tentative steps for what I thought was and what now is my next big project: a book outlining and briefly (no, I mean it) analyzing all the plays of Edward Albee.
Oblivion had given me a similar feeling to IJ in that it made me want to figure out what was going on, and I was sure there was some essential quality about Wallace's writing to be discovered there. I knew there was something profound going on in terms of Wallace's mission as an artist, but I couldn't articulate it specifically. In March 2009, in a panicky fit of brainstorming in a hotel lobby at a theatre conference in Birmingham AL, I just indicate to Matt and John via email that I'm sketching out ideas for a book on Oblivion in an effort to be able to articulate something meaningful in Liverpool, and their return emails are worded such that they consider it an actual book that they intend to publish!
The relevant part in my email to them is excerpted below:
> I was hoping to show you a plot (an excel sheet with Albee's plays
> down the side and recurring themes and methods across the top) and
> sample chapter of the Albee book I'm working on at the end of the
> summer, but now with a keynote speech to write and possible paper
> submission to New York I'm thinking of shelving the Albee book to
> start studying Wallace's work more closely again. I was toying with
> the idea of trying to write a book like EC (except really short! like
> 120 pages max, seriously! the Albee book would be short, too) with
> outlines and themes and methods for the stories in Oblivion. Trying to
> craft an introduction to that might help me with the keynote address
> and possible paper. Thoughts or advice or editorial preferences?
I clearly recall that their response treated the book as an actual thing that was happening and that they wanted to publish, not just an idea.
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