The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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The End of the Tour - Opens in Melbourne Today

The End of the Tour opens in limited release in Australia at the Cinema Nova in Melbourne today (December 3).

I finally saw it on Blu-ray a few weeks ago and for the most part I thought it was wonderful. Well and truly worth your time to see it in the cinema if you can.

Here are a few Australian reviews starting with one by Mitch Cunningham who was part of the recent AAWP DFW Panel and is a compelling Wallace scholar!

And here's the review from back in August when it screened at MIFF:


Pre-Order Infinite Jest - Deluxe Edition

Edit 3/12/2015: Amazon is now crediting the foreword to Tom Bissell (Cheers to @mattbucher for pointing this out). Also note that the cover design comp announcement on the official page disappeared ages ago and no winner has been announced... I have no idea what is going on there. If you are interested in seeing some entries Chris Ayers is collecting and showcasing entries for the competition on his incredible Poor Yorick Entertainment blog and Facebook page.

I hope the p 981 circle is re-instated too...

Edit 29/9/2015: Re: the comment added today from Steve Moore (see below) it looks like we can, at the very least, expect some typo and space corrections.

#1 Steve Moore 2015-09-29 15:59
I've just learned that the new edition will correct about twenty typos and space issues. I submitted a list to Michael Pietsch a while back; he said a few typos had been corrected in a recent printing, and the rest will be made for this deluxe edition.

You can now pre-order the 20th anniversary Deluxe Edition of Infinite Jest due for release on the 23rd of February 2016. Check out the cover design comp if you live in the US and have a great idea for a new cover.

1136 pages - I expect this accounts for a new introduction (Edit: New foreword by Tom Bissell). More if I hear anything.

(Original 1996 cover)


(Via @mattbucher)

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 December 2015 08:23

AAWP 2015 DFW Panel...

Panel about begin... follow me on twitter for live updates @nick_maniatis #aawpdfw

Edit: Wow. So glad I got down to Melbourne to see this. More later...

Last Updated on Monday, 30 November 2015 10:45

Melbourne Wallace Meetup - 28th Nov 2015

Location Update: A few of us will be meeting at The Victoria Hotel (215 Little Collins Street) in Vics's Bar and Pool Room from 7pm on Sat 28th Nov 2015. Last minute updates or changes via twitter @nick_maniatis (or check the sidebar on the left!) I'll tweet when I'm there. Feel free to just rock up and introduce yourself. Every single time I've met people who have read ANY David Foster Wallace has been a chilled and fine occasion. We're all good people.

If you don't know what I look like keep an eye out for the group of people including a guy with glasses near a 1st Edition Hardback of Infinite Jest. That should be obvious enough...


As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I'll be in Melbourne for the Ghost Stories, Love Stories, New Stories - AAWP 2015 DFW Panel this coming Monday 30th Nov.

A few of us will be meeting up on Saturday 28th Nov in the Melbourne CBD at around 7pm for some Wallace discussion over drinks and nibbles. If any other Melbourne Wallace enthusiasts would like to join us we'd love to meet you!

Location TBA later this week (Thurs or Friday). If you can come along (or think you might be able to) drop me a line here (or leave a comment below) and I'll make sure you get the specifics.

Hope to meet some of you on Saturday evening!

Last Updated on Friday, 27 November 2015 23:49

Free on Amazon Today? The End of the Tour

I just got word via Wallace-l (thanks, John) that The End of the Tour is displaying as free for SD and HD download purchase today over at Amazon. I'm not sure how long this will last for.

I took a snap of what I can see, but when I try to process a transaction it doesn't work, even though it is listed as free. I'm guessing my Australian details are tripping it up?

Let other readers know if you have any luck in the comments below.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 November 2015 01:36

Ghost Stories, Love Stories, New Stories - AAWP 2015 DFW Panel

Update: I'm all packed. Heading to Melbourne on Saturday for the meetup and to see this panel on Monday!

I can't wait for the 30th of November because I'll be in Melbourne to attend the ‘Ghost Stories, Love Stories, New Stories: Reconfiguring David Foster Wallace for the Australian Academy’ panel at the AAWP 2015 Conference - Writing the ghost train | Rewriting, remaking, rediscovering (Draft conference program here).

The panel will be moderated by Tony McMahon who you may recall from guest pieces he wrote for The Howling Fantods from Paris (where he delivered this paper) and DFW2015 in the US:


E2 Ghost stories, love stories, new stories—reconfiguring David Foster Wallace for the Australian Academy: Tony McMahon with Joshua Barnes, Mitch Cunningham, Matilda Douglas-Henry and Jonathan Laskovsky. Moderator: Tony McMahon


Panel Description:

Across the last two decades, the oeuvre of the American writer David Foster Wallace (1962 – 2008) has attracted significant attention in both academic and mainstream cultural circles; unique to Wallace, though, is the degree to which these two spheres overlap. Readers of Wallace’s literary work also consume scholarly assessments of it, providing a large, diverse audience for such criticism. Adam Kelly has written that, in contrast to the critical discourse on James Joyce, for example, ‘where the keys to understanding are presumed to be held by professional scholars’, the formal study of Wallace’s work ‘has begun in a more democratic vein’. While this is largely due to the influence of the Internet as a social technology, it also reflects the deep analytical and creative connections between Wallace’s texts and their readers.

Consequently, Wallace Studies has rapidly emerged as a coherent research discipline, with its own tenets, tropes and dogmas. Following his death and the publication of posthumous texts such as The Pale King (2011) and Both Flesh and Not (2012), as well as D.T. Max’s biography Every Love Story is a Ghost Story (2012), the academic pursuit of Wallace’s writing has seemed to approach consensus on matters of aesthetics, poetics and canonicity. There are, however, meaningful problems that still require attention. 

The panel responds to this need by providing a new context for the critical reading of Wallace. Through the assessment of existing discourse, it clears the ground for a refined theorisation of Wallace’s literary corpus. The panel will feature a mix of emerging and established scholars, each of whom will present rigorous new approaches to Wallace and Wallace Studies: Tony McMahon will argue for the academic consideration of Wallace within Australian academic discourse; Mitch Cunningham confronts the ambiguous subject of the ‘reader’ in Wallace’s texts; Matilda Douglas-Henry (re)reads Infinite Jest as a queer allegory, while Jonathan Laskovsky assesses the construction of fictional space in that novel; finally, Joshua Barnes’ attempts to theorise the comedic techniques employed by Wallace throughout his work.

Emphasising the creative importance of retransmitting stories through teaching and learning, the panel will comprise teachers and students—from undergraduate to PhD—each responding to the theme of ‘writing the ghost train’ by focusing on the representation of Wallace’s work to new readers, contexts and generations. Furthermore, the panel will explicitly discuss thematic stream four, ‘Refashioning the self’, with Wallace’s literary project providing the ideal environment in which to explore the effects of reconfiguring texts, retelling stories and the process of canon formation.

Panel Presenters/Topics:

Tony McMahon (moderator): Introduction: Why Wallace and Australia?

Mitch Cunningham: ‘Performing the fiction-writer’s reader: Reading the transference in David Foster Wallace’

Matilda Douglas-Henry: ‘“The Man Who Knows His Limitations Has None”: The homoeroticism in Infinite Jest’

Jonathan Laskovsky: ‘Spaces of open constraint in Infinite Jest’

Joshua Barnes: ‘David Foster Wallace, comedian: towards an aesthetics of funniness’


...and I'm hearing rumblings about an Australian DFW conference for 2016... would you be keen to join us if it got off the ground?

Last Updated on Friday, 27 November 2015 22:49

Talking Books about DFW with Tim Groenland and Marshall Boswell

The first half of Newstalk radio's 23rd of November 2015 episode of Talking Books has Susan Cahill talking with Tim Groenland of Trinity College Dublin and Dr Marshall Boswell about the life, writings, and legacy of David Foster Wallace.

Absolutely worth listening to, “He was not a writer who believed in wrapping his plots up in neat little bows” – Tim Groenland - Introductory article here (Note that you might need to complete a one question Google survey to access the written piece).

Listen to the episode by clicking here.


The Howling Fantods