The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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Michael Schur on DFW in The Believer

Great interview by Stephanie Palumbo with Michael Schur in the most recent issue of The Believer which covers all manner of things including significant content about David Foster Wallace. Michael Schur is a big DFW fan who directed the Decemberists' Eschaton inspired vid clip back in in 2011 and has referenced DFW in his TV show Parks and Recreation [previously]. He also optioned the rights to Infinite Jest. Stephanie Palumbo asks him about all this and more in her interview:


BLVR: I know you’re a David Foster Wallace fan, and to me the idea of battling alienation by being kind to other people is at the core of Infinite Jest. Do you think Infinite Jest has influenced your writing?

MS: It’s not a stretch to say that it’s influenced everything I’ve ever written. I didn’t so much read it as I almost ate it. It kind of rescrambled my brain. Not just that book—I read more of him and actually met and corresponded with him for a while. One of his deeply held convictions was that sincerity should triumph over irony. He loved the gamesmanship and wordplay of the postmodern kind of irony, but his point was that, ultimately, sincerity should win the day, and the problem is that sincerity, especially for young people, is the opposite of cool. There’s nothing less cool to a twenty-five-year-old fiction writer in Brooklyn than to simply and straightforwardly talk about your feelings. The scariest possible thing that you can engage in is this very basic human connection where you say, “I feel this way,” or “I am scared,” and his worldview was: that’s what has to win; that’s how people should write; and that’s how people should connect with each other. The first time I read those words from him—and he said them a lot more eloquently than I just did—it was like someone had punched me in the face. I instantly realized so much of what was wrong with me as a writer was that I was trying to be cool and impress people and not seem like I cared about anything. It’s very hard to wear your heart on your sleeve as a writer, because we live in a world where your work is being instantly analyzed and picked apart by a lot of people, and a lot of those people are very cool, and they have a cool-guy agenda, and it’s a real fight to do it and not worry about what people are going to think of you. I am eternally grateful to Amy Poehler, because without studying the works of David Foster Wallace, she had the worldview that you have to go out there and lay it all on the line and not worry about what people think. The creation of Leslie Knope would not have been possible without her, and I don’t think it would have been possible without me reading David Foster Wallace.


Read the full interview with Michael Schur in the most recent issue of The Believer here.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 November 2015 00:02

Reddit's jeremy1122 and DFW

Amusing/frustrating angle in a recent piece over at The Daily Dot by Miles Klee, Bookish troll does nothing but post about David Foster Wallace for a year, about redditor, jeremy1122, who apparently posted only about David Foster Wallace on Reddit for a year:

In the 19 years since it was published, David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest has gained the sort of cult status that a struggling novelist would kill for. And perhaps because it describes the bottomless black hole of instant, addicting entertainment in late-capitalist America (hello, Netflix bingers), it has enjoyed something like constant low-level virality in that time.

But because it's so long and dense and hipsterish, and was written by a man whose personal struggles have been grossly romanticized all the more following his 2008 suicide, Infinite Jest has also become a headache for people serious about literature. There's no easier way to make a bookseller roll her eyes than by thumping a copy down at the register and expecting her to be impressed—she knows you'll never get through it.

Those intrepid souls who do digest the entire opus, meanwhile, have a tendency to become obnoxious evangelizers for the text. Should someone ask if you've read it, make no mistake: They want you to say "no" so that they can extol its Byzantine style, satirical mastery, and profound insight. They want to be the one who persuades you that Wallace was a genius.

Which brings us to jeremy1122. The redditor—who did not respond to request for comment—first popped up in r/books one year ago to offer "An introduction to Infinite Jest." A trifle presumptuous, you might think: There are plenty of intros to this popular but intimidating book online.

Continue reading, Bookish troll does nothing but post about David Foster Wallace for a year.

Upcoming Publications 2016

26/11/15 Update with additional publications from David Hering and Lee Konstantinou.

Some interesting looking publications on the horizon, particularly (for me) the one due from Clare Hayes-Brady. Pretty much everything she has written about Wallace that I've read I love, hopefully we'll be able to pick up a non-academic or ebook version...


(Thanks to Dan for the updates)


Last Updated on Thursday, 26 November 2015 00:13

Empress of Serenity - ASFTINDA Inspired Movie

This news broke yesterday and I still don't know what to think... Apparently Empress of Serenity is inspired by Wallace's cruise essay A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never do Again (originally in Harper's as Shipping Out):

The Wrap - Bill Hader to Star in David Foster Wallace-Inspired Movie ‘Empress of Serenity’ (Exclusive) [18/11/15]

Flavorwire - Bill Hader Cast in Film Inspired by David Foster Wallace [19/11/15]

Uproxx - Is Trying To Make A Movie Inspired By ‘A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again’ A Good Idea? [19/11/15]

Last Updated on Friday, 20 November 2015 10:35

The End of the Tour - It's Here!

So this arrived this morning... I know what I'll be doing this evening!

The End of the Tour - DVD and Blu-ray over at Amazon now.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 November 2015 13:27

Infinite Jest on The Ex-PM

Well how about that! Infinite Jest appeared on the Australian satirical comedy sitcom, The Ex-PM, starring one of my favourite Australian comedians, Shaun Micallef. (Episode 4 about 2:30 watch here on iview if you live in Australia).

Interesting to note that it is the 10th anniversary edition which is most certainly not the most common edition to be found in Australia. Excellent visual gag too - if you watch the show and know the characters!

(Cheers to moan, @hotcarl333 for letting me know - I was behind until this evening!)


Last Updated on Monday, 09 November 2015 23:14

The Great Concavity - DFW Podcast Ep 3

Episode 3 of the The Great Concavity is available now. (Follow the show on twitter @ConcavityShow and subscribe to the podcast here)

Today's episode is a discussion with artist Robyn O'Neil.

The podcast is hosted by Dave Laird (@DaveLaird2) and Matt Bucher (@mattbucher, wallace-l,, Simple Ranger, Side Show Media Group) two Wallace enthusiasts with a wealth of Wallace knowledge to share.

Listen to The Great Concavity episode 3.

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 May 2016 17:36

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