The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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The Letterman Interview that Inspired "Late Night" / "My Appearance"

[Image via Playboy]

Okay, now this is interesting! Redditor, disumbrationist, seems to have found the original 1987 interview that inspired David Foster Wallace's short story,"Late Night" (via Playboy), collected as "My Appearance" (Via Vulture) in Girl With Curious Hair!

via Reddit /r/davidfosterwallace:

It turns out that the 1987 Letterman interview that inspired this story is actually now available on YouTube here (the interview starts at 8:54).

In case you're not aware, Wallace got in serious trouble when, right before the story was to be published in Playboy, the editors were astonished to discover that the character bore a striking resemblance to the real actress Susan St. James, and significant chunks of the dialogue had apparently been lifted directly from her Late Night interview on March 3, 1987.

So I thought it was pretty interesting to watch this after reading the original version of the story (available here) and to pick out which details were lifted from the real thing. I can definitely understand why there were huge legal concerns here. It looks like most of these were altered or removed before a revised version was published in Girl With Curious Hair.
  • Letterman greets her by saying "Terribly nice to see you" (at 9:12 in the video)
  • They start discussing her commercial appearance (at 12:43)
  • She claims that she "did the commercial for fun" (at 13:02), like in the story. This line was altered to "for nothing" in the newer version.

Continue to read all of disumbrationist's analysis over at Reddit here.

More on this story from Playboy, The Letterman Clip That Became David Foster Wallace's First Print Story.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 May 2015 09:22

The End of the Tour to Screen at DFW15!

It's no too late to register for DFW15 (open until Mon evening), the second annual David Foster Wallace conference... big news because there will be a screening of The End of the Tour! (Sundance roundup here)

Check out their Facebook page for details!


Normal 2014: Collected Works

With DFW 2015 almost here (28 and 29 May!) you can now grab a publication of collected works from last year's conference. Some excellent material within:

Normal 2014: Collected Works from the First Annual DFW Conference


Upcoming Publications 2016

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 email earlier in the week!)


Last Updated on Friday, 08 May 2015 12:34

A Writerly Type Guiltily Ponders...

On ABC Radio National (Australian Radio) today from Radiotonic by the Creative Audio Unit (@rn_cau) (Fri)11am and Sunday 3pm as well as online:

A writerly type guiltily ponders the narrative of someone else's tragedy, all the while wondering, 'what would David Foster Wallace do?'


Last Updated on Friday, 08 May 2015 12:05

DFW Orbit Special Issue CFP

UPDATE: Last day for abstract submisisons!

Some more interesting news in the world of Wallace Studies. Read and follow the links below to the call for papers for a special David Foster Wallace issue of the journal, Orbit: Writing Around Pynchon.

Orbit: Writing Around Pynchon –an open access, peer reviewed e-journal of scholarly work pertaining to the writings of Thomas Pynchon, related authors, and adjacent fields– will publish a special issue dedicated to David Foster Wallace.
The editors for this issue, Dr. Tony Venezia, Dr. Xavier Marco del Pont, and Edward Jackson, welcome articles that consider any number of topics related to David Foster Wallace’s body of work, which might include, but are in no way limited to:

Wallace and canonicity
Periodizing Wallace (the long 1990s, ‘post-postmodernism,’ etc.)
Wallace’s influences (Pynchon, DeLillo, Barth, Gaddis, etc.)
Wallace’s influence (Egan, Franzen, Diaz, Eggers, etc.)
Archival Research and Wallace’s sources
Gender and sexuality in Wallace
Race and ethnicity in Wallace
Ethics, Philosophy, and Wallace
Wallace on pop culture, Wallace in pop culture
Political implications of Wallace’s work
Wallace’s journalism and essays
Aesthetics (Wallace as novelist, short story writer, etc.)

Article abstracts (300-500 words) and a brief CV can be submitted to the “David Foster Wallace Special Issue” online and should be uploaded by April 30th 2015.  Submissions with detailed outlines or in draft form will be given stronger consideration. Completed essays of 5000-8000 words must be submitted by 31st July in accordance with the submission guidelines of Orbit.  Brief queries to Tony Venezia, Xavier Marco del Pont, and Edward Jackson are welcome, should there be questions about appropriate submission topics. Please note that invitation to submit a full essay does not guarantee inclusion in the issue.  Orbit: Writing Around Pynchon is run by academics and supports its open access nature through university grants; there are no author fees.


All the information you need can be found right here.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 April 2015 22:16

The End of the Tour - April 2015 Updates

James Ponsoldt's The End of the Tour will open in limited release from July 31. After recent screenings there are a few new write-ups about it:

Craft: When being B-N isn't quite good enough (9/4/15)

‘End of the Tour’ starts off Ivy Film Festival (10/4/15)

Where's James Ponsoldt going after his film screens at Eberfest? Take a guess. (12/4/15)

Ebertfest to welcome Jason Segel, Chazz Palminteri and more (13/4/15)

Jason Segel to kick off Independent Film Festival Boston (15/4/15)

Ebertfest extra: 'The End of The Tour' (17/4/15)

Becoming David Foster Wallace: Jason Segel talks The End of the Tour (17/4/15)

The End of the Tour review, Letterboxd (17/4/15)

Ebertfest: Leading man Segel defers to his director on Wallace flick (17/4/15)

“The End of the Tour:” Honoring David Foster Wallace at Ebertfest (17/4/15)

An Update to the Spit Take Award and “The End of the Tour” (17/4/15)

The End of the Tour Q&A YouTube


Check out the Sundance Review Round-up for more reviews.


Last Updated on Saturday, 18 April 2015 13:02

The Howling Fantods