The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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Supposedly Fun Things: A Colloquium on the Writing of DFW

Supposedly Fun Things: A Colloquium on the Writing of David Foster Wallace

Presentations from: Simon de Bourcier, Xavier Marco Del Pont, Martin Eve, Jen Glennon, Clare Hayes-Brady, Edward Jackson, Daniel Mattingly, Erin Reilly, Joel Roberts, Matt Sangster, Tony Venezia, Iain Williams

Respondent: Professor Geoff Ward

Saturday 7th February 2015 10am-6pm
The Keynes Library (room 114)
School of Arts,
Birkbeck, University of London
43 Gordon Square

Following his death in 2008 David Foster Wallace's literary reputation has been firmly consolidated.  We can now talk about a distinct sub-discipline called Wallace Studies as evidenced by the growing number of books, conferences, and journal articles on the writer, and enhanced by the publication of a posthumous novel and the opening up of an archive of his papers at the Harry Ransom Centre.  Wallace's writing, both fiction and non-fiction, has helped to map the critical territory for debates on contemporary literature that have been taking place in both academic and non-academic settings.  This colloquium will contribute to these ongoing conversations.  We are pleased to present a series of short presentations covering  Wallace's novels, short stories, journalism, and readers.  Professor Geoff Ward (Homerton College, Cambridge) will act as respondent.

For further information contact Tony and Xavier at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 13:02

Graça Infinita - Infinite Grace

Caetano Waldrigues Galindo has just finished translating Infinite Jest into Brazilian Portuguese, and Glenn H. Shepard (Notes from the Ethnoground and @TweetTropiques) has interviewed him forThe Millions - Infinite Grace: The Millions Interviews Caetano W. Galindo:


GS: How long did the translation take? What was your daily routine? Did you keep your deadline? Did you ever reach a point where you thought you might give up?

CWG: It took me one year, which is actually pretty fast, considering [Ulrich Blumenbach spent six years on the German translation]. I was only able to do it so quickly because of my previous familiarity with the book and with Wallace’s writing in general. I did not have a daily routine: I’m a college professor, and that takes pretty much all my time. Whenever I could manage to get a few free hours I would go at it for some high intensity translation. During that year my mother also died, after a very long struggle with cancer. Looking back — what with those final weeks in the hospital with her, and the time it took me to get back to real life afterwards — I almost don’t know when it was that I translated all those hundreds of pages. But then again, one way or another, this is true of every book I have translated. I begin not knowing how I will be able to do it, and end up not knowing how I was able to do it. But I did keep my deadline, with one week to spare. I never thought about giving up. Even in those days after my mother’s death, the perspective of having this huge work to go back to was a real incentive. Kind of a reality booster, you know? And something else, as well: a kind of solace, I guess. The book helped me keep going…


Continue reading Infinite Grace: The Millions Interviews Caetano W. Galindo

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 22:43

This Is Not DFW's Copy of Ulysses!

Wow. I can feel a rant coming on.

I didn't post about this at the time because it's just not true. But... now the image is just out of control on twitter and other places on the web.


This is NOT David Foster Wallace’s Annotated Copy of Ulysses!

This image first appeared linked to Wallace earlier this year (May-ish) and spread like wildfire. Biblioklept was one of the first places to show it wasn't! Have a read of Biblioklept's, (This Is Not) David Foster Wallace’s Annotated Copy of Ulysses, where there's a full rundown.

The image (taken by Enoc Perez) is actually Lee Server’s Baby I Don’t Care, a biography of Robert Mitchum, and its annotations belong to Tony Shafrazi.

The Daily Dot then posted more about it, Sorry, Internet, but this is not David Foster Wallace's annotated 'Ulysses'.


Interesting how misinformation can spread so quickly when people want to believe it!


Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 08:12

Taking DFW's English 170R

D.H. Sayer is going to 'take' David Foster Wallace's English 170R, Taking David Foster Wallace's English 170R: Introduction:

Last week, the David Foster Wallace Reader was published. It’s a selection of his work from the very beginning (there’s a story he wrote for the Amherst Review when he was a student there) to the posthumous Pale King. One of the never-before-seen additions to the book is a collection of his teaching materials. Wallace taught college courses fairly regularly throughout his adult life, starting pretty much right after graduation. He settled at Pomona College for the last years of his life, no doubt inspiring a few students to matriculate there for the express purpose of taking his class. I know that, were he still alive, I would’ve seriously considered it at some point.


There is no doubt that taking his class would be one of the most memorable experiences of one’s life.

Well, since that is no longer an option for me, I’ve decided (with at least one other person) to do the next best thing: I’m “taking” one of his classes. Specifically English 170R, which I believe is one of the first classes he taught at Pomona. It concentrates on “Obscure/Eclectic Fiction.” I’m going to do all the required reading, complete all the assignments, and follow the schedule as best I can. (The syllabus can be found here. I’m moving the schedule back two months, so 1/22=11/22, etc.)

Continue reading Taking David Foster Wallace's English 170R: Introduction

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 01:24

Finite Laughter - Castle

A little nod to Infinite Jest on Castle a couple of weeks back.

"The Time of Our Lives" Season 7 Ep 6 (706) Nov 10,2014

Castle finds himself in a parallel universe where he and Beckett have never met. While investigating this new case, Castle finds the way back to the real world, and asks Beckett to marry him straight away. Finally, Beckett and Castle marry in the Hamptons.

[Via wallace-l and @peterknox]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 01:18

Madame Psychosis by Set In Sound

Madame Psychosis On Air by Set In Sound over at Soundcloud.

Surprisingly good.

Text artistically pilfered from Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Edited, read and soundscaped by Dr ML Godin
Music seized out of Arthur H's cover of Jacques Brel's "Sur la Place"

Listen here.


US Release Day - The David Foster Wallace Reader

Well it's (almost depends where you are!) release day in the US for The David Foster Wallace Reader.

As I've mentioned previously, you can read the intro and the first few pieces in the online preview, and check out the table of contents from the sampler.

It's already available in the UK, and soon to be released in Australia on the 8th of December.

Honestly, I love it. Not so much the excerpts from the novels (though they would be great if this was a required text for a DFW overview study course), but the collection of fiction and non-fiction is just the best of the best. Sure, there's probably some loss, particularly with respect to the fiction, not being read in context of the individual collections (they are great collections, particularly the structure and flow of Oblivion: Stories), but to have many of Wallace's finest fiction and non-fiction in the same place is wonderful.

In my afterword I write about Incarnations of Burned Children being the story I use to introduce new readers to Wallace. This collection may well function as the next step in that process for me.




Okay now the thing I've been avoiding writing about...

So all my links are Amazon affiliate links and I'm kind of uncomfortable with it being the only option on my site right now. Based on traffic I know many of you have been redirecting your purchases elsewhere in response to the Amazon vs Hachette thing (many articles to read about this... here's just one) and I'm fine with that. I'm trying to set up B&N affiliate stuff, but I'm running into difficulties with signing up internationally (I'm not sure why, any advice hit me up in the comments below). I'm thinking of setting up the ability to donate (Paypal? Bitcoin?) or be a site patron, but these things always make me uncomfortable because I hate feeling I have to update because readers have paid me to do so. It also makes it much more difficult to walk away from updates for a few weeks when things get tricky in real life. i.e. the last month or so. Any thoughts or ideas? Let me know in the comments. Nick

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 November 2014 15:02

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