The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

DFW's Short Stories

An excellent piece from Chris Power over at The Guardian about David Foster Wallace's short stories, A brief survey of the short story: David Foster Wallace:

David Foster Wallace was a maximalist. His masterpiece, Infinite Jest, is a 1,000-page, polyphonic epic about addiction and obsession in millennial America. His journalism and essays, about television and tennis, sea cruises and grammar, always swelled far beyond their allotted word counts (cut for publication, he restored many of them to their full length when they were collected in book form). In a letter sent to a friend from a porn convention in Las Vegas, Wallace exclaimed that, “writing about real-life stuff is next to impossible, simply because there’s so much!” It might seem surprising that a writer like this could or should want to function within the confines of the short story, yet besides Infinite Jest it is arguably his three story collections that represent the most important part of his work.

Continue reading, A brief survey of the short story: David Foster Wallace here.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 May 2015 00:25

Cruise Control - Hidden Wallace References...

Based on direct word from ProPublica, their newest project, Cruise Control, has hidden references to "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" throughout the story.

Apparently there will be a 'solutions' page posted later in the week, so get looking!





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 08:22

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 11:34

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 11:05

The Howling Fantods