The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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PT Anderson on Maron's WTF Podcast

Marc Maron (@marcmaron)

I love it when things come together in serendipitous ways...

One of my favourite directors, Paul Thomas Anderson, talks about being taught by David Foster Wallace on a podcast I listen to regularly while cycling to work, Mark Maron's WTF (I don't listen to every ep. I pick and choose based on the guests).

If you just want to hear the Wallace bit skip to around the 37th minute. has a summary, When a 21-Year-Old Paul Thomas Anderson Discussed Don DeLillo With David Foster Wallace, but it's worth listening to the section of the interview!


The Paris Review's take, When David Foster Wallace Taught Paul Thomas Anderson,  considers D.T. Max's biography, Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story, re: Wallace's time at Emerson.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 January 2015 13:59

Translating DFW Into French

Translating David Foster Wallace into French.
An interview with Charles Recoursé

-Ariane Mak

Charles Recoursé is a very prolific translator of Wallace’s books. The Broom of the System (La Fonction du balai), The Girl with Curious Hair (La Fille aux cheveux étranges),
The Pale King (Le Roi pâle) and “This is Water” (C’est de l’eau) have all been translated into French thanks to him. And his translation of David Lipsky’s conversations with Wallace Although of course you end up becoming yourself (Même si, en fin de compte, on devient évidemment soi-même) was released earlier this year. All of them have been published by Au Diable Vauvert editions, where Charles was an editor and translator for several years, before turning to full time translation.
The supposedly quiet Parisian bar I had chosen to conduct this interview, proved to be not so quiet after all. Many thanks therefore to Charles for kindly answering the following questions amid Bob Marley tunes and a loud football game.

Charles Recoursé [via Overblog]

Ariane Mak: Charles, you have translated many of David Foster Wallace’s books into French. Could you tell us what led you to translation in general and to the translation of DFW in particular?

Charles Recoursé: Well the first two translators were Julie and Jean-René Etienne who did a great job translating Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (Brefs entretiens avec des hommes hideux) and A supposedly Fun thing I’ll Never Do Again (Un truc soi-disant super auquel on ne me reprendra pas). Their work has proved very useful to me, especially to have an idea of what I was in for before I started translating The Broom of the System (La Fonction du balai). About what led me to translate DFW, well it started when I was doing a master’s degree in political sciences in Rennes, in Brittany. It was a time when I basically stayed home, reading books and smoking joints all day! One afternoon, I asked myself what I was going to do with my life. And as I was constantly reading books, I thought – somewhat naively perhaps as I had no idea how to go about it - I might become an editor. So I applied for internships with three publishing houses. I did an internship at Payot & Rivages (the Rivages/Noir collection, French home of James Ellroy, Donald Westlake, James Lee Burke, Dennis Lehane and many more) then at Au Diable Vauvert, where amongst other tasks I proofread translations, which I quite enjoyed. I became assistant editor then editor at Au Diable Vauvert. I was sharing an office with Laura Derajinsky, who is also a brilliant translator, and one day I saw Simon Reynolds’ Bring the Noise on her desk. I knew his book well because this was right in the middle of a post-punk, new wave, cold wave, post wave, whatever-you-can-think of-wave revival and the French translation of Rip It Up and Start Again had just been published. I offered to try to translate it and my first trials were accepted so I started translating Simon Reynolds’ Bring the Noise – this was in early 2008.

This translation was to be interrupted. I went with the Diable Vauvert team to the “Fête de l’Huma”, a large French festival, where we had a bookstand. I remember an evening we had packed everything up and were smoking cigarettes with Marion Mazauric, the boss and publisher. She checked her emails and her face suddenly changed. She had received an email from Wallace’s agent announcing his suicide. This was September 12th 2008. This came as a total shock. Wallace was 46 at the time, we had thought we had time to translate and publish his works. In France the two first Wallace translations had received a very enthusiastic reception from the press in 2005, but the French publishing market isn’t used to short stories and nonfiction collections so only 500 or 600 copies of them had been sold. And Au Diable Vauvert, being an independent publishing house which hadn’t had many best sellers yet, couldn’t pay 10 000 • to translate a book which would bring in only 3 000 •. We realized that with Wallace’s death, if we wanted him to find the readers he deserved we shouldn’t wait to translate him. So we decided that the French translation of the Broom of the System would need to be published the following September. Marion Mazauric told me “Listen, I know you’re able to switch between slang and a more classic kind of writing. I want you to be in charge of the translation.” I wasn’t sure if I was up to the challenge but you only live once and it’s the kind of offer one can’t refuse. So I put the translation of Bring the Noise on hold and started translating The Broom of the System.

Continue after the break...

Last Updated on Monday, 29 December 2014 13:08

A Few Footnotes on DFW

From Bill and Dave's Cocktail Hour, A Few Footnotes on David Foster Wallace Putting Me on His Syllabus:


Continue reading here...

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 December 2014 23:43

DFW Reader Reviews

Updated 16/1/15

Some reviews for The David Foster Wallace Reader:


Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2015 10:43

Infinite Legos 6 & 7

Ryan M Blanck's Infinite Legos series continues over at his Letters to DFW blog with parts 6 and 7:

Infinite Legos 6: Hal and Mario discuss Himself’s funeral


Infinite Legos 7: Hal smoking in the basement



Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 December 2014 23:40

The DFW Reader - Limited Edition

The David Foster Wallace Reader: Limited Edition Out Now.

Further information from Hachette:

"This deluxe edition of THE DAVID FOSTER WALLACE READER features original artwork by Karen Green. The cover art, a painting titled It's Fun to Read, was created expressly for The David Foster Wallace Reader-Limited Edition by Karen Green in 2014. Each copy of the limited edition contains one piece of the original painting."


Order at Amazon now - The David Foster Wallace Reader: Limited Edition



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 12:02

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