The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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Home News by Category Latest Thoughts Part 1

Thoughts Part 1

(I've set up a permanent page for all the reports, obituaries and remembrances from around the internet, DFW 1962-2008. You'll find new additions there from now on.)
I've got a lot to share. The following is the first bit.

Thoughts Part 1
I've been updating and polishing this site dedicated to the work of David Foster wallace for 11 years.

In that period of time I...
  • Graduated from university with a double degree (Arts/Science). 
  • Earned a diploma of education in secondary teaching and became a high school English teacher.
  • Realised I was in love.
  • Moved out of home.
  • Attended four Cure concerts in the space of a week and met Robert Smith.
  • Moved in with my partner.
  • Discovered I was good at animating lego using stop motion animation.
  • Won a couple of awards for said animations.
  • Travelled overseas for the first time.
  • Got married.
  • Turned 30.
  • Had a son. Lost my grandfather the following day.

The one constant was David Foster Wallace.

What I didn't do in all that time...
  • Try to contact David Foster Wallace.
  • Attend a David Foster Wallace reading.
  • Take photos of David Foster Wallace while he was reading.
  • Line up after hearing David Foster Wallace read and get him to sign my 1st Ed. Hardback of IJ.
  • Eventually reach the front of the line, and thus David Foster Wallace, and nervously (almost sub-audibly) admit that, yes, yes it was me who created that 'Howling Fantods' website.
  • Share an uncomfortable, meaningful, and silent exchange of looks.
  • Say, "oh, and would you mind signing my... I mean your... book?"
Part of the reason I didn't do these things is because it was physically impossible. I live in Australia, always have. There were times when it was hard to report on those early, intimate (I imagined) readings. I so wanted to be there.
I have often wondered what David Foster Wallace would have inscribed in my copy of Infinite Jest. What treasured words I could be reading right now.
The distance ended up being a blessing. It kept me at arm's length, and I eventually realised that all of the attention made David Foster Wallace... uneasy.
As for his writing, I've always loved these lines from Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way in the collection Girl With Curious Hair:
Please don't tell anybody, but Mark Nechtr desires, some distant hard-earned day, to write something that stabs you in the heart. That pierces you, makes you think you're going to die.
If you own Infinite Jest (and you have finished reading it, don't dare do this if you haven't) turn to p. 981 and read the last line. Remember how you felt when you first read that?
More to come.
Last Updated on Monday, 15 September 2008 18:48  


#1 copilota 2008-09-15 00:35
in this sad day i decided to contact you to encourage you to continue your passionate work on dfw. version of IJ is obviously different from yours; may you let me know the line at 981 page (english version)? i really will appreciate it.
Thanks in advance and go ahead, go ahead, he surely found his Infinite.
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#2 verena 2008-09-15 01:32
i'm writing for the same question. in the italian edition on page 981, the last sentence is "he did'nt know what would happen, but he didn't believe that he could make it".
so strange reading it today.
ciao verena
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#3 copilota 2008-09-15 06:20
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#4 truant 2008-09-15 17:37
Hi, I can relate to your "what I didn't do..." list. I'm in NZ. My first thought upon hearing the news was "but..I haven't met him yet!".

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#5 verena 2008-09-17 02:24
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#6 copilota 2008-09-17 20:07
Well, Verena, you should use my mail to share dfw in italian if you want, obviously. Using italian here may result annoying for others fantods...
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