The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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Pietsch's Pale King Into in The Guardian

Michael Pietsch's (slightly edited) Editor's Note introduction to The Pale King, In search of David Foster Wallace's Pale King, is now available to read over at the Guardian. It is well worth reading due to the insight it provides into the editing process for The Pale King BUT it contains major thematic and structural spoilers. If you don't want to know anything about The Pale King don't read it just yet:
At the time of David's death in September 2008, I had not seen a word of this novel except for a couple of stories he had published in magazines, stories with no apparent connection to accountancy or taxation. In November, Bonnie joined Karen Green, David's widow, to go through his office, a garage with one small window at their home in Claremont, California. On the desk Bonnie found a neat stack of manuscript, totalling nearly 250 pages. On the label of a disk containing those chapters he had written "For LB advance?" Bonnie had talked with David about pulling together a few chapters of his novel to send to Little, Brown in order to commence negotiations for a new contract and advance against royalties. Here was that partial manuscript, unsent.
Exploring David's office, Bonnie and Karen found hundreds and hundreds of pages of his novel in progress, given the title The Pale King. Hard drives, folders, three‑ring binders, spiral‑bound notebooks and floppy disks contained printed chapters, sheaves of handwritten pages and notes. I flew to California at their invitation and two days later returned home with a green duffel bag and two sacks heavy with manuscripts. A box full of books that David had used in his research followed by mail.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 April 2011 18:54