A Companion to David Foster Wallace Studies by Marshall Boswell, Stephen J. Burn

By Marshall Boswell, Stephen J. Burn

Feedback of the paintings of David Foster Wallace has tended to be atomistic, targeting a unmarried point of person works. A better half to the paintings of David Foster Wallace is designed as a certified learn of all of Wallace's inventive paintings. With essays written by way of either most sensible students within the box and fascinating novices, the quantity is anchored through a suite of essays that supply targeted readings of every of his significant works of fiction, together with 3 novels and 3 tale collections. Interwoven via those half-dozen single-text experiences are thematic-based essays that handle greater segments of Wallace's success through an eclectic diversity of serious environments, together with arithmetic, the spatial flip in modern feedback, gender conception, the legacy of yankee Pragmatism, and the emergent box of post-postmodern literary reports.

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Each individual story engages in what Harold Bloom calls a “strong misreading” (xxiii) of its sources or manages what Bakhtin terms a “double-voiced discourse” (Problems 199), while the collection as a whole stages a debate about fictional futures. Ultimately, then, it didn’t matter whether Girl with Curious Hair achieved a “Reunion of All Who’ve Appeared” or simply provoked a “Collision” between the “old melodies” of realism and metafiction, creative writing and Theory, ethics and geometry. Speaking in many other voices, Wallace had made an important step toward the development of his own, inimitable (and soon to be much imitated) voice—the ultimate goal of the writing workshop.

The role model for this is Cheese, one of the punks and the story’s “intelligent” and “curious” analyst-moralist (GCH 67, 68). Wide-eyed behind his pink glasses (no unmediated access there), Cheese offers theories on everything from Jarrett’s technique to the politics of punk to Sick Puppy himself. More importantly, he has real relationships. While Sick Puppy simply uses his friends for expensive thrills, Cheese worries about their well-being. He looks out for Gimlet when she has a bad LSD experience (GCH 69), and is genuinely “interested” in the narrator “as a person” (GCH 64).

But she shall not be the reference. Only the ephemeral night-insect, drawn to the light that is intrinsically inaccessible. She may be consumed in the line’s flight, but the line still stands, juts out, rigidly, far into the space exterior to the Self. (BOS 351) Recalling that Rick Vigorous is voicing Monroe Fieldbinder in this passage, the metaphor of self generated by Rick’s alter ego is a contradiction in terms that both reflects Rick’s voracious need to consume “the other” and one that obliterates the boundaries of its figurative construction.

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