Thursday, March 5, 2009

David foster wallace update

capsule summary: New short story by David Foster Wallace published New Yorker magazine. new unfinished book being published soon. thoughts about whether it could be any good. thoughts about why a great man kills them self.


"Hello! Well, you've stumbled upon my blog. My name is Norton. I am a dog. I learned how to type from my owner Zach's friend Sam. I have a lot of things to say, starting with, woof, woof, woof woof woof woof woof woof bark yelp yip yipee arf arfffff arf arf ARFF ARFFA AARF...."

this insanity continues for several more typed pages, but we will end our selection here.

Suddenly a flurry of David Foster Wallace /DFW news. The New Yorker prints "Wiggle Room" as its short story, thus ending the tradition of incredibly, mind-blowingly, devastatingly, there-is-no-god, bad stories (with the exception, of course, of Wells Tower's recent appearance which has directed the world's attention with lightning speed to the upcoming release of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, his short story collection. One writer ties a noose and hangs themself off a patio; another one is born.)

There was not much detail coming out about DFW after he died. The person closest to him, his wife, apparently had her world and mind annihilated after he killed himself in September and was in communicado about the specifics leading up to his death. Other people close to him were similiarly mum. Unlike the grotesqueness that surrounds a "celebrity" death, with the details and autopsy photos getting twittered to Page Six magazine, there was pretty much nothing except for the fact that he was dead. Some people wanted to know if he'd been working on a masterpiece he'd unleash on the world posthumously.

Jonathan franzen at one memorial service said Dave had been more and more and more and more depressed in the past several months and they had sad phone conversations where Dave would ask to hear a cheerful story and at first he would enjoy it but once he realized the point of the story or the way that Jon was trying to cheer him up it would stop working. Then his father came public with some info, basically Dave was on one heavy antidepressant for about 20 years and after side-effects appeared he switched onto a new medicine, 2 years ago, which did not go so well. He became more and more and more depressed his dad said and was not writing very much.

the new yorker also has a lengthy article about "the pale king" to come out 2010 that I'm about to read and am very excited for. they also have "wiggle room" by dfw...with the typical hypnotic flow. Did you know that the word "boring" was created in 1766 out of nothing with no reference linguistically except the industrial revolution? and the word interesting was also a neologism, 2 years later?...?...?

David Foster Wallace, who committed suicide last September, was working on a third novel at the time of his death, and his longtime publisher Little, Brown will release it in the spring of 2010. The Pale King takes place in an IRS facility in Illinois. "He told me he took accounting classes to learn more about it," says Little, Brown publisher Michael Pietsch, who's pulling together the 300-plus page novel from thousands of pages of drafts, notes, and outlines. Pietsch says that it's thrilling "to watch an idea turning into a chapter into an entire section of the book." He also told EW exclusively that upon publication Little, Brown will create a website to make large chunks of the manuscript available to fans, so they can see how the book came together and "have a detailed sense of Wallace as a working writer." —Tina Jordan

http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/2009/03/david-foster-wa.html

The only question is whether it will be any good. Could a man in the grip of depression write something good? (Wiggle room seems to be related -- its about Lane, working in an IRS office in 1985. his monotonous existence paraphrase "makes him conceive of suicide for the first time in his life."


Found photo: a shelfful of DFW


EDIT: addition. click photo for larger. a picture by karen green dfw's wife, that the new yorker put up on their website. very...moving. take a closer look.

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