David Foster Wallace and “The Long Thing”

July 19, 2014

David Foster Wallace and the Long Thing

David Foster Wallace and “The Long Thing”: New Essays on the Novels, edited by Marshall Boswell, to which I have contributed an essay, “‘Then Out of the Rubble': David Foster Wallace’s Early Fiction,” is set to appear 31 July 2014. This volume collects revised versions of essays from two special issues of Studies in the Novel from 2012 (44.3 and 44.4). I am delighted to be included in this excellent collection. See the blurbs at Bloomsbury’s site and read the first review from Publisher’s Weekly. It is reasonably priced right now, and Amazon has it listed in stock (before its release date . . .). Here is a description of the book:

Of the twelve books David Foster Wallace published both during his lifetime and posthumously, only three were novels. Nevertheless, Wallace always thought of himself primarily as a novelist. From his college years at Amherst, when he wrote his first novel as part of a creative honors thesis, to his final days, Wallace was buried in a novel project, which he often referred to as “the Long Thing.” Meanwhile, the short stories and journalistic assignments he worked on during those years he characterized as “playing hooky from a certain Larger Thing.” Wallace was also a specific kind of novelist, devoted to producing a specific kind of novel, namely the omnivorous, culture-consuming “encyclopedic” novel, as described in 1976 by Edward Mendelson in a ground-breaking essay on Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow.

David Foster Wallace and “The Long Thing” is a state-of-the art guide through Wallace’s three major works, including the generation-defining Infinite Jest. These essays provide fresh new readings of each of Wallace’s novels as well as thematic essays that trace out patterns and connections across the three works. Most importantly, the collection includes six chapters on Wallace’s unfinished novel, The Pale King, which will prove to be foundational for future scholars of this important text.

 

Table of Contents:

Marshall Boswell, “Preface.”

 

Part I: Wallace as Novelist

Adam Kelly, “David Foster Wallace and the Novel of Ideas.”

Toon Staes, “Wallace and Empathy: A Narrative Approach.”

Allard den Dulk, “Boredom, Irony, and Anxiety: Wallace and the Kierkegaardian View of the Self.”

Andrew Warren, “Modeling Community and Narrative in Infinite Jest and The Pale King.”

 

Part II: The Novels

Bradley J. Fest, “‘Then Out of the Rubble': David Foster Wallace’s Early Fiction.”

Philip Sayers, “Representing the Entertainment in Infinite Jest.”

David Letzler, “Encyclopedic Novels and the Cruft of Fiction: Infinite Jest‘s Endnotes.”

Stephen J. Burn, “‘A Paradigm for the Life of Consciousness': The Pale King.”

Conley Wouters, “‘What Am I, a Machine?': Humans and Information in The Pale King.”

Ralph Clare, “The Politics of Boredom and the Boredom of Politics in The Pale King.”

Marshall Boswell, “Trickle-Down Citizenship: Taxes and Civic Responsibility in The Pale King.”


First Review of David Foster Wallace and “The Long Thing”

June 20, 2014

David Foster Wallace and “The Long Thing”: New Essays on the Novels, an exciting collection on Wallace’s work edited by Marshall Boswell (which I have contributed an essay to), just had its first review by Publisher’s Weekly. I’ll have a more detailed post about the book when it comes out later next month.


“If the Marianas Trench Were a Gathering of Sound” in The After Happy Hour Review

March 27, 2014

A poem of mine, “If the Marianas Trench Were a Gathering of Sound,” was just published in the very pretty first issue of The After Happy Hour Review, along with work from my friends Dean Matthews, Amy Hayes, and others.


“The Inverted Nuke in the Garden” Receives SLSA’s Schachterle Prize

October 6, 2013

I am honored to have received this year’s Schachterle Prize from The Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts for my essay, “The Inverted Nuke in the Garden: Anti-Eschatology and Archival Emergence in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest,” which appeared in the Fall 2012 issue of boundary 2. This year’s conference was nothing short of incredible, and it remains one of the most vibrant, stimulating, and humbling conferences I have attended. I will probably post my own paper from the conference in a few days.


Forthcoming Interview with J. Hillis Miller

August 27, 2013

I’m pleased to say that over the summer I had the wonderful opportunity to interview esteemed literary critic J. Hillis Miller, and that the interview will be published soon in boundary 2.


“Apocalypse Networks: Representing the Nuclear Archive” in The Silence of Fallout: Nuclear Criticism in a Post-Cold War World

May 7, 2013

Silence of Fallout Cover

Michael J. Blouin, Morgan Shipley, and Jack Taylor have edited a great collection of essays on nuclear criticism, The Silence of Fallout: Nuclear Criticism in a Post-Cold War World (this links to the publisher page). I have an essay in the collection, “Apocalypse Networks: Representing the Nuclear Archive,” that any reader of this blog would probably find quite interesting. And of course there are a number of other interesting essays by accomplished scholars and nuclear critics. You can preview the table of contents, the preface, and the introduction here. And the book is now readily available for order from Amazon and of course other places. (Probably the quickest way to get it would be going directly to CSP’s site.)

I’ve included the Table of Contents below:

Preface, John Canaday

Introduction: The Silence of Fallout, Michael J. Blouin, Morgan Shipley, and Jack Taylor

Chapter One: “What Works”: Instrumentalism, Ideology, and Nostalgia in a Post-Cold War Culture, Jeff Smith

Chapter Two: Specters of Totality: The Afterlife of the Nuclear Age, Aaron Rosenberg

Chapter Three: Queer Temporalities of the Nuclear Condition, Paul K. Saint-Amour

Chapter Four: Apocalypse Networks: Representing the Nuclear Archive, Bradley J. Fest

Chapter Five: Cut to Black: Nuclear Criticism in a Post-September 11th America, Joseph Dewey

Chapter Six: The Pixilated Apocalypse: Video Games and Nuclear Fears, 1980-2012, William Knoblauch

Chapter Seven: Depictions of Destruction: Post-Cold War Literary Representations of Storytelling and Survival in the Nuclear Era, Julie Williams

Chapter Eight: Allegories of Hiroshima: Toward a Rhetoric of Nuclear Modernism, Mark Pedretti

Chapter Nine: War as Peace: Afterlives of Nuclear War in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, Jessica Hurley

Chapter Ten: The Hunger Games: Darwinism and Nuclear Apocalypse Narrative in the Post-9/11 World, Patrick B. Sharp

Chapter Eleven: Legacy of Waste: Nuclear Culture After the Cold War, Daniel Cordle

Chapter Twelve: In a dark wud: Metaphors, Narratives, and Nuclear Weapons, John Canaday


Forthcoming: The Silence of Fallout: Nuclear Criticism in a Post-Cold War World

February 1, 2013

I just sent along my corrected proofs for a chapter, titled “Apocalypse Networks: Representing the Nuclear Archive,” which will appear in The Silence of Fallout: Nuclear Criticism in a Post-Cold War World, to be published this spring by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, and edited by Michael J. Blouin, Morgan Shipley, and Jack Taylor. You can check out a description of the book here. And the book is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other booksellers. I am quite excited for this collection, which will include contributions from a number of notable scholars and nuclear critics, including Paul K. Saint-Amour, Daniel Cordle, and John Canaday.


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