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, concentrating on a unmarried point of person works. A better half to the paintings of David Foster Wallace is designed as a certified research of all of Wallace's artistic paintings. With essays written via either most sensible students within the box and interesting rookies, the quantity is anchored by means of a suite of essays that supply specific readings of every of his significant works of fiction, together with 3 novels and 3 tale collections. Interwoven via those half-dozen single-text reviews are thematic-based essays that handle higher segments of Wallace's fulfillment through an eclectic diversity of serious environments, together with arithmetic, the spatial flip in modern feedback, gender idea, the legacy of yankee Pragmatism, and the emergent box of post-postmodern literary experiences.

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Extra info for A Companion to David Foster Wallace Studies

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Perhaps the most elaborate figure of the novel occurs in one of Rick Vigorous’s journal entries that records a conversation between Fieldbinder and Dr. Jay in which Fieldbinder constructs an elaborate metaphor for “self”: Think of it this way, doctor . . Think of the Self as at the node of a fanshaped network of emotions, dispositions, extensions of that feeling and 20 PATRICK O’DONNELL thinking Self. Each line in the protruding network-fan may of course have an external reference and attachment.

Or should he pump in oxygen and bring it back to life? And what about almost-as-elderly metafiction? The collection’s interest in patricide (which is never less than sympathetic to the patriarch in question and with the condition of being a patriarch) culminates in the displacement of “charismatic” Professor Ambrose (Barth), emblem of the “preceding generation” (GCH 269), by the young Mark Nechtr—as his surname suggests, a bit like Ambrose, but also different. As Marshall Boswell notes, Wallace sets up his story “in deliberate accordance” with The Anxiety of Influence, Harold Bloom’s influential model of literary history as Oedipal struggle (Understanding 103).

While not ignoring “Westward,” this essay argues that the novella should be read in the context of the collection as a whole, and that the volume itself should be read in the context of the place and time of its composition: specifically that of the 1980s intersections between graduate creative writing programs and the “economically viable domains of serious middlebrow fiction” (McGurl 29). Girl with Curious Hair can been seen both as an exemplary product of what Mark McGurl has dubbed “the program era”—Wallace wrote the stories while enrolled in the University of Arizona’s MFA program—and as an interrogation of that era’s modes and mores.

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