( So of course you grow up... )
( So of course you grow up... )
( The connection is interesting in part because of Wallace's obsession with David Lynch... )
But in case you haven't, the February Harper's will have a new DFW story in it that is, according to rumor, a part of Something Significantly Longer. Which was of course what he said about the Infinite Jest fragments he read and published before that book was actually finished.
Can I get a hallelujah?
Let's just say this isn't the most labor-intensive costume I've ever worn (which was, incidentally, the Great Cabbage Head project of 1985, in which my mother got a Cabbage Patch Kids pattern and spent weeks sewing individual cabbage leaves together so that I could be a walking head of cabbage. This was not my idea; my mother is a stickler for punishment.).
There are two, maybe three of you tops who might care, but if anyone is into David Foster Wallace (or wants some insight into the nature of my psychotic bug-eyed obsession with said writer), Dave Eggers' introduction to the 10th anniversary edition of Infinite Jest is available here (as reprinted in the LA Weekly). I initially scoffed at the idea of Eggers introducing Wallace, but it's a quite nice introduction and pretty well expresses some of the things that are dazzling about IJ.
I've been so grouchy lately, it's a good time to put up something I'm excited about.
In a related note, I used chapter three from my undergraduate thesis for my critical writing sample in my applications (it's on skepticism, faith, and empathy in Infinite Jest). Upon re-reading it I realized it has everything, everything to do with "The Butterfly Mask," which is the piece of fiction I'm proudest of having written. It's probably not the most academically sound thesis in the world, in large part because it concerns itself with compassion in fiction and that's not a terribly hip subject academically speaking, but it has everything to do with what I want to write. It was good to re-read it. It made me realize that my thesis was not the failure I thought it was, but was rather just...not right for academia. Well, onwards.
Word on the street is that the 10th Anniversary edition of Infinite Jest is coming out pretty quick, which means I'll have to purchase yet a fourth doorstop. Perhaps I'll get rid of the British edition I purchased in order to make more space on the damn shelf. That leaves me my first edition copy, and my thesis copy (complete with embarrassing marginalia like "I <3 David Foster Wallace so fucking much!!!" on various pages). The 10th Anniversary edition is introduced by Dave Eggers, which I think is crap--Eggers was in diapers when Wallace was becoming a polyglot, the little upstart shit. But Eggers is sort of the watered-down inheritor of Wallace's whole genre, so I guess it makes sense.
I also recently discovered this site put together by a guy named Greg Carlisle at Morehead State University. I've barely scanned it but it looks promising. My Wallace-psychosis has been much calmer than it once was (writing a 100-page academic thesis on IJ more or less cured me of the worst parts of the sickness) but I can see myself disappearing into the clutches of Carlise's work in the near future. Considering I'm planning to submit part of the ol' thesis as my critical writing sample at whatever schools need it, and considering how obsessive I'm feeling these days anyway, you might be in for a month or two of totally passe literary commentary on a ten year old book. Sorry in advance.
My thesis was a total piece of shit, but from time to time I wonder if I shouldn't have tried to clean it up and publish it. Considering there is a ravenous fan base for IJ, it might have been useful to someone. No money, but a bit of fan-girl street cred. Which is of course what us fan-girls live for.