Year of David Foster Wallace.

Over at the Fiction Advocate, Michael Moats has posted both Parts I and II of his “Year of David Foster Wallace,” summing up the author’s legacy in 2012: In the last 12 months, Wallace was the subject of three books, and author of one posthumous collection of essays. This level of attention is significant in […]

What Makes Literature Great?

At the Kenyon Review, Amit Majmudar explores the idea of what makes fiction become “great literature.” One of the reasons, Majmudar contends, is how much audiences react to its “excess”: The magic of excess is not to be underestimated. It is the key to permanence. I would nominate Moby-Dick as the consummate work of Excess: Everything […]

DFW Week Roundup.

Over the last week, Page Turner,the book blog of The New Yorker, has been running a feature called “DFW Week,” featuring a number of posts from D.T. Max about David Foster Wallace, drumming up interest in Max’s biography. I previously posted about one post, a collection of Wallace’s childhood writings. But I thought it might be […]

The Atlantic’s Interview with D.T. Max.

There have been a number of interviews with D.T. Max, whose biography of David Foster Wallace (see my previous post) was out last week. But this one from the Atlantic might be the best I’ve read. Max: I think some people have tried to turn David into some kind of Thomas Merton figure, but whereas […]

The Childhood Writings of David Foster Wallace.

As part of “DFW Week,” Page Turner has a post from D.T. Max about David Foster Wallace’s childhood writings: All the same there is something about the aura of mystery and discomfort enfolding the adult David Foster Wallace that makes you want to search even his childhood writing for clues. You are looking both for […]

Charlie Kaufman: “What I Have to Offer.”

A short excerpt from genius screenwriter Charlie Kaufman’s speech at the BAFTA Screenwriters’ Lecture Series: I’d heard about this talk before, and read some excerpts, but nothing is quite like hearing the man himself speak the words. Kaufman (member of my “must see” club) is easily my favorite screenwriter in the business. I think Synecdoche, […]

1-800 Contacts and “Infinite Jest.”

Notice anything suspicious about this 1-800 Contacts Ad? A screen cap: The “Giant Book” here, besides being reminiscient of the 1-800 Contacts logo, also seems to be similar to a certain paperback edition of a “giant” novel: Part of me is thrilled that Infinite Jest has this kind of cultural weight—that it gets referenced in such […]