Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Hey hey hey David Foster Wallace's biography is pretty amazing...

Wallace: "This is because irony, entertaining as it is, serves an almost exclusively negative function. It's critical and destructive, a ground-clearing...Irony's singularly unuseful when it comes to constructing anything to replace the hypocrisies it debunks."

D.T. Maxx: "He had never really liked plot, that tidying up of life in which, as he had written Howard in 1986, 'revelations revelationize and things are cleared up.' To rely too much on plot risked seducing the reader; it was like selling Tide. Moreover, plots typically involved the gradual maturation of the characters, and that was not how Wallace saw things. His default view of life was more mechanistic than organic. Change in a character...was usually a binary flip. Yet he knew an unplotted book violated the physics of reading. So over the years, he slowly cast about for a structure..."

Silverblatt on Wallace's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men: "Here, it is felt as if, in reading these stories with eyes wide open, I was being asked to resolve so much that I would get dizzy. And that, in the fall, in the dizziness, a kind of compelling sadness--that the sadness itself is formed by the obligation to have no stable position. That everything has to spin on itself, until a kind of weariness, attrition, ecstasy, exhilaration, humor, terror, become compounded. And the emotion bomb, as the therapists says, is left in the reader."

Read Every Love Story is a Ghost Story. It feels huge--a discussion so much larger than the book--a discussion about where we are and where we could be going.

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