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View Diary: How 2012 Became The Year of the D.F.Wallace Gravy Train (17 comments)

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  •  This is a hell of a meaty analysis, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chitown Kev, JoanMar, turdraker, Portlaw

    so I need to book mark this for later.  I'm curious about the two demerits against Max's book: philosophy and nonfiction.  I can't imagine a really thorough analysis of fiction without the former, though I also can't imagine a more better exploration of the issue than Zadie Smith's "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men: The Difficult Gifts of David Foster Wallace", which frames the Wittgensteinian stuff very well even without the newly-published thesis.  As for the nonfiction... I much prefer Wallace's nonfiction, so that's just a disappointment if Max gives them the short shrift, especially since his odd contradictions as a writer really pop in his nonfiction essays.  Without even touching on the more recent accusations of outright fabrication; I know Glenn Kenny has discussed how he left pertinent information out of "Big Red Son" because he had a preset agenda for writing the piece.  It's a bit disappointing, but it also highlights some important aspects of what he saw himself as doing as a writer, etc.  Blah blah blah.

    Anyway - very much appreciate this diary.  Things are percolating in my head.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:20:51 PM PST

    •  I'm aware of Zadie Smith's analysis (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pico, Portlaw

      and I browsed through it a bit...well, since this is my first book review, I tried to keep a lot of stuff in the back of my mind.

      I actually did research the Wittgenstein stuff very heavily ( in fact, I was going to attach some of that research as a sort of 3 page footnote-tribute od DFW)...let's just say that, IMHO, if Wallace patterened himself after anyone, it wan't his dad or even Thomas Pynchon, it was Ludwig Wittgenstein (well, except for the gay thing, which is extremely problematic for me as a gay man that likes DFW).

      •  Also gay, also a fan of his, with asterisks. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chitown Kev, turdraker, Portlaw

        Definitely worth reading Smith's analysis: she tries to locate the Wittgensteinian element as the the most essential key for understanding his fiction.  It's a very good, very thoughtful essay.

        I found it interesting (after recently rereading that Glenn Kenny interview) that Kenny basically had to force Wallace to read Perec, who he'd dismissed as a "formalist" (and also shines a light on Franzen's dismissal of Perec, who I doubt he's read).   The way elite literary culture calcifies around schools and slogans is a major pain in the ass.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:44:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  On Big Red Son (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pico, Portlaw

      AVN dinged wallace for that, big time. There's a very long response to that from several people at AVN

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