The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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Melbourne Wallace Meetup - 28th Nov 2015

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I'll be in Melbourne for the Ghost Stories, Love Stories, New Stories - AAWP 2015 DFW Panel this coming Monday 30th Nov.

A few of us will be meeting up on Saturday 28th Nov in the Melbourne CBD at around 7pm for some Wallace discussion over drinks and nibbles. If any other Melbourne Wallace enthusiasts would like to join us we'd love to meet you!

Location TBA later this week (Thurs or Friday). If you can come along (or think you might be able to) drop me a line here (or leave a comment below) and I'll make sure you get the specifics.

Hope to meet some of you on Saturday evening!

Last Updated on Monday, 23 November 2015 23:47

Empress of Serenity - ASFTINDA Inspired Movie

This news broke yesterday and I still don't know what to think... Apparently Empress of Serenity is inspired by Wallace's cruise essay A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never do Again (originally in Harper's as Shipping Out):

The Wrap - Bill Hader to Star in David Foster Wallace-Inspired Movie ‘Empress of Serenity’ (Exclusive) [18/11/15]

Flavorwire - Bill Hader Cast in Film Inspired by David Foster Wallace [19/11/15]

Uproxx - Is Trying To Make A Movie Inspired By ‘A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again’ A Good Idea? [19/11/15]

Last Updated on Friday, 20 November 2015 10:35

The End of the Tour - It's Here!

So this arrived this morning... I know what I'll be doing this evening!

The End of the Tour - DVD and Blu-ray over at Amazon now.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 November 2015 13:27

Ghost Stories, Love Stories, New Stories - AAWP 2015 DFW Panel

I can't wait for the 30th of November because I'll be in Melbourne to attend the ‘Ghost Stories, Love Stories, New Stories: Reconfiguring David Foster Wallace for the Australian Academy’ panel at the AAWP 2015 Conference - Writing the ghost train | Rewriting, remaking, rediscovering (Draft conference program here).

The panel will be moderated by Tony McMahon who you may recall from guest pieces he wrote for The Howling Fantods from Paris (where he delivered this paper) and DFW2015 in the US:


E2 Ghost stories, love stories, new stories—reconfiguring David Foster Wallace for the Australian Academy: Tony McMahon with Joshua Barnes, Mitch Cunningham, Matilda Douglas-Henry and Jonathan Laskovsky. Moderator: Tony McMahon


Panel Description:

Across the last two decades, the oeuvre of the American writer David Foster Wallace (1962 – 2008) has attracted significant attention in both academic and mainstream cultural circles; unique to Wallace, though, is the degree to which these two spheres overlap. Readers of Wallace’s literary work also consume scholarly assessments of it, providing a large, diverse audience for such criticism. Adam Kelly has written that, in contrast to the critical discourse on James Joyce, for example, ‘where the keys to understanding are presumed to be held by professional scholars’, the formal study of Wallace’s work ‘has begun in a more democratic vein’. While this is largely due to the influence of the Internet as a social technology, it also reflects the deep analytical and creative connections between Wallace’s texts and their readers.

Consequently, Wallace Studies has rapidly emerged as a coherent research discipline, with its own tenets, tropes and dogmas. Following his death and the publication of posthumous texts such as The Pale King (2011) and Both Flesh and Not (2012), as well as D.T. Max’s biography Every Love Story is a Ghost Story (2012), the academic pursuit of Wallace’s writing has seemed to approach consensus on matters of aesthetics, poetics and canonicity. There are, however, meaningful problems that still require attention. 

The panel responds to this need by providing a new context for the critical reading of Wallace. Through the assessment of existing discourse, it clears the ground for a refined theorisation of Wallace’s literary corpus. The panel will feature a mix of emerging and established scholars, each of whom will present rigorous new approaches to Wallace and Wallace Studies: Tony McMahon will argue for the academic consideration of Wallace within Australian academic discourse; Mitch Cunningham confronts the ambiguous subject of the ‘reader’ in Wallace’s texts; Matilda Douglas-Henry (re)reads Infinite Jest as a queer allegory, while Jonathan Laskovsky assesses the construction of fictional space in that novel; finally, Joshua Barnes’ attempts to theorise the comedic techniques employed by Wallace throughout his work.

Emphasising the creative importance of retransmitting stories through teaching and learning, the panel will comprise teachers and students—from undergraduate to PhD—each responding to the theme of ‘writing the ghost train’ by focusing on the representation of Wallace’s work to new readers, contexts and generations. Furthermore, the panel will explicitly discuss thematic stream four, ‘Refashioning the self’, with Wallace’s literary project providing the ideal environment in which to explore the effects of reconfiguring texts, retelling stories and the process of canon formation.

Panel Presenters/Topics:

Tony McMahon (moderator): Introduction: Why Wallace and Australia?

Mitch Cunningham: ‘Performing the fiction-writer’s reader: Reading the transference in David Foster Wallace’

Matilda Douglas-Henry: ‘“The Man Who Knows His Limitations Has None”: The homoeroticism in Infinite Jest’

Jonathan Laskovsky: ‘Spaces of open constraint in Infinite Jest’

Joshua Barnes: ‘David Foster Wallace, comedian: towards an aesthetics of funniness’


...and I'm hearing rumblings about an Australian DFW conference for 2016... would you be keen to join us if it got off the ground?

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 November 2015 00:27

Infinite Jest on The Ex-PM

Well how about that! Infinite Jest appeared on the Australian satirical comedy sitcom, The Ex-PM, starring one of my favourite Australian comedians, Shaun Micallef. (Episode 4 about 2:30 watch here on iview if you live in Australia).

Interesting to note that it is the 10th anniversary edition which is most certainly not the most common edition to be found in Australia. Excellent visual gag too - if you watch the show and know the characters!

(Cheers to moan, @hotcarl333 for letting me know - I was behind until this evening!)


Last Updated on Monday, 09 November 2015 23:14

Upcoming Publications 2016

9/11/15 Update with publication dates and new cover art.

Some interesting looking publications on the horizon, particularly (for me) the one due from Clare Hayes-Brady. Pretty much everything she has written about Wallace that I've read I love, hopefully we'll be able to pick up a non-academic or ebook version...


(Thanks to Dan for the email earlier in the week!)


Last Updated on Monday, 09 November 2015 22:39

The Great Concavity - DFW Podcast Ep 3

Episode 3 of the The Great Concavity is available now. (Follow the show on twitter @ConcavityShow and subscribe to the podcast here)

Today's episode is a discussion with artist Robyn O'Neil.

The podcast is hosted by Dave Laird (@DaveLaird2) and Matt Bucher (@mattbucher, wallace-l,, Simple Ranger, Side Show Media Group) two Wallace enthusiasts with a wealth of Wallace knowledge to share.

Listen to The Great Concavity episode 3.

Last Updated on Friday, 06 November 2015 09:26
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