The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home News by Category Both Flesh and Not I Just Read About That... Both Flesh and Not

I Just Read About That... Both Flesh and Not

I've posted about Paul Debraski's I Just Read About That... blog in the past because he regularly writes about his experiences reading David Foster Wallace, and does so with insight and great attention to detail.

There have been a couple of Wallace posts in the last few weeks. The first about David Foster Wallace's review, ”The Empty Plenum: David Markson’s ‘Wittgenstein’s Mistress’” (Review of Contemporary Fiction 1990) and just a few days ago Debraski's review of the most recent collection of Wallace non-fiction, Both Flesh and Not.

I like this review because it delivers on the enthusiasm Wallace's non-fiction writing inspires in his readers, and it has none of the negativity about this collection that was present in more than a few of the reviews last year (you can find some here). Yes, there's nothing really new in the collection for the fans who have read everything, but there's plenty in there to like if you've only ever read bits and pieces of Wallace's non-fiction:

[...] when I recently read Wittgenstein’s Mistress, I decided to reread his essay, so i looked in the book.  And it all spiraled from there–so much that I’m going to compare the book versions to the original articles next week.

And but so, this is a very enjoyable collection of essays. The essays are arranged chronologically from 1988-2007 (except for the first article which gives the book its title and is a great opener, but which I argue is the one that should be read after a different essay).  There’s a couple of essays on tennis, some book reviews, some essays about writing, and some thoughts on the (then) current political climate.  Nothing is too too academic (well, a couple are), and while many of the stories do come from DFW’s younger writing days when he was a little pedantic, his later ones are a lot of fun (and his love for tennis is palpable).

I'm also looking forward to Debraski's comparison to the original articles because when I started to compare them shortly after release I didn't find many differences at all in the first couple of essays (superficial corrections mostly), at least not enough to put in the effort go through the rest of them as carefully as I expect we'll see over at I Just Read About That...

Continue reading, David Foster Wallace–Both Flesh and Not: Essays (2012)



Last Updated on Sunday, 01 December 2013 14:36  


#1 Ronny Wilson 2013-12-03 05:01
This is article is adequate to me, because "Both Flesh and Not" is a book of facetiousness, pity, and did I mention, The (As It Were) Seminal Importance of Terminator 2! (His precise way with words; and love for tennis is astonishing.)
Quote | Report to administrator

The Howling Fantods