The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Josh Roiland's (@JoshRoiland) super detailed and extensive review of Both Flesh and Not, A Review EssayThe Fine Print: Uncovering the True Story of David Foster Wallace and the “Reality Boundary", can be found in Literary Journalism Studies and here.

It is much more than a review of Both Flesh and Not; at it's heart is an analysis of "the reality boundary" in Wallace's work:

Although it contains only two works of literary journalism—stories that have been reported and sourced and then told using a variety of literary devices—this book is useful for the ontological questions it raises about the nature of genre formation, literary categories, and “the reality boundary.”8 Moreover, the collection offers clues on Wallace’s thoughts about the genre and these attendant issues—a topic that has garnered modest attention since his death, with charges of embellishment and exaggeration made by his close friend Jonathan Franzen and repeated by his biographer D.T. Max.

[...]

During a public conversation at the 2011 New Yorker Festival, Wallace’s close friend and literary competitor, Jonathan Franzen, told David Remnick that he and Wallace disagreed about whether embellishment was an acceptable journalistic trait. Unsolicited, Franzen tells Remnick, “David and I disagreed on that.” Surprised, Remnick then randomly picks Wallace’s 1996 story “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again” and asks Franzen, “He said it was okay to make up dialogue on a cruise ship?” To which Franzen replies, “For instance, yeah.” Franzen, who regularly contributes to Remnick’s magazine, then posits that one reason Wallace never published any nonfiction in the New Yorker was because of its historically rigorous fact-checking process. Remnick admitted Wallace tried, but he never says why the proposals were turned down.

[...]

Very interesting reading.

Share
Last Updated on Saturday, 04 January 2014 01:14  

The Howling Fantods