The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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Home News by Category Critical Analysis Katie Roiphe on Sex and the Great Male Novelist

Katie Roiphe on Sex and the Great Male Novelist

Katie Roiphe's Sunday Book Review essay in the New York Times, The Naked and the Conflicted, considers the representations of sex in novels by "Great Male Novelists" with some discussion of DFW and Infinite Jest. (Thanks again, Adam)
Having read some spectacularly intelligent refutations to Roiphe's essay (particularly the Wallace parts) over at wallace-l I'm very pleased Seth Colter Walls has responded at length over at The Awl with An Incredibly Un-Fun Misreading of David Foster Wallace that Katie Roiphe Should Never Do Again. Seth writes:
It's not the only time Roiphe mis- or under-reads Wallace's Updike essay (or Infinite Jest, either).

She writes: "In this same essay, Wallace goes on to attack Updike and, in passing, Roth and Mailer for being narcissists. But does this mean that the new generation of novelists is not narcissistic?"

Let's return to the Wallace essay Roiphe wants to summarize. Is it true that Wallace fails to note or distinguish the narcissism of a past era versus the narcissism of the present one—such that it's appropriate for a gotcha transition in an overbroad trend piece?

No. Just no.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 January 2010 02:28  

The Howling Fantods