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David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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End of the Tour - Positive Buzz from Sundance

UPDATE: List of all online reviews here.

Super positive buzz and early reviews popping up after James Ponsoldt’s adaptation of David Lipsky's interview with David Foster Wallace, The End of the Tour, screened at Sundance [Previously].

-David Rooney's review for The Hollywood Reporter encapsulates this well:

The same compassionate observation of human imperfections that distinguished Ponsoldt’s films Smashed and The Spectacular Now makes him an ideal interpreter of this material, while playwright Donald Margulies’ thoughtful screenplay brings tremendous insight into the way writers’ minds work. This is no conventional biodrama about the tortured artist, but very much the film that lovers of Wallace’s dazzlingly perspicacious fiction and essays would want.

Read the rest of the review here.


-For Bustle Anna Klassen spoke to Jason Segel on the red carpet about his role in the film, 'The End of the Tour' Star Jason Segel Opens Up About Playing David Foster Wallace At Sundance Film Festival 2015:

The film, which I can proclaim with great joy, is a tremendous success. Segel’s portrayal of Wallace is so captivating, I kept begging for a rewind button. Every syllable uttered more truthful than the last, Segel regurgitated the icon, and his particularly fluid way of discourse in a believable and completely earnest manner.  
“I tried to make the character as accurate as possible given the information I had available to me,” Segel said. “I tried to play the character with a lot of love. Performing is all about honesty, so it was very exciting for me to do this movie.”

When I asked Segel if tackling this role had any influence on his perception of journalists, he admitted it only created more of a hesitance. “Well my character, as David Foster Wallace was on the other side of the journalist dynamic, so no, it didn’t create sympathy,” he said. “It was a cautionary tale for me. I learned that there is a very universal human moment that happens around your early thirties where you start to realize that the things you are told to put your values in, aren't going to make you happy. That was what the movie really explored for me.”

Read the rest of the interview here.


-Daniel Fienberg's review for HitFix, Review: 'The End of the Tour' sees Jason Segel do right by David Foster Wallace:

Ponsoldt's restraint is in keeping with the scale of this story, but  I'm going to need a few more days (or weeks or months) to chew on whether the story ends on a note of emotional profundity or reportorial gamesmanship. But thanks to Margulies and Ponsoldt and thanks to Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg, "End of the Tour" mostly does right by David Foster Wallace, a not insignificant feat when you're dealing with a figure who generates such passion.

Read the rest of the review here.


-Scott Macaulay's interview for Film Maker, Director James Ponsoldt on his David Foster Wallace Drama, The End of the Tour:

[The End of the Tour] is also a story about meeting someone you’ve admired from a distance, so in that regard it’s an unrequited love story. It’s about meeting that person who you’ve built up, whether it’s an artist or an estranged family member — someone who has taken on an entire constellation of emotion and meaning to you, and who, at the end of the day, is a total stranger. And who, when you do find yourself in their proximity for some time, [your] relationship [with them] is complicated by their own messy humanity.

Read the rest of the interview here.

I'm using twitter to share numerous brief thoughts and impressions, so you might want to check out my stream via @nick_maniatis

If you've seen the film consider adding thoughts to the comments below. Anyone out there want to write a review for me if you manage to see it this weekend? Let me know.


Last Updated on Sunday, 25 January 2015 18:52

The End of the Tour Sundance Screening

Regardless if you're excited or distraught about the film adaptation of David Lipsky's road trip with David Foster Wallace, James Ponsoldt's, The End of the Tour screens this weekend at Sundance.

Over at the Standard Examiner Nancy Van Valkenburg reports some thoughts from James Ponsoldt in, 'The End of the Tour' tells uneasy tale:

One of Ponsoldt’s professors was intrigued by the book Lipsky ultimate published.

“Donald Margulies, my professor in college, wrote a stunning screenplay. It moved me deeply,” the director said. “I already admired David Lipsky’s book, but I was in awe of how Donald turned it into a subtle, riveting script.

“I’ve also been a massive David Foster Wallace fan for my entire adult life. His writing has meant so much to me over the years. I couldn’t stop thinking about making this film, which is always a good sign. Lipsky and Wallace’s conversations about their hopes and struggles were incredibly relatable, personal, and very moving to me.”

Ponsoldt hopes the men’s story intrigues audiences as much as it does him.

“I hope that people are still thinking about the film after it’s over,” the director said. “And if it emotionally affects them, well, that’s fantastic. I’m especially looking forward for audiences to see these wonderful performances — Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg were both incredible. I was blown away. They both give intense, emotional, nuanced performances.

Continue reading here.

Anyone going to see it? Hit up the comments below with thoughts or reviews.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 January 2015 19:47

Public Theatre DFW Production Review

David Haglund attended the Under the Radar Festival performance of Daniel Fish's A (radically condensed and expanded) Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again - after David Foster Wallace, and has reviewed it for Slate, This Isn’t Water, Putting David Foster Wallace onstage at the Public Theater.

It sounds like it was an interesting production:

Soon one young woman is alone reciting a section of “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again,” Wallace’s existential and occasionally uproarious account of a cruise on what he calls the Nadir. These sections are funny, and the audience laughs at Wallace’s jokes, even delivered, as they are, in stagey monotone with bits of performative reaching and crouching. Then the first ping: Petra, the cleaning lady on the Nadir who makes Wallace’s lodgings immaculate and whose movements Wallace tries and fails to track, is a real-life (maybe) analogue to the bathroom attendant of Brief Interviews. One’s perspective shifts: from Wallace’s to Petra’s; from the crazy-making mystery of her ninja-like appearances and disappearances to the sheer drudgery of the labor she is repeatedly performing; from the unpleasantly antiseptic quality of the cruise to the overwhelming privilege of Wallace’s position (of which, it should be noted, he was fully aware).

Continue reading here.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 January 2015 19:13

1997 DFW Interview The Harvard Advocate

Back in 1997 The Harvard Advocate ran Daley Haggar's Interview with David Foster Wallace and it's well worth checking out.

Love it when things like this show up! By no means is this a 'lost' interview (I even found some references to it online when checking if I had read it previously) but it's one I don't think I've read before and until now it's not been listed over at my Interviews and Audio page.

They discuss Wallace's transition from math and philosophy to fiction, his influences (Bangs, Barthelme, Coover, Puig, Pynchon among others), postmodern fiction, the 'Hot Young Author' stuff that came with Infinite Jest, authors that need more attention (Ozick, DeLillo, Scott, McCarthy), television, media culture, metafiction, irony and of course, Infinite Jest.

Most interesting is Wallace's answer to the final question about drug use in Infinite Jest:

What I wanted to do was write a book about various people who were dealing with what they give themselves away to. One of the weird things about Boston is the AA has a lot of open meetings, and you can go if you're not a member, so I went to a few of these and decided I was really interested - I've had a lot of friends in AA - I was never a drug addict, but I knew people who were and I was sort of in that world, and there was a halfway house, there in Boston, and a lot of what's in the book I picked up there.

I wanted to do something more about what it's like to quit something that's become important to you. The word addict comes from addicere which means religious devotee. When I was doing the book, one of the conclusions that I came to was that that impulse is the same, and I too know how it's very easy - to need something more important than I am to get lost in. And the strange thing is meeting people at these readings and meeting fans of the book who think this book is the best thing since sliced bread, and it's a very good book but it's not that good, and part of their impulse in thinking it's that great is the same impulse that makes people scream at rock concerts. There's this urge to say "This is good, I will love this." And I also have that in myself.

Read the full interview here.

More David Foster Wallace interviews here.


Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2015 11:26

Irish Times and The Millions Review the Reader

It's great to see more reviews of The David Foster Wallace Reader appearing.

Tim Groenland has one over at The Irish Times, Review: The David Foster Wallace Reader:

The writing is easily good enough to deserve the Greatest Hits treatment and if the Reader encourages students to continue the conversation with Wallace’s work, then it will have done its job.

And don't miss Jonathan Russell Clark's review for The Millions, To Make Us Feel Less Alone: On ‘The David Foster Wallace Reader’:

...if this Reader accomplishes anything, it would be wonderful if some new Wallace fans emerged from its publication. For Wallace fans, however, TDFWR is a chance to go back and read some of his most inventive and brilliant pieces, but more than that it’s an opportunity to reassess Wallace’s work, to judge it chronologically and thus progressively, and by doing so reacquaint one’s self to this incredible writer and thinker and person. And this is what I’d like to do now: use this beautiful new volume as a means of dissecting DFW’s entire oeuvre and trying to make some claims about his work as a whole.

More reviews of The David Foster Wallace Reader here.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2015 10:41

DFW Newsweek Cover

Alexandere Nazaryan's, The Turbulent Genius of David Foster Wallace, is the cover story for Newsweek issue 01.16.2015 - an overview piece that leads into a review of The David Foster Wallace Reader.

Last Updated on Friday, 09 January 2015 00:47

PT Anderson on Maron's WTF Podcast

Marc Maron (@marcmaron)

I love it when things come together in serendipitous ways...

One of my favourite directors, Paul Thomas Anderson, talks about being taught by David Foster Wallace on a podcast I listen to regularly while cycling to work, Mark Maron's WTF (I don't listen to every ep. I pick and choose based on the guests).

If you just want to hear the Wallace bit skip to around the 37th minute. has a summary, When a 21-Year-Old Paul Thomas Anderson Discussed Don DeLillo With David Foster Wallace, but it's worth listening to the section of the interview!


The Paris Review's take, When David Foster Wallace Taught Paul Thomas Anderson,  considers D.T. Max's biography, Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story, re: Wallace's time at Emerson.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 January 2015 13:59

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