Wallace tells her story in an oblique, strained style that he reserves for especially sensitive or damaged human beings. The result, in Toni Ware’s case, is a hybrid Cormac McCarthyesque opening aria that begins with a 289-word sentence featuring words like “stridulation,” “anfractuous,” and “agnate.” Yet, I believe Wallace was not parodying McCarthy’s style here but searching for a way to appropriately write about a character he truly admired. And there is some evidence that Wallace based the character of Toni Ware on a real person. As Lucas Thompson points out in a recent article (“Books Are Made Out of Books”: David Foster Wallace and Cormac McCarthy), Wallace described just such a character in his 1998 interview with Gus Van Sant.
Continue reading The Pale King’s Trailer Park Queen.
If you have Project Muse access it is also worth checking out the article Matt mentions, “Books Are Made out of Books”: David Foster Wallace and Cormac McCarthy. (In Australia if you don't have access through your university or educational institution you can access it for free, online, if you have a National Library of Australia reader card)
While you're over at Medium have a look at Matt's other recent piece, Why David Foster Wallace Matters:[...]
His works matter today because readers who connect with his writing still find an unmatched intellectual prowess clinging to an emotional tidal wave. So many novels attempt to marry a highbrow storytelling technique with a heart-rending, sincere connection, but so few succeed.
Continue reading Why David Foster Wallace Matters.