The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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'Litchat' and David Foster Wallace

There's a pretty interesting article by Laura Miller (@magiciansbook also the 1996 DFW Interview) over at The New Yorker today, David Foster Wallace and the Perils of “Litchat”.

I think Miller makes some interesting observations about the role of 'Litchat' in defining the reception of an author. But I also reacted negatively to the representation (stereotype?) of Wallace fans/enthusiasts etc, but then again, I am a 40 year old white male. Hmmm...

[...]
This stuff—let’s call it litchat—may be ephemeral, but it absolutely shapes the formal reception of a writer’s work. If everyone in your M.F.A. workshop or the last book party you went to mentions an established author’s name with reverence, you’ll be that much more likely to lay it on thick should you ever be asked to review her new book. Or, conversely, if you decide to prove your independence of mind and go contrarian on her, you’ll be aware of the inertia of all that acclaim and feel the imperative to push back with corresponding force. Reviewers don’t like to admit that they’re influenced by such factors, but unless they live cut off from other readers, writers, and critics entirely, they can’t really help it.
[...]

Continue reading David Foster Wallace and the Perils of “Litchat” here.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 10 September 2015 08:12
 

Infinite Jest 20th Anniversary Cover Comp

Edit 3/12/15: Yes, the cover comp information disappeared from the official page a long time ago. If you're keen on seeing what has been submitted, Chris Ayers is collecting and showcasing entries for the official Infinite Jest Cover Competition on his incredible Poor Yorick Entertainment blog and Facebook page.

Chris has asked for anyone who may have submitted an entry to the comp to contact him via the blog or facebook page so he can showcase as many entries as possible.

 

Bump! Cover comp for the Deluxe Edition of Infinite Jest closes September 15th if you are considering entering.

Has it really been almost 20 years since Infinite Jest was published!? Check out the exciting competition announcement from Little, Brown. Great opportunity, but limited to US entrants only :(

 

Little, Brown and Company Announces Cover Art Contest for Infinite Jest 20th Anniversary Edition.

August 13, 2015, NEW YORK, NY – It was announced today that Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, will sponsor a cover art contest for the forthcoming 20th anniversary edition of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. Fans are invited to submit a piece of original artwork appropriate for a book cover that is inspired by the literary phenomenon Infinite Jest. Submissions will be accepted at www.davidfosterwallacebooks.com/IJ20 between August 15th and September 15th, 2015. The winning book cover is to be selected by the Wallace Literary Trust, in cooperation with David Foster Wallace’s longtime publisher Little, Brown and Company. The winner will receive an American Express® gift card for $1000 and the opportunity for his/her cover art to be featured on the 20th anniversary edition of Infinite Jest, which Back Bay Books will publish on February 23, 2016. You can see the Official Rules at www.davidfosterwallacebooks.com/IJ20 for details, and visit the book’s dedicated Tumblr link at http://infinitejest20.tumblr.com/ for periodic updates regarding the contest artwork and the book’s anniversary celebrations.

“The anniversary of a novel as influential, beloved, and enduring as Infinite Jest is cause for much celebration. To mark the twentieth anniversary, we invite the readers whose enthusiasm for and engagement with Infinite Jest has shaped the book’s legacy to share their inspiration with us, and celebrate with us in this very special way,” says Hachette CEO and the editor of Infinite Jest, Michael Pietsch.

Often considered Wallace’s greatest work, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are. Published in 1996 to critical and popular acclaim, and marking the confirmation of Wallace as a literary genius, the book is an exuberant, uniquely American exploration of the passions that make us human - and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can do.

Submission guidelines can be found online at www.davidfosterwallacebooks.com/IJ20. Entries will be judged on originality and creativity, relevance to the book and its impact on the literary landscape, and other criteria.
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Last Updated on Thursday, 03 December 2015 08:29
 

DFW on Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?

The audio of this call-in appearance/interview from April 1997 popped up recently online via Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know? Facebook page. The audio can be found on the Whad'Ya Know podcast Soundcloud page.

The exchange between Feldman and Wallace is quite entertaining, particularly when Wallace tries to pull a couple of jokes live on air. There is still a transcript available on what was one of the very first Wallace websites, Bob Wake's, "Infinite Jest: Reviews, Articles, and Miscellany".

 

For more David Foster Wallace interviews check out the huge collection right here.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 10 September 2015 08:09
 

A Supposedly Fun Show - Tickets on Sale Today

Update: Additional shows, reviews and radio appearance.

Five additional shows added! Tickets here. September 13, 16, 18, 20, 22. Congratulation, Christopher.

Christopher (@theduvaverse) also appeared on the recent radio show, Connections: Legacy and Impact of David Foster Wallace, discussing the development of his show and DFW. (Alternate link)

(Photo - Suzanne Weber)

Reviews:

 


 

Tickets for Christopher Duva's NYC International Fringe Festival (August 2015) stage adaptation of DFW's essay, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, go on sale today!

5 Shows only!

Everything you need to know about the show can be found via the links at the end, but I wanted to know more so I asked Chris to tell me a little more about the show and how it came to be.

Over to Chris:

My parents dragged me on cruise ships when I was a child. They now continually ask to drag my daughter on cruise ships. In fact, as I write this, my parents are on a cruise ship. Since they retired, this is seldom not the case.

A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again is the first DFW piece I ever read. It was January 1996 and I was newly dating my now wife and the mother of my aforementioned daughter, Suzanne Weber (who is directing the show). She knew DFW socially through Amherst Alumni events and knowing my tortured cruise-ship past, suggested I read DFW’s Harpers piece, “Shipping Out”. I felt like someone had mined my brain and turned every random thought I’d ever had about the experience into gold. The next month, Infinite Jest came out. I’ve been devouring DFW’s writing ever since.

Later, I corresponded with DFW about possibly adapting his collection Brief Interviews with Hideous Men for the stage. He gave me his blessing but wasn’t aware at the time that the rights were already tied up with a film option. DFW referred me to Bonnie Nadell who handled these things for him, and she let me down easy. Then, about two years ago I came across DFW’s letter and it felt like unfinished business. Suddenly it hit me that the piece I should really be adapting for the stage was A Supposedly Fun Thing… because I have always felt so personally connected to it. I wrote to Bonnie to see if the rights were available. They were and so I drew up a proposal. After some months of back-and-forth, she and DFW’s widow, Karen Green, generously gave me permission through the David Foster Wallace Literary Trust to adapt the essay.

It’s been tremendous working so closely on this piece, as well as horrifying realizing the amount of great material I’d have to cut. I’m hoping that the FringeNYC run will lead to future productions. But, at this point it’s only these 5 shows in New York!
-Chris

 

Thanks, Chris. I hope some of you can make it and support the show. I know I'd be going if I didn't live on the other side of the world. - Nick

Twitter: @asupposedlyfun - https://twitter.com/asupposedlyfun
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Last Updated on Thursday, 10 September 2015 08:12
 

Excited!

Big shout out to any Gungahlin College students or staff I'll be seeing later this afternoon. Duncan Driver (The Natural Noise of Good) kindly asked me to present a short DFW seminar as part of the pomo lit unit he's teaching out there. So excited!

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Last Updated on Thursday, 10 September 2015 08:12
 

Essay Flashback - The First Draft Version of Infinite Jest

So with all the discussion today about the 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Infinite Jest coming out next year, it's probably a good time to repost Steven Moore's great 2003 essay, The First Draft Version of Infinite Jest:

[...]

David Foster Wallace began working on his second novel in the fall of 1991—the outgrowth of an essay he wrote that season called “Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley”—and by the fall of 1993 had completed a working draft. He made two photocopies of the manuscript, sent one to Michael Pietsch, his editor at Little, Brown, and loaned the second to a young woman whom he was trying to impress at the time (he later told me). Pietsch was enthusiastic about the manuscript but asked Wallace to consider shortening it, so Dave asked me if I’d be willing to read it and suggest cuts. (At that time we were both working in the same town, Normal, Illinois: Dave taught at Illinois State University, and I was managing editor of the Review of Contemporary Fiction/Dalkey Archive Press, located on ISU’s campus.) Dave’s plan was to compare Pietsch’s suggested cuts with mine, and accept the ones on which we both agreed. (He also explained he was planning to add more material, though.) I instantly agreed, jokingly adding the condition that I could keep the manuscript afterward. (I would have read it anyway.) Dave agreed, and on 3 December 1993 he gave me the huge manuscript. I needed both hands to support it.

[...]

Continue reading Steven Moore's essay, The First Draft Version of Infinite Jest.

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The End of the Tour - Tonight - Melbourne Australia

I tweeted this morning, but it now looks like there are only standby tickets left for tonight's Melbourne, Australia, screening of The End of the Tour at the MIFF.

More info here: Melbourne International Film Festival 2015

Australian Reviews:

James Ley for The Sydney Review of Books, How Does it Feel to be Famous?:

[...]

The End of the Tour is, despite all of this, pretty good – better, perhaps, than it has any right to be. It is set over the course of several days in early 1996, shortly after the publication of Wallace’s astonishing novel Infinite Jest, which generated what he described as a ‘miasma of hype’. Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) is a Rolling Stone reporter who is assigned to follow Wallace (Jason Segel) on the final leg of the promotional tour. He stays at Wallace’s house in Bloomington, Illinois, and travels with him to public appearances and interviews. Along the way, the pair engage in long and occasionally intense discussions, which range from the personal to the philosophical. From this emerges a character portrait and a reflection on the pressures and paradoxes of Wallace’s position.

[...]

Continue reading, How Does it Feel to be Famous?

 

Philippa Hawker for The Sydney Morning HeraldMIFF - The End of the Tour review: Two lives and an uneasy proximity:

[...]

What emerges most strongly is a to-and-fro between two men in uneasy proximity, engaged in a transaction whose terms are unclear, with certain things in common and a vast distance between them.

[...]

Continue reading, MIFF - The End of the Tour review: Two lives and an uneasy proximity.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 10 September 2015 08:12
 



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