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David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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Home News by Category The Pale King The Avant-Garde of The Pale King

The Avant-Garde of The Pale King

There's a new piece by Jay Miller about David Foster Wallace over at, The Avant-Garde of The Pale King:
David Foster Wallace, whether unwittingly, uses realism in a new way, as a weapon against conceptualism. Conceptualism demands art as product of a concept, which results in reproducible paintings or sculptures (like readymades), and in prose, a plotted idea which is explained in prose produced via a schema. Because of conceptualism, one can divine “Soylent Green” to be about people being turned into food without ever having read the text of Harry Harrison; this is a problem which the anti-conceptualistic avant-garde tackles. In denying a plot, David Foster Wallace denies the reading community an easy way to discuss the book. By eliminating plot, he forces the description of the novel as “About the IRS”, and makes null conceptualism’s bane of letting a literary community discuss matters literary without reading the discussed works. Knowing this, he could comfortably let plot be forgotten, for he knew the plotless work must be discussed and therefore his need for conclusion on themes was unnecessary, as made clear by his minimalist’s schema titled “Embryonic outline” (available in the notes section at the end of the novel).


#1 ChemicalPetals 2011-07-31 15:06
Wow, he has the most turgid and sloppy prose I've ever seen. (And I laughed when I saw someone else mentioned that.)

I'm tired, and I've given up trying to parse it. What does it...mean?
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#2 Jared NR Killeen 2011-08-01 23:32
This is the third absolutely silly piece '' has posted on Wallace. At first I thought it must be a hoax; the prose is a near parody of bad academese, as if the writers are channeling Fredric Jameson after botched spinal surgery. But alas, it seems that 'Literatured' is all too serious. I politely suggest that The Fantods refuse to post any more articles from this idiotic site; not only are they an insult to real academic writing, but they're a kick to Wallace's mnemonic groin. Shame.
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