The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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The Relationship Between Author and Reader

Tom Ruprecht on The Pale King over at Huffington Post Books, The Relationship Between Author and Reader: Examining David Foster Wallace's 'The Pale King':

[...]What do you do when a person you relied on to make sense of the world decides life is no longer worth living?
That's a question I've been mulling over ever since David Foster Wallace took his own life in 2008. This month sees the release of his unfinished novel The Pale King. The book concerns IRS agents trying to deal with the tedium of their work and still find meaning in their lives. In other words, a book about how to endure life's unpleasantness written by a man who has killed himself.
Friends of Wallace have already expressed worry that the author's suicide will affect how readers experience the book. I agree that it will. But is that really the reader's fault? And is it necessarily a bad thing?

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