In the D.F.W. Archives: An Unfinished Story About the Internet, the latest in a series of posts by author of Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace. D.T. Max.
I'm not surprised, but I am excited by the trickle of previously unseen material showing up in the DFW Archive. This latest one is an unfinished story about the internet titled, Wickedness:People frequently ask what David Foster Wallace would have made of the Web. It’s a weird question, because Wallace, who died four years ago, actually lived well into the Internet era, even unto the age of Facebook and Twitter. But reading Wallace or reading about Wallace it doesn’t feel that way. When he wrote about how the media permeates all of our actions and thoughts he was referring to television. The plot of “Infinite Jest” hinges on the whereabouts of a short movie so entertaining that it kills whoever watches it. But even in 1996, a videocartridge would have seemed a little dated.
The plot of “Wickedness” centers on a tabloid reporter named Skyles who, dying of cancer of the mouth, is trying to shoot pictures of Ronald Reagan beset by Alzheimer’s for the Web site Wicked.com. Reagan’s privacy at the San Placido Institute—“the Betty Ford of nursing homes,” Wallace calls it—is a matter of not just his own security but also the nation’s: we need to remember him as he was, powerful and in command. “The nation’s morale could be affected, the integrity of the social order,” Wallace writes. “At a certain point their lives are no longer their own.” Skyles’s motive seems to be revenge: a pair of old tabloid buddies have visited him on his boat The Rodent, and revived in him the outlaw pleasures of transgressive photography.
You can check out the others Page-Turner specials below.
Page-Turner Special 7: In the D.F.W. Archives: An Unfinished Story About the Internet. [11/10/12]
Page-Turner Special 6: D.F.W.’s “Pale King” Archive, Now Open. [28/9/12]
Page-Turner Special 5: D.F.W., In Memoriam. [12/9/12]
Page-Turner Special 4: D.F.W. Week: Did “Infinite Jest” Start Out as an Autobiography? [11/9/12]
Page-Turner Special 3: Out Loud: D. T. Max on David Foster Wallace. [10/9/12]
Page-Turner Special 2: D.F.W. Week: The Wonderfully Arrogant First Pitch Letter. [7/9/12]
Page-Turner Special 1: D.F.W. Week: Childhood Writings. [6/9/12]
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