The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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Foyles London Event Report

Update: 17/4

Jonathan Gibbs has posted a report of the event over at his blog, Tiny Camels, Event report: Bonnie Nadell and Michael Pietsch at the UK Pale King launch. There's some new information here about how much of the drafts made it into the final published version of The Pale King:

Much of what was said about the job of constructing the “unfinished novel” The Pale King out of the various elements found in Wallace’s office is covered elsewhere. However, I was certainly interested to hear Pietsch clarify that the 200 pages left in the “neat stack of manuscript” on Wallace’s desk were not the opening of the novel; rather they were the sections that Wallace had polished enough to feel comfortable sending out to editors to try and get an advance. The first section in the office stack was in fact the ‘Author here’ section that currently makes up Chapter 9.
He, Nadell and Wallace’s widow Karen Green considered 3,000 pages of material. Some sections were eighth drafts. Some were handwritten first drafts. Pietsch said that roughly 20% of The Pale King as we have it is taken from such handwritten first drafts.


And a couple of great audience questions. One from Jonathan:

The first question (from me, as it happens: I hate silence at these kinds of things) was about choosing the beginning and end sections of the novel. Pietsch said that the final opening (“Past the flannel plains and blacktop graphs…”) was one of “various designated openings”, i.e. Wallace had marked various sections as possible openings. No section was marked in any way as being an ending, and Pietsch had chosen the beginning and ending sections because...[Sorry! Possible spoliers, click to continue]



Martin Paul Eve has posted a report of the Foyles London Pale King Event, David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King: Bonnie Nadell and Michael Pietsch at Foyles:

Laughter was a recurrent theme throughout the evening, an apt tribute to Wallace whose own life was so marred by illness and unhappiness but who had that rare ability to fuse true humour with artistic integrity and seriousness.
Last Updated on Sunday, 17 April 2011 08:36