David Foster Wallace Essays And His Influence On Literature


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David Foster Wallace found his fame with his book “The Broom of the System” when he was only 25 years old. Later on, while teaching English at the University of Illinois, he began to write his essays. Because of his fresh pair of eyes on different topics, essays by David Foster Wallace became quite popular among his students. Some of them promoted that his works as “incredible life changing essays” He wrote his essays on the topics of humanity, subtle humor in the works of Kafka, an irony of TV influence on fiction and others. He always wrote his essays like a first person narrative essay.

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Unprepared reader, running his eyes over the key points of the Wallace biography, will be (probably) very surprised to see a record of suicide. Truly - a brief retelling of DFW life looks as if we are talking about very fortunate writer of the twentieth century.

The child of a professor's family (father - philosopher, a professor at the University of Illinois, His mother - an English teacher, a professor at Parkland College in Champaign), who grew up in the walls of the house with a huge library. The boy, whose parents at bedtime read "Ulysses" Joyce (!). It is difficult to think of a more suitable environment for the future genius. Then - all in the same spirit: straight A, Medalist, but not just in glasses with books at the ready, no; he is also a successful tennis player.

Then - University, and again the name "Wallace" always in the first line in the performance lists.

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After his first success in the world of literature, Wallace was quiet for several years.

In 1996, the second novel saw the world, and once again a success. At this time - a deafening as the roar of a passing train. In the 34 years.

A year before the publication of "Infinite Jest", the press called this novel a masterpiece, the Great American Novel, and author – genius (which, incidentally, was very unnerving DFW: "what if I'm not a genius? What then? What if the book is out, and everyone will say that it is shit? How will you get out? "- He asked editor over the phone). The size of books was legendary - more than half a million words! 1000 pages of fine print.

The novel which absorbed all anxiety of the generations.

Now - in bookstores. Critics scared - but not by the text itself, but its size. All recognized the skill of the author, his great intellect and incredible erudition, although no one could say on the merits. In addition, what can you say? 1079 pages of small print, fragmentary narrative, and crazy installation, eternal footnotes to footnotes and endnotes and footnotes to footnotes to footnotes (total of 388 pieces). Complete lack of chronology, tennis, drugs, politics, satire, conspiracy theories, mathematics (Wallace managed to insert into a novel proof of the theorem of mean values, and even came up with the game based on this theorem). Critics were unanimous in only one: this book is able to drive you mad.

It is optional for you to read revives that our critics left

If you want to, you can read some of the David Foster Wallace essays online. They are much easier to follow and you will be able to understand the style of DFW. Some of them are free, some require payment, but it worth it. He wrote essays where he talked about education

Himself Wallace refers to a reaction of critics with humor. Here’s a fragment from an interview in 1996:

•    Wallace: Have you read the book?

•    Journalist: I have not yet had a chance, but our reviewer had just finished reading it.

•    Wallace: Hats off to him. Tell him that "Excedrin" best helps with eye fatigue.

The response from readers has been a unique and eloquent - crowds and crowds of people came to the public readings. People stood in long lines to see/hear him.

American young people of nineties found a new idol - a genius who just turned 34. In 1996, "Infinite Jest," was a bestseller (a phenomenal result for a book volume of half a million words and a weight of 1.5 kilograms). The hysteria around his person has reached such scale that it was necessary to change the phone number each week so that readers (i.e. fans) every day called him to discuss the novel. His own students once a year staged a "day of Wallace," dressed like him - bandanas, torn jeans, and boots with laces dangling.

Over the years, an interest to "Infinite Jest" does not cease. On the contrary - the book sold well, it continuously to print out, for her writing dissertations, out guides for novel, fans open Wallacewiki site, which spread their version of what it means ending the "Jokes" (at the moment there are four "canonical" equally probable interpretation of the ending of the novel).

After 2000 there were rumors among the fans that David Foster Wallace for many years has been working on another monstrous novel - a novel about boredom ("Pale King" which was not finished and was published posthumously in 2011).

And suddenly - a suicide. David Foster Wallace - a child prodigy, "rock star" of American literature - hung on the patio of his house September 12, 2008.

This - in the year 2008 - broke off his rather brief biography. There was not a word in it that a writer all his life suffered from bipolar disorder and attempted suicide in his youth; as well as - a word that was first attempted suicide was perhaps the starting point for writing "Infinite Jest."

The main thing you need to know, discovering Wallace novel: The author is not going to entertain you. The phrase "Infinite Jest" here - is a kind of an oxymoron; in the sense that under cover, among other things, you are waiting for a story that any fun comes to an end. And the end of his dismal. The draft of a novel called more eloquently - «Failed entertainment».

The first 200 pages of the book - it is (seemingly) randomly assembled cutting scenes, descriptions, and dialogues, which you do not understand. You know, it happens: you come to the cinema an hour after the start of the session, and then the whole movie you pull a neighbor by the sleeve: "And who is this? And this? And why did he eat mold? Why is this eagle wearing Sombrero? And who is Marat, damn it? "

If Wallace had any explanation to his book, it would be much easier to understand. Our web-site has one. With this page, you will become sure of what we are.

This sounds (and looks) absurd: all writers’ courses are taught how important it is to begin inappropriate way, it is important to seize the reader's attention. Wallace also goes up to the contrary.

The entire first part of the novel – is some kind of filter. Stretching entry, making it unbearable, as if the author is trying to weed out the superfluous. At the same time, this approach gives the title (and the entire text) additional ironic (or, rather, post-ironic, given the original name of the source of the quotation and the line of thought of the author) measurement: for «Infinite jest» - this is a book about which has the destructive power of our desire for pleasure.

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