DFW 50th Birthday Notes

Yesterday would have been David Foster Wallace’s 50th birthday. Some interesting resources from around the web:

Who Was David Foster Wallace? — The Quarterly Conversation’s DFW symposium from last summer, comprising seven essays covering a number of his major works: Wallace’s Masterpiece; (An Homage to) the Difficult Birth and Endless Death of Attention; All its horror and unbound power: David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews With Hideous Men; Beautiful Oblivion: Eighteen Notes; Better Left Unfed: Consider the Lobster and the Late Nonfiction; The Pale King and the Terrifying Demands Upon It; The Management of Insignificance: Thoughts on “The Suffering Channel,” Reality, and Shit

The David Foster Wallace Audio Project — tons of Wallace audio, broken out into Interviews & Profiles, Readings, Eulogies & Remembrances, and ‘Brief Interviews’ Staged Readings

Wallace’s library, as collected by the Harry Ransom Center, cataloged on LibraryThing

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The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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