More Thoughts on The Pale King

pale-king-david-foster-wallace

I readily admit, I’m a Pale King skeptic. In fact, I’m pretty skeptical about all posthumous, incomplete texts. In most cases, if an author didn’t finish it, I’m not really interested in reading it (with obvious exceptions; e.g., Kafka).

At The Howling Fantods, a great DFW site in general, Nick Maniatis has an alternative view that’s worth a look. Here’s the start:

Over at Conversational Reading in Is This What The Pale King Should Have Looked Like? Scott Esposito puts together a few bits and pieces (including this neat post over at 454 W 23rd St New York, NY 10011—2157 comparing the excerpt ‘Backbone’ in the New Yorker to DFW’s 2000 Lannan reading of the same story) to consider what the published version of David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King might end up looking like. I think there’s a little too much scepticism in Scott’s post compared to what I’ve read and heard around the web.

I’m both excited and feeling trepidation about the release of The Pale King.

But I think I’m a bit more hopeful than some others and I’ll try to explore why I think this is below.

WARNING: There are possible spoilers about The Pale King if you’ve been trying to avoid reading anything about it.


Recent Posts



Criticism Isn't Free


CR is dedicated to thoughtful, in-depth criticism without regard to what's commercially appealing. It takes tens of hours each month to provide this. Please help make this sort of writing sustainable, either with a subscription or a one-time donation. Thank you!





3 Comments

Got Something To Say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

“Properly handled, boredom can be an antidote to our national dependence on entertainment, the book suggests.”

Is this seriously what the book is going to be about? How is the “mindfulness”? Between this and the Kenyon speech it seems DFW is prescribing a kind of delusional stoicism for whatever is bothering people.

I think the “properly handled” part is pretty important there.

Also I’m reminded of a thing John Cage said: “If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.”

I think the “properly handled” part is pretty important there.

I’m reminded of a thing John Cage said: “If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.”

or also why not

“The first question I ask myself when something doesn’t seem to be beautiful is why do I think it’s not beautiful. And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.”

Shop though these links = Support this site

Copyright © 2015. Powered by WordPress & Romangie Theme.