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.