Understanding DFW’s Thesis

Everybody who has a grasp of formal logic, raise your hand.

Okay, unless I’ve vastly underestimated my popularity among the philosophy grad students, that should not be to many of you. But if you are to make an honest attempt to read DFW’s thesis, Fate, Time, and Language, then you’ll probably want to have some understanding of this stuff.

Columbia University Press has put together a resource page for you, with original essays, video interviews, and other items, all dealing with DFW’s thesis.

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Here’s one hand raised. And I wouldn’t say you’re unpopular amongst phil grad students; more like undiscovered.


The Surrender is Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning his lifelong desire to be a woman.


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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