Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself

A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace

Author: David Lipsky

Publisher: Broadway Books

ISBN: 9780307592446

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 304

View: 904

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, STARRING JASON SEGAL AND JESSE EISENBERG, DIRECTED BY JAMES PONSOLDT An indelible portrait of David Foster Wallace, by turns funny and inspiring, based on a five-day trip with award-winning writer David Lipsky during Wallace’s Infinite Jest tour In David Lipsky’s view, David Foster Wallace was the best young writer in America. Wallace’s pieces for Harper’s magazine in the ’90s were, according to Lipsky, “like hearing for the first time the brain voice of everybody I knew: Here was how we all talked, experienced, thought. It was like smelling the damp in the air, seeing the first flash from a storm a mile away. You knew something gigantic was coming.” Then Rolling Stone sent Lipsky to join Wallace on the last leg of his book tour for Infinite Jest, the novel that made him internationally famous. They lose to each other at chess. They get iced-in at an airport. They dash to Chicago to catch a make-up flight. They endure a terrible reader’s escort in Minneapolis. Wallace does a reading, a signing, an NPR appearance. Wallace gives in and imbibes titanic amounts of hotel television (what he calls an “orgy of spectation”). They fly back to Illinois, drive home, walk Wallace’s dogs. Amid these everyday events, Wallace tells Lipsky remarkable things—everything he can about his life, how he feels, what he thinks, what terrifies and fascinates and confounds him—in the writing voice Lipsky had come to love. Lipsky took notes, stopped envying him, and came to feel about him—that grateful, awake feeling—the same way he felt about Infinite Jest. Then Lipsky heads to the airport, and Wallace goes to a dance at a Baptist church. A biography in five days, Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself is David Foster Wallace as few experienced this great American writer. Told in his own words, here is Wallace’s own story, and his astonishing, humane, alert way of looking at the world; here are stories of being a young writer—of being young generally—trying to knit together your ideas of who you should be and who other people expect you to be, and of being young in March of 1996. And of what it was like to be with and—as he tells it—what it was like to become David Foster Wallace. "If you can think of times in your life that you’ve treated people with extraordinary decency and love, and pure uninterested concern, just because they were valuable as human beings. The ability to do that with ourselves. To treat ourselves the way we would treat a really good, precious friend. Or a tiny child of ours that we absolutely loved more than life itself. And I think it’s probably possible to achieve that. I think part of the job we’re here for is to learn how to do it. I know that sounds a little pious." —David Foster Wallace From the Trade Paperback edition.

Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself

A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace

Author: David Lipsky

Publisher: Broadway

ISBN: 030759243X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 7444

Shares the author's travels with the late David Foster Wallace based on interviews from the 1996 "Infinite Jest" book tour, covering such topics as Wallace's literary process, struggles with fame, and battle with mental illness.

Infinite Jest

Author: David Foster Wallace

Publisher: Back Bay Books

ISBN: 9780316073851

Category: Fiction

Page: 1104

View: 9569

A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are. Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction without sacrificing for a moment its own entertainment value. It is an exuberant, uniquely American exploration of the passions that make us human - and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can do.

Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story

A Life of David Foster Wallace

Author: D. T. Max

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0147509726

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 352

View: 405

Profiles the life of the influential and tormented literary figure, drawing on conversations with family and friends as well as hundreds of unpublished letters, manuscripts, and audio recordings to offer insight into his authentic writing style and his 2008 suicide.

David Foster Wallace: The Last Interview

and Other Conversations

Author: David Foster Wallace

Publisher: Melville House

ISBN: 1612192076

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 128

View: 3332

In intimate and eloquent interviews, including the last he gave before his suicide, the writer hailed by A.O. Scott of The New York Times as “the best mind of his generation” considers the state of modern America, entertainment and discipline, adulthood, literature, and his own inimitable writing style. In addition to Wallace’s last interview, the volume features a conversation with Dave Eggers, a revealing Q&A with the magazine of his alma mater Amherst, his famous Salon interview with Laura Miller following the publication of Infinite Jest, and more. These conversations showcase and illuminate the traits for which Wallace remains so beloved: his incomparable humility and enormous erudition, his wit, sensitivity, and humanity. As he eloquently describes his writing process and motivations, displays his curiosity by time and again turning the tables on his interviewers, and delivers thoughtful, idiosyncratic views on literature, politics, entertainment and discipline, and the state of modern America, a fuller picture of this remarkable mind is revealed.

Absolutely American

Four Years at West Point

Author: David Lipsky

Publisher: HMH

ISBN: 0547523750

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 1502

This chronicle of daily life at the US Military Academy is “a fascinating, funny and tremendously well written account of life on the Long Gray Line” (Time). In 1998, West Point made an unprecedented offer to Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky: Stay at the Academy as long as you like, go wherever you wish, talk to whomever you want, to discover why some of America’s most promising young people sacrifice so much to become cadets. Lipsky followed one cadet class into mess halls, barracks, classrooms, bars, and training exercises, from arrival through graduation. By telling their stories, he also examines the Academy as a reflection of our society: Are its principles of equality, patriotism, and honor quaint anachronisms or is it still, as Theodore Roosevelt called it, the most “absolutely American” institution? During an eventful four years in West Point’s history, Lipsky witnesses the arrival of TVs and phones in dorm rooms, the end of hazing, and innumerable other shifts in policy and practice. He uncovers previously unreported scandals and poignantly evokes the aftermath of September 11, when cadets must prepare to become officers in wartime. Lipsky also meets some extraordinary people: a former Eagle Scout who struggles with every facet of the program, from classwork to marching; a foul-mouthed party animal who hates the military and came to West Point to play football; a farm-raised kid who seems to be the perfect soldier, despite his affection for the early work of Georgia O’Keeffe; and an exquisitely turned-out female cadet who aspires to “a career in hair and nails” after the Army. The result is, in the words of David Brooks in the New York Times Book Review, “a superb description of modern military culture, and one of the most gripping accounts of university life I have read. . . . How teenagers get turned into leaders is not a simple story, but it is wonderfully told in this book.”

The Art Fair

A Novel

Author: David Lipsky

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1497663318

Category: Fiction

Page: 275

View: 6074

A poignant and painfully funny novel about the New York art world by the acclaimed author of Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself For two first-class years, Joan Freeley had it all: the perfect family, the best art dealer in Manhattan, and the admiration of famous friends. Her adoring husband and two handsome sons attended her first gallery show in matching khakis and blue blazers. “An Interesting Talent Makes Its Debut,” declared the New York Times. Then, as if her success were nothing more than a booking error, Joan’s life got downgraded. A brutal divorce led to paintings too bitter to sell and a career stuck firmly in coach. Unable to see her suffer alone any longer, Joan’s teenage son Richard leaves his father and older brother in Los Angeles and moves in to her one-bedroom apartment in SoHo. At the gallery openings where she used to be a star, Richard discovers just how much his mother’s light has dimmed. She is an artist who is not showing—she might as well be invisible. To acknowledge her is to acknowledge the thin line between success and failure in a world as superficial as it is intoxicating. Richard immediately devotes himself to returning his mother to her former glory. Everything about him—the clothes he wears, the jokes he makes, the college he attends—is calculated to boost Joan’s reputation. But as the years go by and the galleries keep sending back her slides, Richard has to ask: Who wants Joan Freeley’s resurrection more—him or her? And when will his own life start?

The Pale King

Author: David Foster Wallace

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 9780316175296

Category: Fiction

Page: 592

View: 4127

The agents at the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Illinois, appear ordinary enough to newly arrived trainee David Foster Wallace. But as he immerses himself in a routine so tedious and repetitive that new employees receive boredom-survival training, he learns of the extraordinary variety of personalities drawn to this strange calling. And he has arrived at a moment when forces within the IRS are plotting to eliminate even what little humanity and dignity the work still has. The Pale King remained unfinished at the time of David Foster Wallace's death, but it is a deeply compelling and satisfying novel, hilarious and fearless and as original as anything Wallace ever undertook. It grapples directly with ultimate questions--questions of life's meaning and of the value of work and society--through characters imagined with the interior force and generosity that were Wallace's unique gifts. Along the way it suggests a new idea of heroism and commands infinite respect for one of the most daring writers of our time.

The David Foster Wallace Reader

Author: David Foster Wallace

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 0316329177

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 976

View: 6973

Where do you begin with a writer as original and brilliant as David Foster Wallace? Here--with a carefully considered selection of his extraordinary body of work, chosen by a range of great writers, critics, and those who worked with him most closely. This volume presents his most dazzling, funniest, and most heartbreaking work--essays like his famous cruise-ship piece, "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again," excerpts from his novels The Broom of the System, Infinite Jest, and The Pale King, and legendary stories like "The Depressed Person." Wallace's explorations of morality, self-consciousness, addiction, sports, love, and the many other subjects that occupied him are represented here in both fiction and nonfiction. Collected for the first time are Wallace's first published story, "The View from Planet Trillaphon as Seen In Relation to the Bad Thing" and a selection of his work as a writing instructor, including reading lists, grammar guides, and general guidelines for his students. A dozen writers and critics, including Hari Kunzru, Anne Fadiman, and Nam Le, add afterwords to favorite pieces, expanding our appreciation of the unique pleasures of Wallace's writing. The result is an astonishing volume that shows the breadth and range of "one of America's most daring and talented writers" (Los Angeles Times Book Review) whose work was full of humor, insight, and beauty.

Conversations with David Foster Wallace

Author: Stephen Burn

Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi

ISBN: 1617032271

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 186

View: 3411

Collection of interviews that profiles Wallace's career of twenty years, from 1987 until his suicide in 2008, that provides insight into his development as a writer and complicated persona.

Both Flesh and Not

Essays

Author: David Foster Wallace

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 0316214698

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 336

View: 6704

Brilliant, dazzling, never-before-collected nonfiction writings by "one of America's most daring and talented writers." (Los Angeles Times Book Review). Both Flesh and Not gathers fifteen of Wallace's seminal essays, all published in book form for the first time. Never has Wallace's seemingly endless curiosity been more evident than in this compilation of work spanning nearly 20 years of writing. Here, Wallace turns his critical eye with equal enthusiasm toward Roger Federer and Jorge Luis Borges; Terminator 2 and The Best of the Prose Poem; the nature of being a fiction writer and the quandary of defining the essay; the best underappreciated novels and the English language's most irksome misused words; and much more. Both Flesh and Not restores Wallace's essays as originally written, and it includes a selection from his personal vocabulary list, an assembly of unusual words and definitions.

David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest

A Reader's Guide

Author: Stephen J. Burn

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1441186328

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 144

View: 5064

Infinite Jest has been hailed as one the great modern American novels and its author, David Foster Wallace, who committed suicide in 2008, as one of the most influential and innovative authors of the past 20 years. Don DeLillo called Infinite Jest a "three-stage rocket to the future," a work "equal to the huge, babbling spin-out sweep of contemporary life," while Time Magazine included Infinite Jest on its list of 100 Greatest Novels published between 1923-2006. David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest: A Reader's Guide was the first book to be published on the novel and is a key reference for those who wish to explore further. Infinite Jest has become an exemplar for difficulty in contemporary Fiction-its 1,079 pages full of verbal invention, oblique narration, and a scattered, nonlinear, chronology. In this comprehensively revised second edition, Burn maps Wallace's influence on contemporary American fiction, outlines Wallace's poetics, and provides a full-length study of the novel, drawing out the most important themes and ideas, before surveying Wallace's post-Infinite Jest output, including The Pale King.

Fate, Time, and Language

An Essay on Free Will

Author: David Foster Wallace

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231151578

Category: Philosophy

Page: 252

View: 8468

In 1962, the philosopher Richard Taylor used six commonly accepted presuppositions to imply that human beings have no control over the future. David Foster Wallace not only took issue with Taylor's methods, but also noted a semantic trick at the heart of Taylor's argument. Fate, Time, and Language presents Wallace's critique of Taylor's work. Wallace's thesis reveals his great skepticism of abstract thinking made to function as a negation of something more genuine and real. He was especially suspicious of the cerebral aestheticism of modernism and the clever gimmickry of postmodernism, which abandoned "the very old traditional human verities that have to do with spirituality and emotion and community." As Wallace rises to meet the challenge to free will presented by Taylor, we witness the developing perspective of this major novelist and his struggle to establish logical ground for his convictions. This volume, edited by Steven M. Cahn and Maureen Eckert, reproduces Taylor's original article and other works on fatalism cited by Wallace. James Ryerson's introduction connects Wallace's early philosophical work to the themes and explorations of his later fiction, and Jay Garfield supplies a critical biographical epilogue.

Three Thousand Dollars

Stories

Author: David Lipsky

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1497663350

Category: Fiction

Page: 210

View: 7589

Eleven sparkling stories of family, love, and art from New York Times–bestselling author David Lipsky My mother doesn’t know that I owe my father three thousand dollars. From the opening line of the acclaimed title story—a Best American Short Stories selection that first appeared in the New Yorker—to the tender last scene of “Springs, 1977,” this pitch-perfect collection explores the unsteady terrain of early adulthood and the complex legacy of family. Self-aware, creatively ambitious, and just privileged enough to be acutely aware of all that they lack, Lipsky’s characters are as real and unforgettable as the dilemmas they face—some of their own making, some that the world has thrust on them. In “Relativity,” a college junior transfers to the Ivy League in order to please his mother and make new friends; he quickly realizes the fault in his logic. In “Colonists,” a nervous young author searches for her muse at a New Hampshire writers’ retreat attended by a priest who pens erotic poetry and a composer working on a comic opera about the Alger Hiss trial. “ ‘Shh,’ ” the genesis of Lipsky’s highly praised novel The Art Fair, is the story of a dutiful son trying to shield his artist mother from the agony of her latest rejection. Witty, heartbreaking, and wise, the stories in Three Thousand Dollars are a testament to David Lipsky’s exceptional talent and to the power of short fiction to transform the smallest of moments into the greatest of truths.

McCain's Promise

Aboard the Straight Talk Express with John McCain and a Whole Bunch of Actual Reporters, Thinking About Hope

Author: David Foster Wallace

Publisher: Back Bay Books

ISBN: 0316040940

Category: Political Science

Page: 144

View: 8033

Is John McCain "For Real?" That's the question David Foster Wallace set out to explore when he first climbed aboard Senator McCain's campaign caravan in February 2000. It was a moment when Mccain was increasingly perceived as a harbinger of change, the anticandidate whose goal was "to inspire young Americans to devote themselves to causes greater than their own self-interest." And many young Americans were beginning to take notice. To get at "something riveting and unspinnable and true" about John Mccain, Wallace finds he must pierce the smoke screen of spin doctors and media manipulators. And he succeeds-in a characteristically potent blast of journalistic brio that not only captures the lunatic rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign but also delivers a compelling inquiry into John McCain himself: the senator, the POW, the campaign finance reformer, the candidate, the man.

This Is Water

Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life

Author: David Foster Wallace

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 9780316071000

Category: Philosophy

Page: 144

View: 8101

Only once did David Foster Wallace give a public talk on his views on life, during a commencement address given in 2005 at Kenyon College. The speech is reprinted for the first time in book form in THIS IS WATER. How does one keep from going through their comfortable, prosperous adult life unconsciously? How do we get ourselves out of the foreground of our thoughts and achieve compassion? The speech captures Wallace's electric intellect as well as his grace in attention to others. After his death, it became a treasured piece of writing reprinted in The Wall Street Journal and the London Times, commented on endlessly in blogs, and emailed from friend to friend. Writing with his one-of-a-kind blend of causal humor, exacting intellect, and practical philosophy, David Foster Wallace probes the challenges of daily living and offers advice that renews us with every reading.

The Parrot and the Igloo

Author: David Lipsky

Publisher: Free Press

ISBN: 9781476717036

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 2078

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

Stories

Author: David Foster Wallace

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 0316086894

Category: Fiction

Page: 336

View: 3916

David Foster Wallace made an art of taking readers into places no other writer even gets near. The series of stories from which this exuberantly acclaimed book takes its title is a sequence of imagined interviews with men on the subject of their relations with women. These portraits of men at their most self-justifying, loquacious, and benighted explore poignantly and hilariously the agonies of sexual connections.

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments

Author: David Foster Wallace

Publisher: Back Bay Books

ISBN: 9780316090520

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 368

View: 7433

In this exuberantly praised book - a collection of seven pieces on subjects ranging from television to tennis, from the Illinois State Fair to the films of David Lynch, from postmodern literary theory to the supposed fun of traveling aboard a Caribbean luxury cruiseliner - David Foster Wallace brings to nonfiction the same curiosity, hilarity, and exhilarating verbal facility that has delighted readers of his fiction, including the bestselling Infinite Jest.

Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity

Author: David Foster Wallace

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393241998

Category: Mathematics

Page: 384

View: 6345

"A gripping guide to the modern taming of the infinite."—The New York Times. With a new introduction by Neal Stephenson. Is infinity a valid mathematical property or a meaningless abstraction? David Foster Wallace brings his intellectual ambition and characteristic bravura style to the story of how mathematicians have struggled to understand the infinite, from the ancient Greeks to the nineteenth-century mathematical genius Georg Cantor's counterintuitive discovery that there was more than one kind of infinity. Smart, challenging, and thoroughly rewarding, Wallace's tour de force brings immediate and high-profile recognition to the bizarre and fascinating world of higher mathematics.