David Foster Wallace Essays

David Foster Wallace Essays-75
The demographic of young women seriously upset by postmodernism must be vanishingly small, but in the midnineties, it described me. He wonders who the hell really cares.” In person, Wallace was polite and brilliant, and his answers consistently made my questions seem smarter, which was a huge relief.

The demographic of young women seriously upset by postmodernism must be vanishingly small, but in the midnineties, it described me. He wonders who the hell really cares.” In person, Wallace was polite and brilliant, and his answers consistently made my questions seem smarter, which was a huge relief.

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couldn’t cook, though it wouldn’t have occurred to me to consider this something we had in common.

Wallace, who died by suicide on September 12, 2008, ten years ago today, burst into fame in the late eighties with experimental metafictions that took on the modern junk culture of advertising, celebrity, addiction, and alienation through technology. Max, is littered with information like “he lived on chocolate pop tarts and soda” and “he had a love of showering, Diet Dr Pepper and blondies” and “there were only blondies and mustard in the fridge.” In 1995, the journalist David Streitfeld saw a kitchen with little more in it than a case of Dinty Moore beef stew and elicited the confidence from Wallace that “what’s really sick is I like to eat it cold.” For my part, I was a noncook to such an extent that my boyfriend, fed up with making meals for me, once angrily coached me through making him a dish he called toaster-oven pizza.

I’ve come instead to the inelegant belief that pretty much the most important thing you can do with your day is make dinner, for your family or friends if you have them or for yourself if you don’t.

Do that, and the other stuff mostly falls into place.

I let many opportunities slip by, and it’s no huge surprise that I flaked on an invitation to correspond with my literary idol or that I fled from a personal relationship that I would have liked to explore.

At the time, my best guess on how to fix the things that were obviously wrong with me was to read more books. Wallace never completed another novel after , published posthumously, is unfinished.

I considered doing something with corn as a nod to his Midwestern heritage and lovely “Westward” quotes like: “All we’ve seen is corn.

It’s been disorienting, windblown, verdant, tall, total, menacingly fertile.” Or: “The corn is stunted right here a bit, and Mark’s view goes sheer to the earth’s curve: dark green yielding to pale green, to dark green, to just green …

The main character is Mark Nechtr, a sweet Midwestern fiction writer who is addicted to eating fried roses.

Nechtr’s foil is a clever postmodernist girlfriend, who commits fictional suicide in the end (meta, complicated, story within a story).

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