Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wiggle Room and The Unfinished

by David Foster Wallace and DT Max

David Foster Wallace is one of those writers I've always meant to read more of. I've liked every short story I've read, and have a copy of The Broom of the System around somewhere, but have never made time for it. My first thought, on hearing of his suicide a few months ago, was that maybe now I should get to An Infinite Jest, but can see that I won't ever pick it up, even though I know I'll like it.

Anyway, this issue of the New Yorker has a fantastically written article about Wallace and his long battle with depression, followed by an excerpt from his unfinished novel The Pale King.

The profile piece is very detailed and fascinating in the way it paints Wallace as such a dedicated author, with a strong desire to change peoples' lives through his writing. The Pale King was to be a book about boredom, and the transformative drudgery of work at the IRS.

The excerpt from the novel printed here is great - Lane Dean Jr. works at checking tax forms, a job of absolute boredom. His clock watching brought me back to some awful school classes, and trying through telekinesis to speed up the clock, and therefore time itself.

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