Joshua Nomen-Mutatio's Reviews > The Pale King

The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Mar 04, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, the-good-kinda-meta

As most of the people in my corner of a corner of a corner of Goodreads know—just as well as they know about my rabid, undying affection for David Foster Wallace—I tend to use Occam's razor to slash through supernaturalistic irrationality on a pretty regular basis. Despite this reflexive skepticism, I couldn't help feeling like this book was somehow written for me while reading it. Working the graveyard shift at a residential treatment facility for "at-risk youth" (the second such facility I'd consecutively worked at) and popping pharmaceutical grade amphetamines may have also contributed to such feelings. Of course, I never really lost sight of the breadcrumb trail of rational explanations for why I felt this way, but as I moved on through the book it just kept raising up remarkable coincidences, one after the other, in its numerous references to IL's Cook and Lake County area locales, drug (ab)use and shifting attitudes towards said drug (ab)use, working at a psychiatric facility, shifting attitudes towards intellectual pursuits, and ongoing transformations within big ol' overarching worldviews, and various other details.

During these graveyard shift reading experiences—which made up most of my time with this deeply personal, unfinished swan song—I took copious notes on two pieces of scrap paper that began solely as a makeshift bookmark.

Among these notes is a scattered list of numerous places mentioned that are all very close by and a part of the greater Chicago region, the place I've occupied for nearly all of my life. Continually seeing the name of the itty bitty suburban town I lived in during high school written inside of this book (in reference to a fictional college, but still) was a bit of a thrill. So not only was I able to get the deeper, personal Identification with Wallace's words that I've come to expect and that he's generously supplied me with throughout the years, but so much of it was literally mentioning specific places I've been to and/or driven through, exploring the nature of the specific drugs I was taking at the time, and the ins and outs of the specific kind of job I'd been working at for the last year plus and was sitting at while I read. It all made me feel even "closer" to the man whom I've never met or spoken to and who doesn't even exist anymore.

To quickly rehash what most people even peripherally familiar with this book might already know: it's unfinished and was assembled by Wallace's longtime editor, Michael Pietsche, who whittled down the 1000+ pages, stacked neatly on DFW's desk at the time of his suicide, down to a about half that size. Pietsche has stated that all together, counting floppy disks, hand written and typwritered bits, etc., the work is originally more like 3,000 pages. He writes a lovely foreword to the book explaining the great emotional pains and the redeeming pleasures of the editing process and I can't think of anyone better to have taken up the task.

Much like Infinite Jest, the more I think about this book the more overwhelmingly detailed and lengthy the review brewing in my head becomes. Looking at the tiny scrawl of my notes isn't helping to preemptively trim this down, neither is thinking about all of the broad, associative ways in which to connect the details of this book and my experience with it to Wallace, my life, and Life generally. Here's the attempt.

In the time leading up to the publication of The Pale King the word on the street was that this book was about boredom and about the IRS.{1} Despite the way this sounds, big DFW fans were still drooling with anticipation, knowing full well that Wallace has a well-documented knack for making the mundane magical. While the book is in part about these things, it's also about so much more. Instead of saying that the theme is simply "boredom and taxes" it does it much more service to say that the book is thematically concerned with the importance of a self-disciplined use of one's attention as a means of overcoming—not only boredom—but the apathy, cynicism and nihilism that triangulate to cause the symptoms of boredom and its close causally-connected relative: depression.

{1} See message 59 in the comment section for my pre-reading placeholder "review".

As I was thinking about writing this review it occurred to me that The Pale King is a kind of response to the previous "long thing" (a term DFW used at various times to describe all three of his extended works, i.e. novels). Infinite Jest details the cultural-psychological problems of modern, first world life (e.g. pathological distraction through trivial entertainment and advertising, inter-/intra-personal disconnection, depression, addictive thought and behavior, et al.) and in a way The Pale King is an attempt to offer solutions. The outline of solutions can be found in the now famous keynote address he gave at the Kenyon College graduation ceremony in 2005, which went on to be published in a (somewhat controversial) form entitled This is Water.

"The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day."

The persistent thematic concern with thinking carefully and compassionately is spread throughout these unfinished pages. Wallace is rarely triumphant in tone, but offers his tenative theories with profound earnestness, encircling the demons of unthoughtful selfish self-destruction with both an analytic precision and a provisional caution that is his trademark style of inquiry. The idea seems to be to simply try and think harder about why people behave the way they do and to never fail to indict ourselves in the process. That all sounds very pat and obvious, but that's the best way I can seem to relay it at the moment. In a big way this book just has to be read to really be felt and understood, but I'll do my best to set up road signs pointing in the general direction of the book's powerful content.

Wallace's somewhat self-depreciating use of the term "long thing" to describe his novels is really pretty apt when it comes to The Pale King, moreso than with his first two novels. It may be a symptom of the unfinished quality, but this book is much more of a collection of vignettes than anything one might call a novel. People often say this about Infinite Jest as well, but IJ revisits characters and plots throughout its course in a way that this posthumous production does not. This fact of the matter is not a problem for me in the least, because when I read DFW I'm not in need of the suspension of disbelief that people seem to yearn for a lot of the time. I make the connections to what I know about his life, I imagine his writing process as I read his words, and this is immensely satisfying. That's not to say that I can't feel for the characters-as-characters, because I very much do, but I don't need to know everything about them, or for them to have wildly distinct ways of thinking and speaking. I don't need traditional story arcs laid out before me—I'm accustom to fragmentation, and so is the culture at large—this is a fast-cut edited world we live in, afterall. Chapters in this book aren't even called "chapters" rather the double-S section symbol (§, i.e. signum sectionis) is used both as an allusion to tax code and legal documents, and, I think, as a way of nodding to the largely disconnected narrative structure of the book. None of this is a problem in the least because the content within the incohesive plotlines is solid DFW gold, and there's a deeper, more unusual kind of coherence that ties the vignettes together: it's more thematic and between the lines than a typical novel.

§ 5 is easily the funniest section of the entire book. It describes a do-gooder child that embodies such over the top polite and nerdy perfection that it simply has to be read to be appreciated. I read this section a total of three times before moving on significantly through the rest of the book. One time I read it aloud, something I'd never done with any of DFW's writing before. It was illuminating. I've written before about how I really never notice the epic sentence-length that he tends to go to because I'm usually too wrapped up in the content to notice the lack of periods. However, the run-on nature of his writing hit me hard while reading it outloud. Much laughter was had between myself and the listener, in between large gulps of air at the rest stops of commas and em dashes. The listener had never read DFW but laughed so hard that they fell out of bed. I would direct skeptics and naysayers of Wallace to read this section if they're ever willing to give him a(nother) chance.

§ 8 is one of the most gorgeously written sections of the book. The language might be characterized as more "poetic" than DFW usually is or is usually characterized as being. A trailer park scene as viewed by a, say, Updikean prose stylist. The main characters from this scene are not mentioned again until a taut, dramatic bit towards the tail end of the book.

§ 15 was what prompted my pen to make initial contact with the aforeillustrated scrap sheet of Adderall-scrawl above. This section begins to more clearly define what's happening within the head of IRS agent Claude Sylvanshine, the first character we meet the thoughts of in § 1. A syndrome called Random Fact Intuition is described and eventually attributed to Sylvanshine. The syndrome consists of the suffer ("those possessed with RFI almost universally refer to it as an affliction or disability") being filled with random facts at random times about any number of random things. This is one of the most potent passages in the book. In three pages Wallace manages to distill the entire (now fairly commonly understood{2}) idea of 'the information overload in the Internet Age' down to its essence and to emit a personal SOS distress signal—DFW once said something, half-jokingly, about his trademark headgear being worn to keep his head from exploding.

{2} I should mention that in the time it took me to find a magazine image about information overload I was distracted multiple times by various things on the internet for probably a good 20 minutes before finally focusing and finding something. Meta-info-overload.

The section ends with this paragraph:

"Tastes a Hostess cupcake. Knows where it was made; knows who ran the machine that sprayed a light coating of chocolate frosting on top; knows that persons weight, shoe size, bowling average, American Legion career batting average; he knows the dimensions of the room that person is in right now. Overwhelming." (p. 121)

§ 19 is a brilliant extended meditation on extremely important and more-relevant-than-ever topics about (mostly) American socio-economic-cultural issues as told through a conversation held in an elevator between a few mostly nameless, presumably well-educated characters that work in various capacities for the Internal Revenue Service. Fantastic insights and penetrating questions fill these pages from stem to stern, while hugely complex ideas are made clear and direct without sacrificing nuance and doubt. It's also the first time I've seen the concept of corporate personhood pop up in a novel and brought up with an interesting twist (for the record, nothing in this book is said to extend beyond the mid 1980s):

"Corporations aren't citizens or neighbors or parents. They can't vote or serve in combat. They don't learn the Pledge of Allegiance. They don't have souls. They're revenue machines. I don't have any problem with that. I think it's absurd to lay moral or civic obligations on them. Their only obligations are strategic, and while they can get very complex, at root they're not civic entities. With corporations, I have no problem with government enforcement of statutes and regulatory policy serving a conscience function. What my problem is is the way it seems that we as individual citizens have adopted a corporate attitude. That our ultimate obligation is to ourselves." (p. 137)

As the conversation proceeds about how individuals and communities and public and private institutions all interact, corporate power and personal responsibility, et al., one character is led to breathlessly rattle off a stunning, page-long (p. 143) block of text about the inevitability of death, a topic Wallace's writing, fiction and non, seemed to have largely avoided previously for whatever reason(s). It's achingly beautiful in the way such things often are. At the end of this soliloquy of sorts the tone turns on a dime from unspeakably sad and impassioned to this:

'This is supposed to be news to us. News flash: We're going to die.'
'Why do you think people buy health insurance?'
'Let him finish.'
'Now this is depressing instead of just boring.'

This is the most directly intellectually stimulating section of the book and keeps the ledger balanced with neither humor or seriousness toppling the scales, while hearty servings of both are piled high.

Clocking in at 98 pages § 22 is the longest section in the book and comes to mind first as the most rewarding. It's also the most autobiographical from what I can tell. [I just wrote and then erased "I don't even know what to say about it" which is not true. I have many things to say about it. I just wrote the following words down to try and make a sort of outline: Drugs, Attention, Dad, Growing Up. Actually, I'm going to leave it at that because I could go on and on and on about this section and this review's length is already probably testing some readers' endurance and the maximum character count for GR reviews.] I'll just say that this section is amazingly fun and sad and wise, and is the one with the most references to my neck of the woods, and has a great bit about being stoned and watching As The World Turns, and about taking prescription amphetamines being the birth of meta-awareness, and about what it means to grow up, and about the highs and lows of the parent/child relationship, and about shifting one's way in the world from apathetic nihilism to carefully attentive compassion.

Perhaps the most perplexing swaths of the book are two boldly metafictional sections where Wallace addresses the reader as himself. It seemed out of place to me, not just because a Foreword is usually at the beginning of a book, but because since the publication of the magisterial attack/tribute to metafiction that rounds out Girl With Curious Hair ("Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way") Wallace hasn't really been so overtly metafictional in-print. I feel like there must be more to it than I realize but I can't quite seem to figure out what that "more" is. The obvious intuitions would be that it's peturbing the sense that the novel exists seperately from the author, all that "Death of the Author" theoretical lit crit stuff, etc, or even making fun of that kind of stuff, ultra-metafictionally. But all this seems far too facile for a man who so thoroughly trounced the pretensions of generationally regurgitated styles and artistic programmes of experimental/avante garde/metafictional techniques as far back as 1989 (in "Westward") or with mind-blowing precision and cogency in this well-known interview in 1993. It's puzzling because he often criticized this kind of thing. The first interruption, which begins with the words "Author here" is § 9, entitled "Author's Foreword" which goes on to claim that "The Pale King is, in point of fact, more like a memoir than any kind of made-up story" and involves a whole thing about the legal disclaimer placed in the copywrite, et al. section of nearly all novels about 'The characters and events in this book are fictitious.' A few pages later the point is made blunty again that "The Pale King is basically a non-fiction memoir, with additional elements of reconstructive journalism, organizational psychology, elementary civics and tax theory, & c." Well, whatever it really is, it's emotionally jarring and deeper than the Nile. There's an interesting bit in this section (which leads into a whole series of musings about writing memoirs for money) about Wallace selling term papers while in college and getting caught and then kicked out, which weirdly enough for this section, is totally made up, at least the kicked out part. The same goes for his claim to have worked at the IRS during a period of taking time off from school. The questions about what's memoirish and what isn't all get very confusing and maybe, probably, that's the point he was aiming for, but despite all of that: within this bizarre framework remain top-notch musings and fascinating storytelling.

§ 46 is a lengthy conversation between two IRS workers at a bar, which eerily alludes to a character's superhuman ability to focus attention (which is obliquely mentioned elsewhere as something that powers-that-be might be interested in getting their hands on—reminiscent of a certain sought after video cartridge in another book) and involves a really moving and disturbing account of mental health treatment and marital disarray.

§ 48 is so bizarre and frightening—it's like David Lynch's darkest, strangest moments all packed into a single scene. Stunning stuff.

There's a section in which each sentence is more or less 'So and so turn another page. Such and such coughed.' Ad nauseum. But nestled within this exercise of banal description is a gem of a phrase "Every love story is a ghost story." This act of watching boredom transform into beauty is a powerful small scale version of (one of) the big thematic idea(s) in The Pale King: that finding things of lasting beauty and meaning isn't always easy. That it takes effort. That "[s]ometimes what's important is dull," as an agent declares during the civics conversation.

This is a weird and beautiful book and its weirdness and beauty are strung together with a dazzlingly complex intelligence at play, all encouraging the reader to exert real attentional effort and thoughtful engagement while still passively getting spoon-fed doses of pure entertainment. There are big, important ideas anchoring this thing, and the details are so rich and amusing and transcendently pleasurable to grapple with that it's the kind of book that can be re-read and re-re-read with exponential gains.

The sadness that permeates and surrounds the book has an obvious source—its lasting and redemptive value is a true gift.

"Every love story is a ghost story."
144 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Pale King.
Sign In »

Quotes Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Liked

David Foster Wallace
“True heroism is minutes, hours, weeks, year upon year of the quiet, precise, judicious exercise of probity and care—with no one there to see or cheer. This is the world.”
David Foster Wallace, The Pale King

David Foster Wallace
“The next suitable person you’re in light conversation with, you stop suddenly in the middle of the conversation and look at the person closely and say, “What’s wrong?” You say it in a concerned way. He’ll say, “What do you mean?” You say, “Something’s wrong. I can tell. What is it?” And he’ll look stunned and say, “How did you know?” He doesn’t realize something’s always wrong, with everybody. Often more than one thing. He doesn’t know everybody’s always going around all the time with something wrong and believing they’re exerting great willpower and control to keep other people, for whom they think nothing’s ever wrong, from seeing it.”
David Foster Wallace, The Pale King

David Foster Wallace
“...and suddenly it occurred to him that the birds, whose twitters and repeated songs sounded so pretty and affirming of nature and the coming day, might actually, in a code known only to other birds, be the birds each saying 'Get away' or 'This branch is mine!' or 'This tree is mine! I'll kill you! Kill, kill!' Or any other manner of dark, brutal, or self-protective stuff—they might be listening to war cries. The thought came from nowhere and made his spirits dip for some reason.”
David Foster Wallace, The Pale King

David Foster Wallace
“I felt the sort of soaring, ceilingless tedium that transcends tedium and becomes worry.”
David Foster Wallace, The Pale King

David Foster Wallace
“[T]he worst kind of nihilist—the kind who isn't even aware he's a nihilist.”
David Foster Wallace, The Pale King

Reading Progress

March 4, 2009 – Shelved
March 4, 2009 – Shelved as: fiction
April 2, 2011 – Started Reading
May 1, 2011 –
page 312
56.93% ""Every love story is a ghost story.""
May 13, 2011 –
0.0% ""I'm not aware of being the least bit obtuse.""
May 14, 2011 –
0.0% ""[...]he knew his aide's shoe size and total blood volume, but not his name[...]""
May 14, 2011 –
page 417
76.09% "[...]the band saw's A# scream, some of the College Prep boys' faces also distended in screams which could be seen but not heard, a few others at the extreme back peeling off around the drill press's clamps and running for the classroom door with their arms up and hands waving in the universal movement of blind panic, the rest splayed against the nearest peer or machine with their eyes wide and minds in deep neutral."
May 16, 2011 – Finished Reading
January 13, 2012 – Shelved as: the-good-kinda-meta

Comments (showing 1-50 of 146) (146 new)

message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Total fanboy eh?

Jimmy Oh man, that article was heartbreaking. I wish we didn't have to wait until fucking 2010!

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio * Good People, in the February 5, 2007, issue of The New Yorker.
* The Compliance Branch, in the February 2008 issue of Harper's.
* Wiggle Room, in the March 9, 2009, issue of The New Yorker.
* All That, in the December 14, 2009, issue of The New Yorker.

Another excerpt ("All That") was published just about one month ago. I can't wait to read this woefully unfinished novel.

message 5: by Bram (new) - added it

Bram It's been pushed back to late 2010, right?

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio From what I understand that's where it's been placed since the decision to publish it in its unfinished form. The second I get a definitive date I'll make it loud and clear all over GR.

message 7: by Bram (last edited Jan 15, 2010 01:28PM) (new) - added it

Bram A couple weeks ago, I tried to find out (via Google search) just how unfinished the book is...but no luck. Do you have a good sense of this? Lots of technically unfinished books still read very well and can even be considered classics--Dead Souls, 2666, The Castle, In Search of Lost Time, et al. I'm hoping The Pale King will be one of these.

message 8: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Jan 15, 2010 01:47PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio His long time editor (Michael Pietsche) said that it's "more than 1000 pages [long:] 150 unique chapters," and that he predicted the "finished book is expected to be more than 400 pages, and will be explicitly subtitled "An Unfinished Novel""

That's about as much as I know about it. I've loved all of the excerpts so far, especially "Wiggle Room" and the most recent one. Also (as someone with the level of fandom that would gratefully read DFW's napkin scribblings) I hope to someday have access to the 600+ pages that hit the cutting room floor. I'd also love to get my hands on the couple hundred pages edited out of Infinite Jest someday, too. It doesn't seem to unlikely that at least one of these things will be possible at some point. He's got a hardcore enough fanbase to justify it in the eyes of a major publishing company. Maybe.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio By "woefully unfinished" I just meant that it's sad that it's unfinished. That was sloppy wording on my part. My bad.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio

(Thanks to brian for alerting me to this.)

message 11: by Eddie (new)

Eddie Watkins The idea of this book appeals to me very strongly. This could be my first DFW.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Salvation via Boredom is a beautiful (and unique) theme. Could be an interesting place to start with him...

Did you look at the links in message 4, Eddie?

message 13: by Eddie (new)

Eddie Watkins Yes I did, but I haven't read them yet. And it's not that I haven't read any DFW; I've just never read anything in its entirety (just to clarify).

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio What have you started and not finished so far?

message 15: by Eddie (new)

Eddie Watkins I haven't actually abandoned anything because I didn't like it, though I did start the infinity book and not finish it.

I've read a few stories and essays here and there, and have picked up IJ in bookstores and flipped through it. So far I feel some kind of affection for him that doesn't quite transfer to his works.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio That's cool, and promising enough. I was just curious.

Just reread The Pale King excerpt "Wiggle Room." I actually get physically tense and mentally shuddery while reading certain descriptions there.

message 17: by Eddie (new)

Eddie Watkins I've printed that one out and will read it sometime today at work, if I don't get too interrupted by GR & FB.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio It'd be perfect to read on a lunch break at an office job. It had me vaguely thinking about my various office jobs of the past.

message 19: by Krok Zero (new) - added it

Krok Zero You got seven votes just from quoting the New Yorker! This Goodreads game is rigged.

I really like the cover design for The Pale King. Nice job, Mrs. DFW.

message 20: by Eddie (new)

Eddie Watkins I'll probably read it in my so called office itself. I already have a book date for lunch.

message 21: by Eddie (new)

Eddie Watkins Krok, you have to factor Josh's well-known love for DFW into the equation too. The votes are for Josh's love.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Yeah, it's almost embarrassing. I'll remove them along with the blurb if/when I write an actual review.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I think you're all voting for how awesome Wallace is, even in his outline notes. To this I say 'Hooray!'

message 24: by Krok Zero (new) - added it

Krok Zero I do like that he turns Televised Golf into a proper noun.

message 25: by Eddie (new)

Eddie Watkins I do not know why he cites Televised Golf as an ultimate in boredom. At its best in can be some of the best, most tense, sports broadcasting around.

message 26: by Esteban (new) - added it

Esteban del Mal I find DFW intimidating, but this looks accessible.

When I was in junior high I had a very precocious and artistic friend who, after deciding not to skip several grades in school because he didn’t want to leave his friends, invented Slod, the god of boredom. He would draw and paint the name on everything, but the god itself was amorphous (think Islam, maybe, where there are no images of capital “G” God).

In high school said friend was busted for drugs and expelled from school. The last I heard of him, he was living in a trailer in northern California and walking around barefoot.

Yes. Still smarter than everybody else.

message 27: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Sep 15, 2010 09:53AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Krokophilia wrote: "I do like that he turns Televised Golf into a proper noun."

It's one of my favorite trademarks of his style. I mean, Trademarks of His Style. It works really well with all of the AA terminology in Infinite Jest.

message 28: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Sep 15, 2010 09:53AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Esteban wrote: "I find DFW intimidating, but this looks accessible."

My standard recs: I think his first two book-length publications are the most accessible of his works. Good places to test the waters, I think. Broom of the System (the college thesis/novel he wrote while barely beyond age twenty and writing a technical philosophy thesis at the same time) and the short story collection Girl With Curious Hair.

message 29: by Esteban (new) - added it

Esteban del Mal Noted.

Jimmy Eddie wrote: "I do not know why he cites Televised Golf as an ultimate in boredom. At its best in can be some of the best, most tense, sports broadcasting around."

Especially if Bill Murray is playing.

Jimmy MyFleshSingsOut wrote: "* Good People, in the February 5, 2007, issue of The New Yorker.
* The Compliance Branch, in the February 2008 issue of Harper's.
* Wiggle Room, in the March 9, 2009, issue of The New Yorke..."

Thanks for posting these. I've only read the first one so far.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio "Wiggle Room" is the best/my favorite of the lot of 'em.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio "All That" is also incredible. Just reminded myself with a fresh re-read.

Jimmy I think "All That" is my personal favorite.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Jimmy wrote: "I think "All That" is my personal favorite."

Right on. It's amazing how he can extrapolate all of that conceptually and aesthetically potent stuff from the scenario of looking back on a playing with a toy cement truck as a little kid. It's so great.

Jimmy Yeah, give it to Wallace to make the mind-numbingly quotidian things in life sound immensely fascinating and full of multi-layered complexity. It seems like The Pale King probably focuses on human boredom in such a way, which makes me more intrigued than I already am at this point.

Jimmy In my opinion, Wallace is like the literary equivalent of getting high; I mean this in the best way possible. I'm reminded of that scene in Adaptation in which Meryl Streep is brushing her teeth and suddenly the orchid narcotics kick in. All of that existential frustration at feeling incapable of exhibiting an interest in the basic wonder of being alive, is suddenly alleviated. Of course, Wallace does this in an organic reader/writer relationship context, which is not only totally impressive, but basically non-contrived, and completely devoid of chemical assistance. For this, I'm indebted to his brilliance forever. I'm just so fucking excited about this book, and equally distraught by the realization that this is probably it. Unless, there is some even cooler posthumous publication that I'm not currently aware of.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Well said, Jimmy.

Hopefully some of the hundreds of pages being cut from the manuscript will surface, as well as the trimmings from Infinite Jest. I have a feeling more things will pop up later, too, but probably nothing wildly amazing, but still, mediocre Wallace is relatively great.

Jimmy There is a very, very, very slight chance that I will be able to get my hands on a galley of this.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Send it my way immediately or I'll go jihad on your ass. I mean, please.

message 41: by Jimmy (last edited Sep 23, 2010 05:54PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jimmy MyFleshSingsOut wrote: "Send it my way immediately or I'll go jihad on your ass. I mean, please."

Yeah, after I read it first, which will probably take a day. I have to warn you though, if it isn't sent back promptly, then I'm bombing Illinois; I've always wanted a reason to do that anyway. I mean, yes I'll be happy too.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Heh. At least spare DFW's childhood home during your fiery descent upon The Land of Lincoln.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Tommy wrote: "i'm aching that we will never see this the way he intended."

I feel that, too.

message 44: by Greg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Greg Have you heard this?

It's apparently about DFW.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Hadn't heard that before. Thanks for showing it to me. Good stuff. Also love the archive clip video.

message 46: by Krok Zero (new) - added it

Krok Zero I don't think that song is "about" him. Darnielle was inspired to write it after hearing about DFW's suicide, which isn't necessarily the same thing.

message 47: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell MyFleshSingsOut wrote: ""Wiggle Room" is the best/my favorite of the lot of 'em."

"Wiggle Room" is totally my favourite.

message 48: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell MyFleshSingsOut wrote: "Hopefully some of the hundreds of pages being cut from the manuscript will surface, as well as the trimmings from Infinite Jest. I have a feeling more things will pop up later, ..."

Supposedly Little, Brown is going to set up a website for Pale King with notes and stuff, yes?

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio An actual and rather lengthy review is pending. It may be a few days...

message 50: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell MyFleshSingsOut wrote: "An actual and rather lengthy review is pending. It may be a few days..."


« previous 1 3
back to top