David Foster Wallace discussion

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Anticipation of "The Pale King"

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Hey Folks,

Just wondering if anybody is going to read "The Pale King" when it comes out? Anybody want to read it with me and start a thread?


message 2: by Ed (new)

Ed (edraso) | 13 comments Sure. I'm reading it with the NYC Infinite Summer Group as we meet weekly.


message 3: by Paola (new)

Paola (asphodelia) Can I join?


message 4: by Ed (new)

Ed (edraso) | 13 comments We have a Google group but only use it for e-mail, and the e-mail is used moslty to coordinate the weekly meetings. I'm not trying to discourage you, but I don't know how much you will get out of an e-mail only presence. That being said, DM me your e-mail address and I'll send you an invite. Anyone who bakes a Howling Fantods dessert is welcome!


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

That sounds awesome, but you're right about being present via email only. If you comment on this page regularly, I wouldn't mind just staying here for a while; maybe something will spark where we can just keep posts on here, or something else.


message 6: by Ed (new)

Ed (edraso) | 13 comments Asphodelia wrote: "Can I join?"

Ah...think I misunderstood. P: did you want to join HERE or the Infinite Summer thing?


message 7: by Nebuchanezer (new)

Nebuchanezer | 3 comments I'll read it with you guys, have got it preordered


message 8: by Paola (new)

Paola (asphodelia) That's what I meant Ed, I thought we could have a group here!


message 9: by Paola (new)

Paola (asphodelia) ....as the US is a little bit far from here ;-)


message 10: by Ed (new)

Ed (edraso) | 13 comments Asphodelia wrote: "That's what I meant Ed, I thought we could have a group here!"

OK. I'm in. Can we follow the schedule of my other group? We'll have a spoiler line that we won't discuss past in case anyone gets ahead.


message 11: by Ed (new)

Ed (edraso) | 13 comments Nebuchanezer wrote: "I'll read it with you guys, have got it preordered"

Can you get it on the 15th in the UK?


message 12: by Ed (new)

Ed (edraso) | 13 comments Nebuchanezer wrote: "I'll read it with you guys, have got it preordered"

Plus aren't you sure you don't want to wait to see how Jest turns out before you commit to another DFW book?


message 13: by Nebuchanezer (new)

Nebuchanezer | 3 comments its due out on 15 Apr in the UK, so hopefully will have it within a couple of days of that.

Also, I think I'm close enough to the end of jest to know I really want to read more of DFW's work


message 14: by Ed (new)

Ed (edraso) | 13 comments Here's an excerpt from The Pale King that I just transcribed from a recent BBC radio production. I think it's some of the most beautiful writing i've read from Wallace to date. My apologies if, you realize when you finally read the real thing in a few months, there's a flubbed word or two.


"Past the flannel plains and blacktop graphs and skylines of canted rust, and past the tobacco-brown river overhung with weeping trees, and coins of sunlight through them on the water downriver, to the place beyond the windbreak, where untilled fields simmer shrilly in the a.m. heat: shattercane, lambsquarter, cutgrass, sawbriar, wildoat, vetch, butchergrass, invaginate volunteer beans, all heads gently nodding in a morning breeze like a mother's soft hand on your cheek. An arrow of starlings fired from the windbreak's thatch, the glitter of dew that stays where it is and steams all day, and horses in the distance standing rigid and still as toys, all nodding. Electric sounds of insects at their business. Ale-colored sunshine and pale sky and whorls of cirrus so high they cast no shadow. Insects all business, all the time. Quartz and chert and schist and of chondrite, iron scabs and granite, very old land. Look around you. The horizon trembling, shapeless. We are all of us brothers."


message 15: by Nebuchanezer (new)

Nebuchanezer | 3 comments Ed wrote: "Here's an excerpt from The Pale King that I just transcribed from a recent BBC radio production. I think it's some of the most beautiful writing i've read from Wallace to date. My apologies if, you..."

Do you know the name of the BBC show?


message 16: by Ed (new)

Ed (edraso) | 13 comments Nebuchanezer wrote: "Ed wrote: "Here's an excerpt from The Pale King that I just transcribed from a recent BBC radio production. I think it's some of the most beautiful writing i've read from Wallace to date. My apolog..."

http://ow.ly/3ZAN4 LINK


message 17: by James (new)

James Martin (jamesnotjim) | 3 comments I'd love to join in. Can you forward/link the reading schedule from your other group, Ed?


message 18: by Greg (new)

Greg Ed wrote: "Here's an excerpt from The Pale King that I just transcribed from a recent BBC radio production. I think it's some of the most beautiful writing i've read from Wallace to date. My apologies if, you..."

This reminds me of the last lines of his story "Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way".


message 19: by Ed (new)

Ed (edraso) | 13 comments James wrote: "I'd love to join in. Can you forward/link the reading schedule from your other group, Ed?"

Will do. I hear the book is about 3-4 hundred pages.


message 20: by Ed (new)

Ed (edraso) | 13 comments Perhaps the Pale King should have its own board. Let me work on that.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Steve wrote: "Hey Folks,
Anybody want to read it with me and start a thread?"


Absolutely. As a Buddhist, I have to suspect DFW was at the edge of his own nirvana, and yet trying to go forward with the forms a novel requires--conflict, suspense, complications, etc. Well, I won't go on with that until I've read Pale King. After my third read of JEST I just use it as a place to drop into as needed. Like Christian mystics use the Bible: open it anywhere and there's your message. Wallace's "message" is his intense radiant indefatigable intelligence trying to riddle holes through the veil of contemporary existence. Or, per McLuhan, his message IS his method.

Thanks for the excerpt Ed.


message 22: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 1 comments I just don't know if I want to try "The Pale King."

One: every word of Wallace's makes me want more of them, and...there ain't any more of them. I shall save TPK for my dotage - assuming I ever make it that far.

Two: the ending of "Broom" pissed me off in such a glorious and total fashion that I vowed to stay off Wallace until I can quit smoking weed. Which may never happen. I salivate and swallow, salivate and swallow, and long for the copy of "Fun Thing" I loaned to a neighbor who will probably never read it, but also won't give it back for fear I will berate her mercilessly in front of her peers, none of whom are as smart as they think they are.

Three: I'm just messing around. I'll read it as soon as I can, naturally. And I'll weep when I'm done, out of frustration. See "One." But I can't commit to any kind of discussion group. My time online, graphed, would look like the Appalachians.

Juanitapat, that's interesting, what you said up there. Jestomancy? Wallacamancy? Love it. And I'll try it. Thank you for the idea. And it'll be extra fun, because I have an old hardcover edition, with pages 371 through 455 falling out in a chunk, so there'll be that to contend with as I look for my message.


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