Natures Nightmare: Analyzing David Foster Wallaces Oblivion

The Great Concavity
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I looked for some graphic way to represent all the themes succinctly. After a failed attempt see figure below , I landed on the Sierpinski Gasket model thanks to Mark Brawner's post about it on wallace-l, and on the day I tried to map all my themes into a triangle grid, it fell out pretty quickly.

Failed Attempt Figure , G. Once I got through what I call Ch. So I began writing summaries and commentaries. I had printed out everything in a notebook, so that I could go make notes on my printout of the earlier chapters to track the connections I was making.

David Foster Wallace Q&A + reads "Soul is not a Smithy" and "Incarnations" Philadelphia (06/2004)

When that first chapter 26 summary fell into place, I finally knew this could work. So I worked every spare hour I had at work and some hours days on weekends finishing the end of the book, assembling the back matter I had hoped to do a character chart like Sam Potts's chart , but the scope was just beyond me; I also have many pages of notes for a failed index of characters , starting over at Ch.

My deadline for finishing kept slipping and slipping. April 1, was supposed to finally be it, but I think it took me until May. I sent single-spaced copies out to a dozen of my friends, three of whom made significant comments one page-by-page. Then I did a second manuscript draft that I sent to Dalkey, and I excerpted bits of it to send to college publishers. I told wallace-l that I'd figure out some way to post the thing online, because the thought of 4 years of non-stop work on this going unread was painful.

Which is when Matt said, "Wait a minute. My brother and I run a small press. Let me read it. On Jan. So that was a great month for me. It was Matt who would come up with the eventual, much better title for the book, Elegant Complexity. He also suggested we might want better artwork for the ETA grounds that I had sketched, so I got my friend Kyle Ware who did the awesome cover for Nature's Nightmare involved.

ETA Grounds , K. Ware and G. Matt Bucher: I was familiar with Greg's writing about Infinite Jest from the wallace-l list , going back to at least I remember a chronology he had worked out for Don Gately back in that was better than anything anyone else had been able to assemble. He had made graphs and charts and all kinds of wonderful things.

So when Greg said he had written a book on IJ, my ears immediately perked up.

I was blown away when Greg sent me the manuscript for his book. The scope of it was not clear to me until I paged through it all. That's one limitation of electronic files these days--everything looks the same. Someone hands you a dozen KB Word files--that's meaningless, but if they hand you a stack of paper five inches high, rubber-banded and bursting from a Kinko's box, you can tell what the scope is right away.

Now, a lot of folks say that they like to talk about Infinite Jest , but no one I've met has produced anything like Greg's work on the book.

There was no way I was going to let him just post it on the web for free. My brother John and I had started a small imprint, publishing books through his media group, Sideshow , and I immediately offered Greg a chance to publish the book. This was early I knew that there would be a market for something this in-depth and thorough on Infinite Jest. It frustrated the hell out of me that ZERO university presses or small publishers felt the same way.

I am glad they missed out, though, because we did really well with that book.

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I don't know if they still do this, but when McSweeney's first started publishing books, they made it known that they were out to do things differently and they said they were offering authors a much higher split on royalties, , if I recall. I liked that model a lot and adopted it for SSMG because it shows that we are trying to offer more than a pittance to authors and that we are partners with them.

Publishing outside of the mainstream is a hostile act. The established gatekeepers of culture don't want to be threatened. William Beutler is the creative mind behind the staggeringly glorious Infinite Map among other things , and Bill Lattanzi has led a series of walking tours in the Boston area tracing the locations of Wallace's opus, so you can see the emerging theme of the episode here.

David Foster Wallace's OBLIVION - Film | Indiegogo

Episode 35 - Year in Review. In this episode, we stray a bit off our usual Wallacian course but not too far to discuss our literary and pop-culture highlights from the last solar revolution. In this episode we're joined by friends Nick and Tony to discuss Australia's first ever David Foster Wallace conference, which was held in Melbourne during September , Following a discussion of the conference proceedings, join auxillary Concavityite Nick Maniatis as he interviews a host of presenters live from the conference weekend.

Huge thanks go to Nick for towing his microphone around and getting all the juicy details for those of us who couldn't attend, and to Tony for organizing the conference! Other topics include what it's like to show up unannounced at J. Foer's personal residence, and DFW cosplay. On our first live episode recorded in front of conference attendees at the fourth annual DFW conference at Illinois State University we talk to Charlie Harris and Jim Plath about the life and legacy of Wallace, give some prizes away, and feature live music for the very first time on the show.

In this episode we are joined by Wallace scholar Lucas Thompson. Global Wallace centers around the often overlooked sources of influence on Wallace's work.

Nature's Nightmare Analyzing David Foster Wallace's Oblivion

Thompson explores Wallace's connection and borrowing from Manuel Puig, Dostoevsky, hip hop culture, and many others. She is on Twitter here. Jill mentions a sermon she gave in which Wallace's Kenyon speech makes a sigificant appearance , which can be found here. Severs is also a noted Pynchon scholar, author of a number of scholarly articles and co-editor of a book about Against the Day. Episode 24 - Year in Review. As is the tradition, Dave and Matt take a minor detour at times from the usual topic of David Foster Wallace to discuss their personal highlights and favorite literary and pop cultural items of In this episode we speak with the multi-talented writer and musician Andrew Savage of the band Parquet Courts.

If you have not seen the movie Birdman, it is strongly advised that you do so. In this episode we discuss his grandfather's filmography, literary influences, Manu Ginobli, and many other things. Contact us: concavityshow gmail. In this episode we talk with John Mango. John is a teacher and a scholar but in this episode we talk a lot about recovery, AA membership, depression, and alcoholism--perennial DFW subjects all around.

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In this episode, Dave and Matt start by catching up about the recent photo caption contest winner and entries, Dairy Queen, Flannery O'Connor conferences, and the distinguished list of famous writers Matt has met. Then, our guests Amy and Rachel talk to Dave about their recent experiences reading Infinite Jest for the first time.

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In this episode we speak with audiobook narrator extraordinaire, Sean Pratt. Sean is the narrator of the hour-long audiobook of Infinite Jest. He has also narrated over other books. Believe it or not, Infinite Jest is not even the longest book Sean has narrated! Tempo - To honor the text - Easter egg. Episode We talk with a number of DFW scholars and conference attendees. Last day for photo caption contest entries is end of day Aug 31st, so post on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

Winner to be determined shortly thereafter. In this episode, we talk with Pater Edmund Waldstein. We talk about religion and morals and a number of other related issues in Wallace's work.

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NAWE Conference. This book too provides lots of insights into the stories in the collection it considers. Another of my Wallace students became a devotee of all things to do with the author and skilfully analyzed his canonicity in a creative writing major assignment for which he was given a surprisingly stellar mark. But the truth is, with publishing tools cheap-to-free and eyeballs all online, the competition is more fierce, the pricing more jugular, and there are many success stories to be told. Once again, I would not be telling the truth if I said there was never a dry eye in the house after "This is Water", but I can sincerely state that there are not that many.

In this episode, we talk with Krzys Piekarski, PhD. Sorry about that!

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In this special episode we talk with Professor Josh Roiland and his class at the University of Maine. Contact us at concavityshow gmail. In this episode we talk with Wallace scholar Rob Short.

Nature's Nightmare Summary

You can follow Rob on twitter and academia. Listen to find out if we answered yours! In this episode, we talk with Nick Maniatis, proprietor and webmaster of the invaluable website, The Howling Fantods.