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The Pale King (Paperback)

by David Foster Wallace

He Doesn’t Wear a Game Face: On David Foster Wallace's 'String Theory' 5

The sense one gets reading these pieces is of a discovery process, the author stumbling sentence-by-sentence toward understanding -- a task to which he wholly devotes his profane, fucked-up, intellectually omnivorous self.

Upscale, Artisanal Bullshit of the Highest Order 12

My experience reading Gone with the Mind spawned an array of adjectives, often in the span of a few seconds. Absurd, juvenile, sophisticated, selfless, masturbatory, profound. That’s Mark Leyner, and he knows it.

Questions from the Archives 0

That's Too Much: The Problem with Prolific Writers 24

Lately I’ve been struck by the notion that there might be no books more lost than those buried in the overwhelming bibliographies of authors who have simply published too damn much.

To Make Us Feel Less Alone: On 'The David Foster Wallace Reader' 30

Wallace’s complex mind and neurotic tendencies found their most successful (i.e. accessible and popular) outlet in nonfiction, and that although history may remember his novels and stories as his most important contributions to literature, his nonfiction is more successful in doing what he aimed to do with literature and more representative of who he was as a person and a writer.

Infinite Grace: The Millions Interviews Caetano W. Galindo 5

The only man who seemed to be showing us, through all that was modern and new in his literature, a possibility for an old-fashioned answer to the great existential questions that have guided philosophers and writers for ages. And he kills himself. When I heard the news, I turned off my computer and played the piano for an hour or so, trying to empty my mind, or fill it with something else.

The Truce Between Fabulism and Realism: On Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the Modern Novel 17

Garcia Marquez solved an essential problem of the novel; he arrived at a moment of crisis for the form and offered the warring parties a graceful way out of it.

April Books: A Reading List for Rebirth and Taxes 0

Here is a selection of recommended April reading, heavy on birth, death, and rebirth, and a little boredom.

The Writing on the Wall (Redux): The 2014 Whitney Biennial, Starring David Foster Wallace 1

As the practice of writing on paper (everything from telegrams to letters to books to Post-It notes) is increasingly devoured by technology, words on paper are evolving from widespread tools of communication into the rarefied stuff of art. As things recede, they also expand. As a result, words are becoming as legitimate as the more traditional subject matter of painting, drawing, video and sculpture.

The Map and the Territory: Infinite Boston 9

What I lacked before coming to the U.S. was an appreciation of the rootedness of David Foster Wallace's work in a specific geography. I had experienced only how the map could shape the territory. Living in Cambridge allowed me to see how the territory might conversely underpin the literary map.

Drinking at the End of the World: Lars Iyer's Exodus 5

Enduring the everyday is relatively straightforward -- just keep breathing and putting one foot in front of the other -- but how to transcend the everyday, in this world neither you nor I have made?

A Year in Reading: Antoine Wilson 0

It left me inarticulate and emotional, as if I'd been zapped back in time to the broodiest moments of my childhood.

The Millions Top Ten: November 2012 0

A last hurrah for our number one, and a new collection of essays from a master who is missed.

“The Human Heart is a Chump”: Cataloging The Pale King 22

I am the cataloger of David Foster Wallace's final work, The Pale King, and I'm here to tell you that in cases like these, the rules will only get you so far.

DFW, ctd. 0

A Supposedly Brief Interview with D.T. Max 2

It’s not really that David had any answers for people. But he never stops taking his life seriously and he never stops taking the reader’s life seriously. And I think that’s the connection: you never stop mattering to him and he never stops mattering to himself.

Excerpt: The Opening Paragraphs of D.T. Max's Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace 18

The first definitive treatment of David Foster Wallace's life arrives next week.

Tuesday New Release Day: Rash, Evenson, Sontag, Wallace 0