Tag Archives: Berfrois

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena?

FA Luminaries FA review tag

According to a seemingly sensible blog on astrology, Eleanor Catton was a shoe-in to win the 2013 Man Booker Prize for her second novel The Luminaries. Born in late September 1985 when the “Sun is conjunct Mercury in Libra,” Catton’s “destiny indicator” should have tipped off those making wagers at Ladbrokes that her “destiny based on prior life talents was about to blossom.”

It’s quite amazing when you think about it. Catton was born in 1985! And this is her second novel! The astrology stuff is pretty interesting too.

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YEAR OF DAVID FOSTER WALLACE Pt. 2

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So much happened in the first half of 2012/YEAR OF DAVID FOSTER WALLACE that it turns out I missed a few things. On 21 February, Wallace’s birthday, Berfrois ran “The Depressed Person in The Marriage Plot,” in which Daniel Roberts takes a closer look at the connections between Wallace and the character Leonard in Jeffrey Eugenides’ latest book. Adding to the steady march in April, Publishers Weekly began a two-week countdown of “The Top 10 Infinite Jest Characters,” starting with #10 (Barry Loach) and moving toward #1 (see here). Also, on 21 April came the long-awaited (by me at least) end of the “live” part in “Words, Words, Words: The Infinite Jest Liveblog.”

After a relatively uneventful May and June, YEAR OF DAVID FOSTER WALLACE came roaring back in July. The monthly issue of GQ featured an interview with Nick Offerman, better known as Ron Swanson from “Parks and Recreation,” in which Offerman talked about being “halfway through Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace – a writer who escaped my notice until a few years ago, when posthumously his final novel, The Pale King, came out.” In the very same issue of GQ, a Wells Tower piece on the pornstar James Deen made a Wallace-esque mention of one of Deen’s colleagues: “Kayden Kross, a wholly winning and improbably bookish young woman who reads the short fiction of David Foster Wallace between takes.” On 8 July, as noted, Roger Federer won Wimbledon, which led to Wallace-Federer references in The Telegraph, The Daily Beast, The Week, and GQ.com. There was even a weird piece on Wallace’s faith titled “Roger Federer Killed David Foster Wallace,” as well as an anti-Federer piece on the LRB Blog which noted that “‘Federer Moments’, as David Foster Wallace famously called them, are part of what I dislike. ‘Federer as Religious Experience’ says more about Wallace’s genius than Federer’s.” The following day, Michael Cunningham took to The New Yorker‘s Page Turner blog to explain why Wallace (and others) didn’t win the Pulitzer Prize in 2012. Also on 9 July, the “Nieman Watchdog” at Harvard University offered “Lessons on covering politics from the late David Foster Wallace.” On the 11th, Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians books used his first impressions of Every Love Story is a Ghost Story to talk about hysterical realism. On 13 July, Page Turner posted a piece about subsidized time. Federer’s victory was still yielding DFW alerts when there came, on 16 July, the other significant non-book event in the YODFW: the launch of “Infinite Boston.”  The project was an ambitious effort by William Beutler to photograph and write about the real-life equivalents of various IJ locations:

I traveled to Boston, Massachusetts with the express purpose of visiting as many of the landmarks and lesser known precincts that appear in, or provide inspiration for, the late David Foster Wallace’s 1996 novel Infinite Jest as I could manage…now I am pleased to present what I am calling “Infinite Boston”: a ruminative travelogue and photographic tour of some fifty or so of these locations, comprising one entry each non-holiday weekday, from now until sometime in early autumn.

“Infinite Boston” attracted broad interest, showing up on The Millions, The Rumpus, National Geographic’s The Radar, Fast Company’s Co.Create blog, and from there the technology section of nbcnews.com, among others. The notice was well deserved. “Infinite Boston” is thorough and artfully done — well worth exploring for anyone who loves Infinite Jest, or is currently working their way through it. The project also had a number of spinoffs, including the super cool, Google-maps enabled “Infinite Atlas” and some other cool stuff available for sale at the Infinite Shop.

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The first few weeks of July were pretty good — but the end of July illustrated the scope of what was happening in YODFW. On the 19th, CNN ran an online story about porn stars using Twitter to gain mainstream fame. One of the stars the mentioned was Kayden Kross, upon whom they bestowed the title “The Smartest Woman in Porn” and mentioned: “She often tweets about her favorite authors, David Foster Wallace and Don DeLillo.” Four days later, the Wall Street Journal reported on a past meeting between DFW and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The two men had lunch and bonded over their shared enjoyment and rigor over language and grammar. Apparently the meeting led to some book Scalia wrote, which is not important. What is important is that, within the space of a few days, we could read about how a porn star and an arch-conservative Supreme Court justice both have strong affinities for our man.

Welcome back to YEAR OF DAVID FOSTER WALLACE.

FA IJ Circle

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Deal With Him Hemingway!

From our friends at Berfrois, James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway going gorillas:

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The Catcher in the Rye Turns 61

The Real Holden Caulfield

Today is the 61st anniversary of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye – and the first anniversary of the Michael Moats ebook “The Real Holden Caulfield.”

This year “The Real Holden Caulfield” is available in every electronic format you can possibly think of. Do you have a Kindle? We have a MOBI file. Do you have a Nook? We have EPUB. Do you have a slab of mud with a USB port? We can probably accommodate that.

If you purchase “The Real Holden Caulfield” now, we’ll send you every format under the sun. In fact, if you purchase any book from the Fiction Advocate Store today, we’ll send you “The Real Holden Caulfield” for free. If you’ve already purchased it and you’d like a format other than PDF, write to us at fictionadvocate AT gmail DOT com and we’ll hook you up.

You can read short excerpts of “The Real Holden Caulfield” on some of our favorite blogs: The AwlThe Rumpus, and Berfrois. Then you can download the full version for $1.99.

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Wishlist: The Real Holden Caulfield

The Real Holden Caulfield

A PERFECT GIFT for that person on your list who just wants to be the catcher in the rye and all this holiday season. The Real Holden Caulfield is a short e-book published to mark the 60th anniversary of J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” on July 16, 2011.

The book has been excerpted at The Awl, The Rumpus and Berfrois, and mentioned on Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish, Second Pass, 3 Quarks Daily and (even) Reader’s Digest.

You can read the whole book on your computer or e-reader for just $1.99 through PayPal.

And it’s for a good cause — in tribute to Seymour Glass, Sergeant X, Babe Gladwaller and Salinger himself, who was hospitalized for “Battle Fatigue” — or PTSD — after World War II, half of the proceeds from sales of “The Real Holden Caulfield will be donated to The Wounded Warrior Project.

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New Excerpt: The Real Holden Caulfield

The Real Holden Caulfield

WE’RE NOW UP AT BERFROIS.COM with “Getting Holden into Print,” about the struggles of publishing, censoring and translating “The Catcher in the Rye.”

It’s the final piece that will be excerpted from the e-book “The Real Holden Caulfield.” You can read the whole thing for just just $1.99 through PayPal.

And it’s for a good cause — in tribute to Seymour Glass, Sergeant X, Babe Gladwaller and Salinger himself, who was hospitalized for “Battle Fatigue” — or PTSD — after World War II, half of the proceeds from sales of “The Real Holden Caulfield will be donated to The Wounded Warrior Project.

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