Tag Archives: David Foster Wallace

Why I Will Be Watching the David Foster Wallace Movie

92Y Ticket

This Friday, nerds and friends of nerds in the vicinity of “select theaters” will finally have to decide whether or not they are willing to go see The End of the Tour, the movie covering the days David Foster Wallace spent with Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky at the close of the promotional tour for Infinite Jest. The movie has been controversial, from the casting of comedic actor Jason Segel as Wallace to the disavowal of the project from the Wallace estate. Good people (again, mostly nerds) are wrestling with the question of whether they should go see it.

Until last night, I myself was one of those people/nerds.  Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under DFW, Hooray Fiction!

The Beginning of The End of the Tour

Watch the first preview for “The End of the Tour,” starring Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace…

…then tell us what you think.

1 Comment

Filed under David Foster Wallace

DFW, PTA, FA and Emerson College

The story about Paul Thomas Anderson having a conversation with David Foster Wallace is making the rounds of the nerdiest parts of the internet today. The story, which was told on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, is a neat little anecdote that doesn’t add much to what we know about either artist. DFW was a nice teacher. PTA adds a little more to his literary cred, even on top of adapting Pynchon’s Inherent Vice last year. However, we the editors of Fiction Advocate found one detail to be exceptionally important: the whole thing happened at Emerson College in Boston, and we are all graduates of Emerson College in Boston.

PTA, feel free to call us anytime.

-Michael Moats

Leave a Comment

Filed under DFW

MFA vs NYC: The Free Stuff

MFA vs NYC

And now it’s a book. Chad Harbach’s essay from n+1 about “the two cultures of American fiction”—the MFA mill and the NYC establishment—has grown into a collection of 19 essays, including pieces by George Saunders, Emily Gould, and Elif Batuman, all of them addressing the question of how, exactly, a person becomes a writer in this day and age.

One lesson of MFA vs NYC is that writers are almost always broke. Luckily for broke writers, 9 of the book’s essays are currently available online. So if you don’t want to buy MFA vs NYC—perhaps because you’re writing a novel about Moldavian zookeepers—here is half of it for free.

“MFA vs NYC” by Chad Harbach

“A Mini-Manifesto” by George Saunders

“The Fictional Future” by David Foster Wallace

“How To Be Popular” by Melissa Flashman

“People Wear Khakis” by Lorin Stein with Astri von Arbin Ahlander

“Money (2006)” by Keith Gessen

“The Invisible Vocation” by Elif Batuman

“Dirty Little Secret” by Fredric Jameson

“Reality Publishing” by Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

And some extra tidbits.

A few of these pieces were edited—shortened and/or given a different title–for the book. We’re using the titles from the book itself.

UPDATE:

Three more essays have been published online. Thanks to Michael Bourne at The Millions for pointing them out.

“The Pyramid Scheme” by Eric Bennett

“Into the Woods” by Emily Gould

“Seduce the Whole World” by Carla Blumenkranz

– Brian Hurley

2 Comments

Filed under Hooray Fiction!

Critical Hit Awards!

Critical-Hit-Awards

The Critical Hit Awards are back!

Emily St. John Mandel of The Millions tells us how she got her absolutely badass middle name, and why Franzen, DFW’s ex-wife, and a wrongfully murdered black teenager are the subjects of her favorite recent book reviews.

See all the winners here.

– Brian Hurley

Leave a Comment

Filed under Hooray Fiction!

Book of Today: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

IJ CoverBecause:

October 5, 1953: The first documented meeting of Narcotics Anonymous.

October 5, 1970: A British trade minister in Montreal is kidnapped by the Front de liberation du Quebec, a violent separatist group seeking sovereignty for Quebec.

The day also saw the debut of the Beatles’ first single “Love Me Do” (1962); the first episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969); and the founding of the Public Broadcasting System (1970). McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc was born on October 5, 1902, and Apple founder Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011, making it a big day for two of America’s most iconic business leaders. And because of the implementation of the Gregorian Calendar, October 5, 1582 doesn’t technically exist in Italy, Portugal, Spain and Poland.

– Michael Moats

Leave a Comment

Filed under Book of Today

Fiction Advocate of the Day

FA Science Mag Cover

It’s science — the magazine, and the method.

Emanuele Castano and David Comer Kidd from the New School for Social Research published a study in this month’s Science magazine showing the emotional-intuitive benefits of reading literary fiction. According to the New York Times, the study revealed that:

after reading literary fiction, as opposed to popular fiction or serious nonfiction, people performed better on tests measuring empathy, social perception and emotional intelligence — skills that come in especially handy when you are trying to read someone’s body language or gauge what they might be thinking.

In other words, science has proven David Foster Wallace’s theory that “Fiction’s about what it is to be a fucking human being.” Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Fiction Advocate of the Day

Be Kind. You Never Know.


.
In the tradition of odd writers giving great commencement speeches, George Saunders offered some wisdom to the class of 2013 recently. It’s been going around the internet, so you may have already come across it. But like most great speeches, it won’t hurt you to go through it again.

So here’s something I know to be true, although it’s a little corny, and I don’t quite know what to do with it:

What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. 

Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded…sensibly.  Reservedly.  Mildly.

Or, to look at it from the other end of the telescope:  Who, in your life, do you remember most fondly, with the most undeniable feelings of warmth?

Those who were kindest to you, I bet.

It’s a little facile, maybe, and certainly hard to implement, but I’d say, as a goal in life, you could do worse than: Try to be kinder.

Read the remarks here.

Be excellent to each other.

– Michael Moats

1 Comment

Filed under "Non-fiction"