Saturday, April 09, 2011

Fiction: The Pale King by David Foster Wallace

Today in January Magazine’s fiction section, editor Linda L. Richards mourns over The Pale King by David Foster Wallace. Says Richards:
Everything written about David Foster Wallace since his death by suicide in 2008 is tinged with tragedy. It can’t be helped. The enormity of his talent. Gone. And the thought of the books we’ll never get to read. The thought of it still just breaks our hearts.

That being the case, there’s no real surprise that every word breathed about his last book, the posthumously compiled, finished and published The Pale King, should evoke shudders of tragedy from readers and reviewers alike. We’re just so goddamned sad.

It doesn’t help that we can’t be sure if this is the book he would have wanted us to read. The core of what is being published this month as The Pale King was found in a pile on the author’s desk after he was dead. Michael Pietsch, the executive VP and publisher at Little Brown, was charged with the daunting task of making something worthy of the celebrated author out of sometimes disconnected-seeming material.
The full review is here.

Last year, Richards reviewed Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky. That review is here.



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