Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Re: DFW's essays // "Consider the Lobster"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:06 am 
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Wallace also edited (more or less) the 2007 edition of the Best American Essays series, the forward of which, its self a kick-ass essay, can be read right here:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Be ... 709274#EXC

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 Post subject: Re: DFW's essays // "Consider the Lobster"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:46 am 
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OhItsJustDan wrote:
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again is just as good (and as wildly varied) as Consider the Lobster if you want to continue with his non-fiction works. Obviously you'll be spending a lot of time with DFW the novelist this summer, but I think it's important to be familiar with his short fiction, too. His short stories are different yet than his novels and journalistic pieces. I think Brief Interviews with Hideous Men is a good place to start with the short stuff, though the stories in Oblivion (his most recent collection of stories) truly showcase him at the height of his powers. "Good Old Neon" and "Another Pioneer" are two of my favorite short stories of all time.


I whole-heartedly agree about "Another Pioneer." I thought it was strange when Oblivion first came out that reviewers seldom mentioned it as one of the high points of the book. "Good Old Neon" gets a lot of attention, as it seems to be widely considered the best short story Wallace ever wrote, and "The Soul Is Not A Smithy" (which may be my favorite title for a short story ever--love the dismissive allusion to A Portrait of the Artist...) gets mentioned a lot, but no Pioneer. I wonder why.


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 Post subject: Re: DFW's essays // "Consider the Lobster"
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:16 pm 
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...and turned on the t.v. and there is David Letterman, whom I've not watched in ages, and so I am thinking about "My Appearance" as he interviews Amy Adams, with whom he is discussing cooking Lobster for a movie she's in. And she mentions she no longer eats lobster b/c it was distubing to throw the live lobster in the boiling water, at which point Dave decides to gently scold her for not killing the lobster first because if you throw it in the water alive, "it has time to consider." Am I drawing too much into this if I believe Dave was intentionally subtly referencing DFW?


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 Post subject: Re: DFW's essays // "Consider the Lobster"
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:44 am 
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doubtful geste wrote:
...and turned on the t.v. and there is David Letterman, whom I've not watched in ages, and so I am thinking about "My Appearance" as he interviews Amy Adams, with whom he is discussing cooking Lobster for a movie she's in. And she mentions she no longer eats lobster b/c it was distubing to throw the live lobster in the boiling water, at which point Dave decides to gently scold her for not killing the lobster first because if you throw it in the water alive, "it has time to consider." Am I drawing too much into this if I believe Dave was intentionally subtly referencing DFW?


I haven't seen the Letterman, but it's certainly possible, since that essay was featured in Gourmet magazine (here's a link to it online). Even if David Letterman hadn't read the essay, the title "Consider the Lobster" may have stuck with him. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: DFW's essays // "Consider the Lobster"
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:39 pm 
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Has anyone read: Hail the Returning Dragon, Clothed in New Fire?

Doesn't it seem like Wallace is discriminating against people who have AIDS? I almost can't believe he was able to find a good thing about the AIDS epidemic, that it made sex less casual and put more focus on holding hands and body postures. What? This is what's good about a near fatal disease which doesn't just ruin the lives of people who are more sexually active than most? Unfortunately, AIDS is a very big deal--on an international level--I don't know how he can see this as a "gift from nature" (or perhaps, Jesus!) here to put to an end to "sport-fucking." Yeah, I wonder if such an act is so rampant and destructive it begs for nature to kill it off with a mere disease. Nothing too harmful, and hey it's not like it's any worse than syphilis or crimes of passion. I don't know how he can make up all these excuses and then say he didn't mean any offense when he praised AIDS. This is like a parody of an ultra-chaste Christian fundamentalist praising God for wiping out the evil Sodomites and their icky sexual practices so we can return to some good wholesome sex that requires a lot of hot, breathy phone conversations and "dragons" apparently.

I really hope he was joking with this essay.


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