Monday, June 13, 2011

The Pale King and considering (too?) curiously

Click on the image to enlarge. Via René of Teorí del Caos.

There's much to say about this cartoon, probably more than was intended by its maker. But to simplify things, let's just say for now, as per René's placement of it in a post on The Pale King, that it's a pretty fair summation of the dynamic Wallace creates when he occupies the Writer corner of the Writer-Subject-Reader triangle.

[I (belatedly) add: This is not a bad thing! DFW requires stamina of his reader; the reader needs to know that going in.]

I am near the end of Wallace's novel and will have a wrap-up post in a couple of weeks--beginning today, I'll be out of pocket and then out of town (and thus away from "here") for a while. The short version: despite (or maybe because of) its unfinished state, you'll want to give this a try. Oh: and there'll be a few wild and whirling words about Hamlet as a subtext for the novel, too.

In the meantime, I encourage those of you who read Spanish to read René's sustained and insightful series of commentaries on The Pale King and, by extension, Wallace's zeitgeist and his place in contemporary fiction. The first post is here.

[Edited to correct the title. About, my brains!]

UPDATE (June 30): Via 3 Quarks Daily, this discussion of the short story collection Oblivion, the last fiction published while Wallace was alive, is well worth reading as a source of insight into Wallace's work more generally.

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