Monday, April 11, 2011

The Pale King—an excerpt

Is it possible to miss all the discussion of the posthumously published novel by David Foster Wallace? How it was pieced together from notes and lists and, of course, actual text? If you've hitherto been daunted by Wallace's work, much of which is really, really long, here's a selection from the new book so you'll get a sense of what he's like. Wallace, in a word, puts a lot into his writing. Be prepared. 'Anyhow, it was also at this time that my father was killed unexpectedly in a CTA subway accident in Chicago, during the almost indescribably horrible and chaotic holiday shopping rush of December 1977, and the accident actually occurred while he was in the process of weekend Christmas shopping, which probably helped contribute to making the whole thing even more tragic. The accident was not on the famous "El" part of the CTA – he and I were in the Washington Square station, to which we'd ridden in from Libertyville on the commuter line in order to transfer to a subway line going further downtown. I think we were ultimately headed to the Art Institute gift shop.' More...

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