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David Foster Wallace


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Introduction Chapter 1 Vocality "A Flickering Hand, Dead and Cold": Reading Wallace's Ghosts Chapter 2 Spatiality "In the Middle of the Middle of Nowhere": Regionalism and Institutions Chapter 3 Visuality "Seeing by Mirror-Light": Wallace on Reflection Chapter 4 Finality "Not Even Close to Complete": The Many Forms of The Pale King Works Cited

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A fresh reassessment of David Foster Wallace's entire fictional career and writing process.

About the Author

David Hering is Lecturer in English at the University of Liverpool, UK.


There's a chapter devoted to Wallace's evolving articulation of voice, of space and of vision, respectively. Taken individually, these three chapters deepen our appreciation of Wallace's work and its development. Taken together, they provide Hering with grounds for specifying, in the final chapter, just how `incomplete' the published version of The Pale King can be taken to be. * Organization *
In Fiction and Form, Hering offers the first sustained investigation of how these papers [from the Wallace archive] inform and illuminate Wallace's published writing. * Textual Practice *
Since the death of David Foster Wallace, we have been waiting for a comprehensive study of his literary career, its trajectory and achievements. Through in-depth study of Wallace's published works and extensive archive, David Hering brilliantly anatomizes the author's writing via themes of vocality, visuality and spatiality. The book's final chapter, a forensic reconstruction of the drafting process for The Pale King, tells a whole new story of Wallace's creative life over his final years. An exhilarating read for fans and scholars alike, David Foster Wallace: Fiction and Form represents the most significant step forward in Wallace studies for at least a decade. * Adam Kelly, Lecturer in American Literature, University of York, UK, and author of American Fiction in Transition *
David Hering offers a highly insightful study of questions of vocality (specifically, analyzing `possession' as a model for authorial presence), spatiality (discussing regionalism and institutionality) and visuality (that is, modelling different forms of reflection and refraction) in the work of David Foster Wallace. Subsequently, these questions are connected to a revelatory chronology of the composition of Wallace's unfinished novel The Pale King, making Hering's monograph invaluable reading for all scholars interested in the development of Wallace's fiction. * Allard den Dulk, Lecturer in Philosophy, Literature and Film, Amsterdam University College, and Humanities Research Fellow, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and author of Existentialist Engagement in Wallace, Eggers and Foer *

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