Both flesh and not book
Both Flesh and Not: Essays by David Foster WallaceDavid Foster Wallace's non-fiction has always been a good point of entry for readers who are sensitive to high page counts. Wallace's essays and features, on the other hand, offer a taste of his style as well as an outline of his obsessions, without the drowning sensation that accompanies much of his fiction. Both Flesh and Not , a selection of previously uncollected essays, some of which have never been published in the UK, is the fourth major Wallace-related book to arrive posthumously. Inevitably, it has something of the atmosphere of a car boot sale in the late afternoon: all the best stuff's been taken. But there are pleasures that make the book worthwhile, if not essential.
Both Flesh And Not
What qualities did David Foster Wallace most prize in nonfiction writing? In his fiction and nonfiction he mapped this new America that was entertaining itself to death and reeling at once from overstimulation and boredom, information overload and emotional numbness. He charted the absurdities and sadnesses of life in this land of hype and hyperbole, and he did so in incandescent prose that was as magical as it was elastic. Compression and plainness were not among his gifts, but clarity, precision and lucidity were. His expansive, metastasizing narratives and baroquely detailed descriptions represented efforts to pin down this increasingly incomprehensible reality with exactitude and nuance. Even the more compelling essays in this volume — like so much of his fiction — could have done with a little judicious pruning. Many of the essays here deal with ideas or themes the author has explored elsewhere.
Thank you! Previously uncollected essays and reportage by the late author, reflecting his varied interests, from tennis to Borges to higher math. The remainder of the collection is weaker, composed of book reviews and brief essays on politics, sex and the writing life that feel less impassioned than commissioned. A report on the U. There was a problem adding your email address. Please try again. Be the first to discover new talent!
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Bring on the relative stupidity and schmuckiness. But his non-fiction work, of which this is the third collection, I will soak up like a sponge. And if he is being stupider and schmuckier than when writing a novel, or thinking Deep Thoughts about novels, then he is still far from being either stupid or a schmuck, because if you think that giving us, say, a masterly but concise account of the difference between Wittgenstein's Tractatus and his Philosophical Investigations is the action of an idiot, then you have high standards indeed. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus ". As you can see, his style is infectious.