David Foster Wallace

Listen to 15 Literary Icons Reading Their Own Work

One of the most important experiences you can have with your favorite author is to hear them read aloud from their works. But many of us will never get the chance to see our most beloved writer in the flesh. So, after the jump is a collection of 15 writers — some alive, some long gone — reading their own words (all fiction, with the exception of William Faulkner, whose Nobel Prize speech is included because it’s now often taught alongside his novels and stories, and Joan Didion’s memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking).  … Read More

  • 0

Toni Morrison, Wallace Stegner, and 10 Other Fiction Writing Teachers

The discussion on whether or not it’s any help to give a university your money, or funds you don’t have that you end up borrowing, so you can sharpen your skills as a writer will no doubt be reignited in the coming days and weeks with the release of the book MFA vs NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction. In truth, it’s a discussion that was going on long before the publication of the book, and one that will probably continue for years after the book comes out. Yet the one thing that is difficult to look past is how much studying with a teacher whose books or articles you respect can actually be a boost to your own work. … Read More

  • 0

50 Novels Guaranteed to Make You a Better Person

It’s a new year, and resolutions are flying left and right. Here’s one that’s always on everyone’s mind, beginning of the year or no: how to be a better person. Well, since science keeps proving that reading literary fiction accomplishes that very fact, why not attack a novel in order to spruce up your heart and mind? Click through for 50 novels to make you kinder, cleverer, more productive, and a whole lot more open to the experience of… Read More

  • 1

Literary Snobs: A Ranked Taxonomy

2013 is going out with a bang of literary snobbishness. The latest round comes via John Gallagher at The New Republic, railing against “Hollywood DFW” and the “terrible, terrible idea” of Jason Segel portraying the late David Foster Wallace in a film adaptation of David Lipsky’s Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself. He just can’t imagine such a thing as Saint Wallace being portrayed on screen, especially by an actor mostly known for his comedic roles. How dare they get an funnyman to commit this act of literary sacrilege! Exposing people to Wallace’s work who might have otherwise never known about it? Seriously, just who do they think they are? … Read More

  • 0

What Would It Take to Make Jason Segel an Acceptable David Foster Wallace?

As The Awl pointed out, Twitter had a mini-explosion today when the news broke that Jason Segel will be playing David Foster Wallace opposite Jesse Eisenberg’s David Lipsky in a movie version of Lipsky’s Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace. The reasons cited for the freakout tend to vary: some think that a guy who starred in and wrote the Muppets’ latest film doesn’t have any business playing the Infinite Jest author (we call those people snobs); others fall into the “They don’t really look anything alike” camp; and then there are those who would throw up their hands and shriek “Too soon!” in response to a film coming out about an author whose suicide is still very fresh in our minds. … Read More

  • 0

5 Essential Tips on Hosting a Successful Literary Holiday Party

As the holiday party season kicks up, people will be on the hunt for themes. One we’d like to suggest, a perennial Flavorwire favorite, is the Literary Cocktail Party. Everybody likes the Literary Holiday Party in theory, because in theory it involves a lot of fun, nerdy conversations about books held over delicious cocktails. Everything sparkles: the outfits, the cocktail glasses, the conversation. … Read More

  • 0

10 Great Works of Fiction for Philosophers

Although he denied his affiliation with the movement, critics are generally inclined to say that Albert Camus was an existentialist. Born 100 years ago today, the author is responsible for Nobel Prize-winning classics like The Stranger and The Fall that sit at the top of the “philosophical fiction” pile. … Read More

  • 0

50 Incredibly Tough Books for Extreme Readers

Maybe it’s a Pavlovian response to years of schooling, or that the brisk weather affords more hours inside, or something else entirely, but the fact is this: November seems like the time to take on the heftiest reading on your list. And let’s face the facts: some books are only for the toughest readers on the block, your Sylvester Stallones of literature, as it were. So for those of you who count yourself tough, here’s a list of books for you: some absurdly long, some notoriously difficult, some with intense or upsetting subject matter but blindingly brilliant prose, some packed into formations that require extra effort or mind expansion, and some that fit into none of those categories, but are definitely for tough girls (or guys)… Read More

  • 1

50 Books to Inspire Artists of All Kinds

Today marks the release of one of the most long-awaited novels in recent memory: Donna Tartt’s third novel, the glorious, sprawling, Dickens-esque romp The Goldfinch. The book is backboned by its eponymous painting, and much concerned with art of all kinds, so to celebrate its release, and to suggest a little artistic inspiration for those who’ve already read it (or will have in about three days), we’ve put together a list of 50 books for artists: to inspire, to entertain, to shake up the system. Some of these books are about visual art, some are visual art in themselves, some just strike us as the kind of thing that might keep an artist up at… Read More

  • 0