This collection of essays contributes to a global discussion concerning the value and meaning of David Foster Wallace’s work, providing fresh readings and insights on texts that have already received considerable critical attention but also advancing new ways of understanding one of the most important American writers of the late twentieth century. Containing essays by established and emerging voices, Critical Insights: David Foster Wallace makes several new and exciting contributions to the field of Wallace Studies.
Since his tragic death in 2008, David Foster Wallace’s work has been the subject of an almost overwhelming array of critical analyses, from many different perspectives, and it continues to inspire and provoke new responses. The publication of posthumous works, such as The Pale King (2011), and Both Flesh and Not: Essays (2012), together with new re-arrangements of earlier work means that the field of Wallace studies is one in which the corpus of primary materials cannot yet be said to be complete.
While it is unlikely that a previously unpublished novel remains to be discovered in the Wallace archive, the intense scholarly interest in the author’s manuscripts and papers, together with the work being done on a daily basis by scholars from around the world, means that the critical conversation about Wallace’s work is, in a very real sense, in a constant state of process and re-negotiation.
The essays in this title extend the critical conversation about the nature and value of David Foster Wallace’s work in several key respects.
1.Career, Life, and Influence
This section discusses Wallace's career and certain themes of his writings in fairly broad terms, along with a biography about the man behind the literature. The rest of the text examines the writings of Wallace and their growing legacy.
These essays aim to provide a background to the author that is a historical, cultural, and biographical foundation for the reader.
Readers seeking a deeper understanding of the writer can then move on to other original essays that explore a number of schools of thought. These essays utilize common critical approaches to further analyze the author's work, or specific works according to the selected theme. Each essay is 2,500 to 5,000 words in length, and all essays conclude with a list of "Works Cited," along with endnotes.
The volume's appendices offer a section of useful reference resources, including:
- A chronology of the author's life
- A complete list of the author's works and their original dates of publication
- A general bibliography
- A detailed paragraph on the volume's editor
- Notes on the individual chapter authors
- A subject index
The Critical Insights Series distills the best of both classic and current literary criticism of the world's most-studied literature. Edited and written by some of academia’s most distinguished literary scholars, Critical Insights: David Foster Wallace provides authoritative, in-depth scholarship that students and researchers will rely on for years. This volume is destined to become a valuable purchase for all.