Every genuinely literary style, from the high authorial voice to Foster Wallace and his footnotes-within-footnotes, requires the reader to see the world from somewhere in particular, or from many places. So every novelist's literary style is nothing less than an ethical strategy - it's always an attempt to get the reader to care about people who are not the same as he or she is.
As I got into my teens, I started reading better books, beginning with the Beats and then the hippie writers, people like Wallace Stegner up in Northern California, and all the political New Journalism stuff, the Boys on the Bus dudes and Ken Kesey.
Your words have come true with a vengeance that I shd [should] be forestalled ... I never saw a more striking coincidence. If Wallace had my M.S. sketch written out in 1842 he could not have made a better short abstract! Even his terms now stand as Heads of my Chapters.
The facts of variability, of the struggle for existence, of adaptation to conditions, were notorious enough; but none of us had suspected that the road to the heart of the species problem lay through them, until Darwin and Wallace dispelled the darkness.
I love those adult writers with the pranking ethos, [Don] DeLillo and [Donald] Barthelme and David Foster Wallace. I don't see any reason not to bring those kinds of influences to bear on books for children.
You know, I don't want to be offensive. But 'Infinite Jest' [regarded by many as Wallace's masterpiece] is just awful. It seems ridiculous to have to say it. He can't think, he can't write. There's no discernible talent.
Wallace's sales agent, back in London, heard mutterings from some naturalists that young Mr. Wallace ought to quit theorizing and stick to gathering facts. Besides expressing their condescension toward him in particular, that criticism also reflected a common attitude that fact-gathering, not theory, was the proper business of all naturalists.
I love the ideas of looking back to historical heroes to give us inspiration on how we can be today's heroes to move forward in the future. So guys like... William Bradford and William Wallace, the Bravehearts, the Patriots, the Pilgrims. There are so many of those people throughout history... whose stories have just never been told.
David Foster Wallace: I think one of the insidious lessons about TV is the meta-lesson that you’re dumb. This is all you can do. This is easy, and you’re the sort of person who really just wants to sit in a chair and have it easy. When in fact there are parts of us, in a way, that are a lot more ambitious than that. And what we need, I think—and I’m not saying I’m the person to do it. But I think what we need is seriously engaged art, that can teach again that we’re smart. And that there’s... Read more »
I thought theater people wouldn't see me if I hadn't trained. I didn't want to just be the Brideshead guy, to spend the rest of my life wearing waistcoats. I got the chance to try everything. Not just Romeos, but pimps and grandfathers and even one role as a woman in a Naomi Wallace play called Slaughter City.
Particularly when I thought of myself as a Wallace Stevens acolyte, I wrote very difficult poetry and I was really guilty of not knowing what I was talking about. I was going for a kind of clever verbal effect. I was trying to sound linguistically or verbally interesting. I had a sense, I guess, from just reading a lot of poetry of how a poem would start and how it would end but really I didn't know what I was doing. It had very little connection to my life.