Understanding David Foster Wallace, revised and expanded edition
Tracing Wallace's relationship to modernism and postmodernism, this volume provides close readings of all his major works of fiction. Although critics sometimes label Wallace a postmodern writer, Boswell argues that he should be regarded as the nervous leader of some still-unnamed (and perhaps unnamable) third wave of modernism. In charting a new direction for literary practice, Wallace does not seek to overturn postmodernism, nor does he call for a return to modernism. Rather his work moves resolutely forward while hoisting the baggage of modernism and postmodernism heavily, but respectfully, on its back.
Like the books that serve as its primary subject, Boswell's study directly confronts such arcane issues as postmodernism, information theory, semiotics, the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, and poststructuralism, yet it does so in a way that is comprehensible to a wide and general readership—the very same readership that has enthusiastically embraced Wallace's challenging yet entertaining and redemptive fiction.
About the Author
"Understanding David Foster Wallace is the first critical study of Wallace that I ever got my hands on and it remains a wonderful introduction to his work. Boswell writes on Wallace with clarity, precision, and a graceful authority. Readers will come away with a firm grasp of Wallace's major themes and aesthetic concerns."—Ralph Clare, Boise State University
"Boswell reads like a novelist and a critic, with a sensitivity to craft and narrative design married to a lucid and eclectic grasp of Wallace's myriad theoretical and intellectual contexts. If you read just one book about Wallace's fiction, this is the study to read."—Stephen Burn, University of Glasgow
"This welcome edition builds impressively on Boswell's seminal work in its previous incarnations. The volume is rounded out by two chapters on Oblivion and The Pale King, making it a complete and cohesive guide to Wallace's oeuvre. Managing to balance astute observation and accessible style, Understanding David Foster Wallace is indispensable for seasoned scholars and new readers alike."—Clare Hayes-Brady, University College Dublin
Other Titles from Understanding Contemporary American Literature
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