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27 March 2013


I haven't been able to get my hands on any of David Foster Wallace's essays yet (my local library carries one of his novels but nothing else). I will keep looking for them though, as I have read before that he is an excellent essayist. When essays are written well there is no other form of writing that I would rather read. I recently read Anne Fadiman's At Large and at Small: Familiar Essays, and it was definitely the best book I've read in 2013.

I'm glad you've found something to give you a reading "thrill".

I don't watch tennis these days, but I watched Wimbledon every July when I was growing up as my Mum is tennis mad. Although I am not really interested in the game I used to enjoy watching Goran Ivanisevic running around the court.

Huh, I never thought of Wallace's essay collections not being available--you're in the UK? Can you get his fiction there? I would not start with this book if you had the choice--I'd look for "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again." Or you could try a somewhat grumpy travel/cruise piece he did for Harper's--it's a bit long, as much of his stuff is, but definitely illuminating in small doses: http://harpers.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/HarpersMagazine-1996-01-0007859.pdf

I think I've tried that Fadiman title before, to no avail. Perhaps it is time to try it again? I'm always on the lookout for the next "thrill," after all!

I'm not into tennis but every now and then I enjoy it for a change. Can't say I've ever seen Goran Ivanisevic play, but wow, that's a fun name just to say.

Thanks for the link. It is a long piece! I can't read very well from a computer screen, so I have been taking it in short sections. I still have seven pages left to read, and I'll probably finish it off later today.

David Foster Wallace's works are available to buy in the UK, but I get nearly all my books from the library. I think I can order one of his essay collections from another branch, but I have so many books I want to get round to borrowing from the library I use, that I am trying to minimise my orders from the library system as a whole, so that when it actually comes to checking out the books I have room on my library card. We are only allowed to borrow 10 books at a time (we have a separate allowance of 10 items for CDs, DVDs and audio books).

I am really enjoying the cruise ship piece you provided the link for, so maybe I'll just have to save up my pennies and buy one of his books instead of getting it from the library.

It IS a long piece. I actually downloaded it to my computer so I could back to it--and I don't think I've made it to the end yet! But I enjoy reading a snippet here and there.
If you've got lots to read, you've got nothing to lose by trying to interlibrary loan and waiting a bit for one of his essay collections. I would say use your pennies--but unfortunately DFW is no longer with us, so perhaps you might want to put your pennies towards buying something by a living author who could use a little help? (Although I honestly don't know where any royalties from DFW books go now--so maybe that's unfair of me to suggest.)

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