By Marshall Boswell

Of the twelve books David Foster Wallace released either in the course of his lifetime and posthumously, merely 3 have been novels. however, Wallace continually considered himself essentially as a novelist. From his collage years at Amherst, whilst he wrote his first novel as a part of an artistic honors thesis, to his ultimate days, Wallace used to be buried in a unique venture, which he sometimes called "the lengthy Thing." in the meantime, the quick tales and journalistic assignments he labored on in the course of these years he characterised as "playing hooky from a undeniable higher Thing." Wallace used to be additionally a particular type of novelist, dedicated to generating a selected type of novel, particularly the omnivorous, culture-consuming "encyclopedic" novel, as defined in 1976 by way of Edward Mendelson in a ground-breaking essay on Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow.

David Foster Wallace and "The lengthy Thing" is a state-of-the paintings advisor via Wallace's 3 significant works, together with the generation-defining Infinite Jest. those essays offer clean new readings of every of Wallace's novels in addition to thematic essays that hint out styles and connections around the 3 works. most significantly, the gathering comprises six chapters on Wallace's unfinished novel, The faded King, in an effort to turn out to be foundational for destiny students of this significant text.

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