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Essays from Beyond: David Foster Wallace’s “Both Flesh and Not”

David Foster WallaceDavid Foster Wallace, it seems, is publishing from beyond this world. A new book of the deceased author’s essays will be arriving on November 6. The Kindle version, for those who simply cannot wait, is already on the (virtual) shelves.

This new book includes nine essays, including one that explores “Five Direly Underappreciated U.S. Novels” after 1960. This “essay,” if at two pages or five paragraphs it can be termed such, provides brief notes on the aforementioned five novels. My favorite is on Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West, which is dismissed in three words: “Don’t even ask.”

To read Wallace is to encounter a profound mind that sees the world in a manner wholly unlike most everyone else. This peculiar view creates prose that can be either maddening or captivating–and sometimes both.

Posted in American Literature, Contemporary.

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