Jason Segel is going to play David Foster Wallace in some biopic that stems from David Lipsky's road trip biography. (A movie that will be shown on the Sundance channel once in 2016.) Some people are upset! How will we all move on?
Hard to imagine Jason Segel playing someone quite as brilliant as DFW.
— Matthew Gilbert (@MatthewGilbert) December 12, 2013
Jason Segel is playing David Foster Wallace in an upcoming biopic. Seriously? Was Franco not available?
— Charlie Kaufman Bio (@dalexanderchild) December 12, 2013
Look on the bright side: Segel is better than Franco.
— Jason Diamond (@imjasondiamond) December 12, 2013 [...]
"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."—Oscar Wilde, "The Critic as Artist"
An old friend once told me a story about her son Edison and this other kid he grew up with, Brendan. It seems that when they were really little, like six or so, the boys were on a soccer team, they were playing soccer and Edison fell and was hurt. And everybody clustered round and was all ooh, ahh, to make sure he was okay. Straightaway, Brendan totally faked an injury of his own, thumped to earth and started wailing, so that [...]
There’s really no delicate way to put this: at this year’s New Yorker Festival, Jonathan Franzen said that David Foster Wallace fabricated at least part of—and potentially a large part of—his nonfiction pieces. I wasn’t there, but after reading Eric Alterman’s summary Friday, and finding no mention of the incident in any other coverage of the festival, I watched the conversation online.
Here's a rough transcript of the relevant exchange (with some “umms” and “uhhs” edited for reasons of intelligibility).
"I suppose it made sense, when blogging was new, that there was some confusion about voice. Was a blog more like writing or more like speech? Soon it became a contrived and shambling hybrid of the two. The 'sort ofs' and 'reallys' and 'ums' and 'you knows' that we use in conversation were codified as the central connectors in the blogger lexicon. We weren’t just mad, we were sort of enraged; no one was merely confused, but kind of totally mystified. That music blog we liked was really pretty much the only one that, um, you know, got it. Never before had 'folks' been used so relentlessly and enthusiastically as [...]
"I think of myself as a fiction writer. I'm real interested in fiction, and all elements of fiction. Fiction's more important to me. So I'm also I think more scared and tense about fiction, more worried about my stuff, more worried about whether I'm any good or not, or I'm on the wrong track or not. Whereas the thing that was fun about a lot of the nonfiction is, you know, it's not that I didn't care, but it was just mostly like, yeah, I'll try this. I'm not an expert at it. I don't pretend to be. It's not particularly important to me whether the magazine, you know, even [...]
In 1996, Rolling Stone sent David Lipsky to accompany David Foster Wallace on the last leg of the book tour for Infinite Jest. The piece never came out. Instead, many years later, David Lipsky wrote a book about those five days. During the time they spent together, Lipsky couldn't have known that Wallace was largely concealing a heart-attack-serious history of depression, drug abuse, hospitalization and ECT; they couldn't discuss Wallace's real involvement with 12-step programs (see Tradition, Eleventh) or the medication he was taking the whole time they were together; couldn't address the real fragility of his recovery. Wallace took his own life twelve years after the [...]
Have you ever loved a writer or book real hard? So hard that when someone got her or him-or it-all wrong, it was like you'd just been gutted? Well, then: the Katie Roiphe essay, from this weekend's New York Times Book Review.
There are some things to admire here. Chief among them is her argument that a lot of contemporary dude fiction is pretty flaccid stuff. Consider all those fish effectively barrel-shot. And I'm also on board for championing the virtues of erotic ecstasy that are there to be found in mid-century dude fiction. This is less-obvious ground to be treading, these days. (And yes, even if it was [...]