April 8, 2011 § 1 Comment
Okay, I swear we all read other authors. But right now, I’m reading The Pale King and found this of particular interest. The “Editor’s Note” in the novel is a bit business-like, but this interview with the Atlantic addresses the seemingly insurmountable task Michael Pietsch faced when compiling the novel. Not only did he want to do justice to the work, but he needed to do justice to his friend.
I haven’t gotten too far in The Pale King–I stopped at the chapter where David Foster Wallace introduces himself as a character. I wanted to come back and read that when Harpo wasn’t lobbying for attention by sitting on my book. As Pietsch says in the interview, “…there was something—not just something David had created with great fullness—it was David he had created with great fullness. It was bewildering and exalting and thrilling.” It’s heavy, man.
Also: in one of the first chapters, a character spots a man wearing a t-shirt which reads “SYMPATHY FOR NIXON.” I keep thinking about this and it’s totally blowing my mind–is this a nod to the band that appears in Broom of the System–Spiro Agnew and the Armpits? Somewhere, in the universe of The Pale King, does Lenore Beadsman roam off-page? Daaaang.
Anywho, that’s enough out of me. Read, friends: David Foster Wallace’s Editor on the Book’s Path to Print