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References in periodicals archive ?
Start with his essay collections A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again and Consider the Lobster. He was a brilliant thinker across many disciplines--such as philosophy, math, movies, and tennis--who laid out his ruminations on the page for all to see.
"Consider the Lobster" and "And Other Essays" remain on view until Dec.
In between the bookend essays, Wallace dissects the reasons why sports stars' absolute calm under pressure paradoxically makes them unable to satisfy fans' desire to know what's going on inside them ("How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart"); asks whether or not lobsters feel pain and whether that ought to affect individuals' decisions to eat them ("Consider the Lobster"); sounds the depths of Kafka's humor for a tragic joyful sanity on spiritual par with Rilke, Kierkegaard, and the Psalms ("Some Remarks on Kafka's Funniness ...").
One frequent topic of Wallace's throughout his career has been the Midwest, both in essays--"Getting Away from Pretty Much Already Being Away from It All" and "Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley"--as well as such stories as "The Suffering Channel" and "Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way." In Consider the Lobster's "The View from Mrs.
Consider the Lobster's penultimate essay, "Joseph Frank's Dostoevsky," is a review of the fourth of five volumes of Joseph Frank's much acclaimed literary biography of the Russian novelist.
For example, in "Consider the Lobster," a 2004 essay about the Maine Lobster Festival, Wallace contemplates the festivities from the lobsters' point of view, questioning the received wisdom that they cannot feel anything and wondering whether the lobsters' apparently desperate attempts to avoid being submerged alive in boiling water should not raise uncomfortable questions about the implicit power structures coded into traditional ideas of human authority: "is it not possible," he asks, "that future generations will regard our own present agribusiness and eating practices in much the same way we now view Nero's entertainments or Aztec sacrifices?" (64).
In addition, he has written a number of long nonfiction articles for Harper's and other magazines, some of which were collected in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again (1997) and Consider the Lobster (2005).
as "Certainly the End of Something or Other, One Would Sort of Have to Think." Consider the Lobster 51-59.
So if you haven't experienced David Foster Wallace, try A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and Consider the Lobster. Perhaps give Infinite Jest a try.