This Week in the Mercury

Out of Tumblr and Onto the Wall

Visual Art

Out of Tumblr and Onto the Wall

Intisar Abioto's Signature Portraits Get Their Due at Duplex Gallery


Ride Along

Food and Drink

Ride Along

La Tapatia Market Serves Mexican Soup Realness in Gresham



Monday, February 20, 2012

Remembering David Foster Wallace, Journalist

Posted by Cienna Madrid on Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 4:14 PM

In honor of President's Day and all the work you're currently not doing, I recommend that you read this rather luxurious essay that examines David Foster Wallace's successful career as a journalist—arguably in the vein of Hunter S. Thompson—as opposed to just a universally revered fiction writer.

Via Salon.com:


In his nonfiction, Wallace most closely resembled another writer before him, a man who was also considered something other than a journalist: Hunter S. Thompson. Both writers took reportage a step further than the literary techniques of Gay Talese, Joan Didion and the New Journalism. Yes, both Thompson and Wallace shirked objectivity, happily injecting their own commentary and asides into factual reportage, but today scores of journalists reject objectivity (Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, Esquire’s Tom Junod or, to a lesser extent, Jon Krakauer, who certainly makes his own views clear by the end of “Where Men Win Glory”).
What Thompson did differently that Wallace emulated (consciously or not) is more about a slippery definition of honesty and truth. An essay Wallace wrote about attending the Adult Video News (AVN) Awards opened the collection “Consider the Lobster.” It’s a rollicking tour in which the author plays representative for the reader’s disgust and fascination (when a girl meets Wallace and brags about small valves in her new breast implants that allow her to adjust the size of the breasts by adding or draining fluid, she raises her arms to show him and Wallace can only write, “There really are what appear to be valves”).

It's a fascinating read that prompted me to remember some of my favorite DFW essays, and just in time: tomorrow would've been Wallace's 50th birthday.

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Comments are closed.

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy