Wyatt Mason Essay06-26-2010
Wyatt Mason, Senior Fellow at the Arendt Center, has a fantastic new essay on David Foster Wallace in this week's New York Review of Books.
Wallace, pace Mason, struggles to break through the, in Wallace's words, "five hundred thousand discrete bits of information" by which we are all daily barraged. All this information makes it incredibly difficult to reach readers, to make them think. "Wallace was an avant-garde writer. He believed that one of fiction’s main jobs was to challenge readers, and to find new ways of doing so." Mason details the formal rigor in Wallace's writing, all in the service of probing "at the most injured parts of being."
By the way, the article just before Wyatt's is Ian Buruma's excellent review of Christopher Hitchens' new memoir. So the first two essays in the NY Review are by friends of Bard and the Arendt Center.