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The Legacy of David Foster Wallace (New American Canon) Paperback – April 15, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The broad range of essays in this book certainly expands our understanding of David Foster Wallace's unique contribution to American fiction." - Foreword Reviews

The Legacy of David Foster Wallace is a necessary book—it will find a place in virtually every university and college library across the land. Surely it will be among the first critical works consulted by any scholar or student venturing into the work of Wallace and will interest the more ordinary, if unusually ambitious, reader as well.”—Mark McGurl, author, The Program Era


“This is a collection whose character is faithful to the spirit of Wallace's work: considerate, intelligent, funny, even self-deprecating—an excellent addition to both the fan’s and the critic’s library.”—Lydia Millet, Pulitzer Prize finalist for Love in Infant Monkeys

About the Author

Samuel Cohen is an associate professor and the director of graduate studies in the University of Missouri’s Department of English. He is author of the Choice Outstanding Academic selection After the End of History: American Fiction in the 1990s (Iowa, 2009) and author of two textbooks, 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology and Literature: The Human Experience (with Richard Abcarian and Marvin Klotz). He is currently at work on a book project, What Comes Next: Recent American Fiction and the Question of Canon Formation. Lee Konstantinou is an ACLS New Faculty Fellow in the English Department at Princeton University. He has published a novel, Pop Apocalypse: A Possible Satire, and he is completing a literary history of irony after World War II. His writing has appeared in the Believer, boundary 2, io9, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: New American Canon
  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Iowa Press; 1 edition (April 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609380827
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609380823
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #647,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The target for this book is primarily scholars, but it also offers much to those like me who simply love Wallace's work. As sometimes happens with scholarly analyses, the prose in some of the essays is turgid, with some jargon. But one can work through that and find great insights and ideas. Highly recommended!
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Anyone interested in David Foster Wallace's work should read Samuel Coen's thoughtful look at Wallace's life.The picture presented here is critical in the best sense, compassionate, informative, heartbreaking. Cohen gives one a fuller picture of Wallace that many of us, devoted followers of his work, may or may not have had. We see his long struggle with mental illness, his early years, his college years, his development as a writer, his friendships, his dedication to his students, his generosity of spirit, and his work, always the work, the work. . . With Wallace there is so much more one would like to know, the absurd desire to speak to him that accompanies out sense of loss. And so this consideration of his legacy is a treasure to be placed beside The Pale King, our last amazing gift from the writer himself.
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not all of the essays were good. there were a couple whose insights were nowhere near worth the trouble of wading through the academic language the authors use. but most of the essays have interesting things to say, and the eulogies that divide up the book are beautiful. the one by george saunders is especially good. if you're a wallace-head, this will be an enjoyable book.
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Format: Paperback
This book is simply unfortunate; DFW deserves better scholars. Virtually all of the articles read like particularly tedious grad student term papers ... the essay on DFW and Nietzsche's concept of oblivion was soul-crushingly terrible, so clearly a case of overreaching; similarly for the "literary" analysis of DFW's journalism. The DFW-isms in the editorial introduction are just headache-inducing, and my general feeling while reading the book was "how did a bunch of DFW fanboy grad students in their late 20s manage to actually get this book published?", before I remembered that publication requirements for tenure have led to thousands upon thousands of terrible books that no one really reads. At least the included Delillo and Saunders eulogies (from DFW memorial services) were good, I guess.
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Format: Paperback
The collection offers insight into the man and his most important work. Consider it essential reading for all true Wallace fans.
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