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Unfinished at time of Wallace's death - how will it be published?

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Showing 1-12 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 12, 2011, 10:32:38 AM PST
Melincourt says:
Has this been 'tidied up' - i.e. completed based on Wallace's notes - or will the book be made up of whatever chapters/pages were recovered, and ordered as the editor chooses?

I don't wish to imply one option is better than the other, but I would like to know what I'm buying.

Posted on Feb 15, 2011, 8:45:42 PM PST
D. Allmer says:
I'm not sure, I read about this a few months back, but there was no answer. Amazon says that the book is over 500 pages but that still does not supply an answer.

I would not mind if it ended where DFW left off, either way I will be purchasing the book.

Posted on Feb 15, 2011, 8:51:14 PM PST
D. Allmer says:
I went to the publisher's website and it states that it is indeed "an unfinished book."

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2011, 10:22:59 PM PST
Mark Dilullo says:
Was wondering this myself. Apparently he left copious notes and ideas for direction so i wondered if this was going to be one of these things someone else finishes with interpretations based on the author's supposed wishes or if we just get a story ending abruptly.

But I had read he only finished a third of it. So at 500 plus pages are we to understand this was going to be a 1500 page opus? With DFW that is certainly possible but I'm sure there would have been editing to get it down to a more Infinite Jest like thousand.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2011, 10:41:13 PM PST
D. Allmer says:
I wonder how many footnotes, if any, would be included in such a feat.

Posted on Feb 19, 2011, 3:53:38 PM PST
J.M. Fuentes says:
Foster Wallace´s prose style makes it impossible for the book to be finished as what is most important is not the plot, which presumable is what any notes would be about. It should be published in the order and with the contents he left it for his wife to find the day of his death.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2011, 9:34:04 PM PDT
D. Allmer says:
I find it clever the fact that the book will be released on tax day.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2011, 1:31:38 PM PDT
Well, it would be, except that this year tax day falls on April 18 due to a DC holiday. No one would get it if they made the release date April 18 though.

Posted on Apr 14, 2011, 2:04:02 PM PDT
D. Robinson says:
Well Infinite Jest was "unfinished" as well (didn't have an ending), but was pretty enjoyable to read nonetheless.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2011, 2:17:15 PM PDT
J.M. Fuentes says:
It would be unrealistic to expect an "ending" for such a novel, much like IJ had no ending. Endings for novels are artifacts demanded by editors to comply with simplistic expectations of readers who are used to seeing novels as entertainment in the tv/hollywood vein, a tradition that DFW particularly would not feel compelled to comply with.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2011, 9:56:41 AM PDT
M. Leduc says:
It is not simplistic for a reader to expect (or hope for) some sort of an ending or a denouement. Life itself has an ending, does it not?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2011, 10:21:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2011, 10:23:10 AM PDT
J.M. Fuentes says:
Your analogy with death would lead me inevitably to argue that the novel does have an ending no matter what happens to the plot, since it eventually runs out of pages. That said, what i meant originally is that sprawling "world" novels like IJ do not benefit from neat wrap ups at the end of the book.
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Discussion in:  The Pale King forum
Participants:  7
Total posts:  12
Initial post:  Feb 12, 2011
Latest post:  Apr 23, 2011

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The Pale King
The Pale King by David Foster Wallace (Hardcover - April 15, 2011)
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