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Tired of watching his ailing grandfather wither away from Alzheimer's, 19 year old Langley Jackson moves from his middle class home and subsequently.
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The attraction of these writers came largely from their visionary fiction. Wallace was unique in that the same could be said about much of his nonfiction, equally vaunted by his acolytes. But his marketability is not open to debate. This literary grave robbery happens to just about every once-prominent author.

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This is especially true of Both Flesh and Not. Now, when I say this collection is by far the most egregious example yet of praising the statue of which Wallace was so wary, I do so with a bit of shame, as I had, years ago, searched out and read nearly every essay Flesh contains, which is to say that I was busy praising way before Flesh was even printed. Admittedly, some are gems. Superficially, it seems insensitive, contrarian, but it is a poignant depiction of Wallace after Infinite Jest , as he became more the moralist.

But those gems are dramatically offset by the shamelessly recycled tidbits that litter the book. Ostensibly it is a very short review of a book of poetry. Thematic overlap seems to be the rule in Flesh , with two pieces on tennis, two on the practice of writing, and two on poetry.

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The overlap is not limited to this collection, either. Several longer pieces in Flesh read like kernels, or inferior repeats, of essays Wallace had collected while he was alive. And those are the mild transgressions.

The Flesh Statue by U.L. Harper

Supposedly Fun Thing is a nonfiction companion to Infinite Jest , obsessed with mediated culture, the loss and aesthetization of moral principles, mathematical relationships to landscape, and the dynamics of human institutions. And Both Flesh and Not? Its only discernable unifying agent is that everything in it was written by David Foster Wallace.

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It begins with his Midwestern childhood, in Illinois, moving to his time at Amherst, where he had his first major bout with depression, to his chemically-troubled days in Syracuse and Boston, to calmer periods of his life when he taught at Illinois State University and at Pomona College, in California, where he died. Max is adept at sketching the mental tide that moved Wallace from the zany, self-indulgent The Broom of the System to the apocalyptically self-conscious Girl with Curious Hair to the subtly moral Infinite Jest , the tide abating at The Pale King.

Insights abound. And here is Max articulating the conviction that lay behind the incomplete, fractal structure of Infinite Jest :.

The Flesh-Statue In The Arch

It gets worse. Wallace had something to say about this sort of ad hominem bushwa. Max even quotes Wallace on the subject, but then moves on, briskly. So it seems fair to say that Max should be aware of this biographic flaw. One thing Ghost Story does very well is demonstrate how prone Wallace was to gags, dishonesty, involution, and hyperbole.

Plus, Wallace never published a word about the major depression that afflicted him. This problem, of relating the writer to his writing, will be the problem that haunts future biographies of Wallace—which, doubt not, there will be more. At times, Ghost Story makes exactly this mistake, confusing the statue of Wallace for Wallace himself. The former is after all much easier to describe. And it is this icon—this statue—that Max describes when he resorts to apotheosis and caricature. Wallace clearly regarded fame as not only vapid but insatiable, malignant.

Lyle replies:. Fame is cultivated by both those who desire and provide it, and the anxiety it generates is felt on both ends. A statue is not an idol without worshippers. You might have noticed the absence of paywalls at Boston Review.

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As we stare at the figures frozen in states of vulnerability, be it babyhood, old age or quiet contemplation, we glimpse our own vulnerabilities reflected back. New Festival Gallery GIAF has a long history of transforming spaces and this year has designed and built a temporary new gallery space in the heart of Galway city, on William Street.

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This exhibition by Sam Jinks is the centrepiece of the visual arts programme and will be housed in the new Festival Gallery. The Festival Gallery is located on William Street. Recorded Talks. Past Event.