The Legacy of David Foster Wallace

The Legacy of David Foster Wallace

By Samuel Cohen (Editor); Lee Konstantinou (Editor)

University of Iowa Press, Paperback, 9781609380823, 270pp.

Publication Date: April 15, 2012


Considered by many to be the greatest writer of his generation, David Foster Wallace was at the height of his creative powers when he committed suicide in 2008. In a sweeping portrait of Wallace's writing and thought and as a measure of his importance in literary history, "The Legacy of David Foster Wallace "gathers cutting-edge, field-defining scholarship by critics alongside remembrances by many of his writer friends, who include some of the world's most influential authors.In this elegant volume, literary critics scrutinize the existing Wallace scholarship and at the same time pioneer new ways of understanding Wallace's fiction and journalism. In critical essays exploring a variety of topics including Wallace's relationship to American literary history, his place in literary journalism, his complicated relationship to his postmodernist predecessors, the formal difficulties of his 1996 magnum opus "Infinite Jest," his environmental imagination, and the social life of his fiction and nonfiction contributors plumb sources as diverse as reader recommendations, professional book reviews, the 2009 "Infinite Summer" project, and the David Foster Wallace archive at the University of Texas's Harry Ransom Center.The creative writers including Don DeLillo, Jonathan Franzen, George Saunders, Rick Moody, Dave Eggers, and David Lipsky, and Wallace's Little, Brown editor, Michael Pietsch reflect on the person behind the volumes of fiction and nonfiction created during the author's too-short life.All of the essays, critical and creative alike, are written in an accessible style that does not presume any background in Wallace criticism. Whether the reader is an expert in all things David Foster Wallace, a casual fan of his fiction and nonfiction, or completely new to Wallace, "The Legacy of David Foster Wallace" will reveal the power and innovation that defined his contribution to literary life and to self-understanding. This illuminating volume is destined to shape our understanding of Wallace, his writing, and his place in history.

About the Author
SAMUEL COHEN (Ph.D., City University of New York) teaches writing and literature at Baruch College, CUNY. He has published in such journals as The Journal of Basic Writing, Dialogue: A Journal for Writing Specialists, and Twentieth Century Literature.

Lee Konstantinou fled the corporate world to join a doctoral program in the English department at Stanford University. Born in New York City, he now lives in San Francisco.