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The Pale King

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Road are any other driver s paranoid that a woman in a house dress will step onto the road and you won t see her in time to stop I go through a lot of what ifs I love to trace mental trains and wonder what led to what I love to imagine it could stop somewhere else Chris talks about his shameful past how his dad must have seen him with his fellow wastoid friends The painful self awareness The kind that can stop in time to not do anything about it and come back in time to keep you from accepting yourself enough to feel good Chris s mental trains must go back a lot and without their 70s speed I wish I could say I needed drugs to have those moments like Chris does No weed I felt that niversality again reading it Self conscious is right on DFW knows Two left feet in the mouthMeredith s obsession with not being seen how she wanted to be seen and the talking and talking circles around the truth that old cliche that s true and doesn t get there because she probably talks about it too much her husband was right that she wanted to be flattered I felt I haaaaaaaated Meredith for a good while I liked her a bit when she bothered to see if Shane Drinion was listening like it mattered what he thought I couldn t be judgmental after that at least I didn t wish she d stop talking any longer There was no way she had solved her problem from six years ago when she was a teenager and married her husband the dying guard from the psych ward She was too happy that her beauty could make a man cry and run away What s the cure Could it ever be talk It was fascinating that Drinion didn t have my kind of context when I think I know the type and don t want to listen to the I need to lose weight spiel again when said person is twenty pounds lighter than I am Who else could this chick possibly talk to It would be interesting to not be you exactly when approaching other people s shit It would be a different kind of a sponge to soak Finding A Loving God In The Midst Of Grief up all the influence and shit in the world Or facts I m not good at facts I guess I m like the anti Shane other than feeling just as clueless when faced with people talking I d be looking and then I d have to compare for patterns Probably not ever a cure though I don t have that much faith in the healing powers of talk Scratching an itch maybeTheir ending in the notes made me laugh and feel bad at the same time I don t like having those cynical observations that a chick is with somegly guy to feel charitable about herself I mentally smack myself when I think something like that That s being an asshole Boredom is The Child Of Misfortune universal Tedium is every day Okay I read this ages before I read The Pale King I was expecting it to be different I don t know what I was expecting but I was expecting it to be hard Reading TPK to me felt like if you could sit down some place busy or shut in like an IRS office and mind read Like what if you didn t know what was going to be the important part and you had to process everything Then the point turned out to be that you took in everything without the point The boredom and the tedium wasn t what got to me It was the spacing out and arriving at what feels like it could be important when you weren t really doing anything like walking or tying your shoes and you don t really know if it actually is important I kind of just value thatiet of the thinking without trying like it could be some kind of peace I don t feel truly bored Reynolds Stone unless I feel like I m trapped though Put me somewhere I can t leave and I m going to be bored no matter what What s hard is trying to make it all make sense to someone else Trying to make something of worth out of talk I didn t mind Original review May 10 2011100 Words in Search of a Precis For Those of Us Who Prefer the Short Form of StimulationDFW is calling ons to become Heroes or Pale Kings There is something Proustian at work in The Pale King DFW isn t so much in search of lost time or even perceptions he is in search of a lost ability to perceive or to sense or to make things interesting In a time when there is so much boredom DFW is offering s a way of seeing and engaging with the parts of the world within our gaze perceptively sensuously and appreciatively The Pale King might be the culmination of both his literary and philosophical endeavours ReviewBecause of the length of my review I have placed it here is chapter 11 in case you get lost in the My Writings pageEarlier Fictitious ReviewHere is an earlier fictitious light hearted review I wrote before finishing the novel NotesI made copious notes while I was reading the novelThere are many issues that I have omitted from my final review because the review would have just got too longI have put my reading notes here is an extract from the first section of my reviewSome Perceptions in and about the StructureThe Pale King TPK is not a conventional linear narrativeIt s not really even a narrative or a story in the King TPK is not a conventional linear narrativeIt s not really even a narrative or a story in the that a number of events are described in a way that Aggregates Into Something Meaningful Once into something meaningful once are absorbed by the readerSo DFW did not really se the structure of the novel to play with timeHowever I think there is a sense in which he Alien Me uses the novel to explore and play with our perceptions or at least the way we perceiveThere are 50 chapters some of which are less than a page others anywhere between 50 and 100 pagesIt would be tempting to say that the longer chapters are important because of their lengthHoweverltimately the importance of each chapter derives from its subject matter no matter how long or how shortI don t think it would be correct to speak of the chapters as short storiesThey are definitely part of the one creative enterpriseEach chapter derives meaning from some or all of the other chaptersIndividually they are discrete Collectively they influence each otherThey form a society that creates meaningIndividually the chapters are verbal portraitsCollectively they constitute pictures at an exhibition about 20th and 21st century lifeClick here to read the rest of the review Well wow What an epic wondrous book I felt a breathless clarity exhaustive elation and all over giddiness reading The Pale King a feeling nsurpassed in the overlong Infinite Jest which could lose 300 pages easily the often wilfully opaue stories in Oblivion or the CPU on speed attack of his floating eye essays Might this have been or be the perfect distillation of all Foster Wallace s talents All his strengths are here in full bloom his dizzying insights into the microbial subtleties of human interaction the obsessively compiled data splurge that engulfs the reader in euphoric waves ADD depictions of humdrumness rendered so alive thrilling and affecting as to make the reader shout with delight Plus in this novel Brazil like comic surrealism levitation and business babies light metafictive indulgence insertion of scalier author minus middle name and little vignettes of Beethovenian melancholy the wrenching plight of the sweatiest kid in class The longest chapter Irrelevant Chris s monologue about his wastoid beginnings and his calling to the IRS makes the biggest effort at trepanning the IRS psyche wo attendant mockery or knowingness Second longest the fictional Wallace s entrance into the IRS taking fifty pages for his bus to dock spiced with nexpected footnoted fellatio and flash fire trivia that s almost interesting Lastly rounded female character Meredith Rand and a sane analysis of the problem of prettiness All magnificent Every sentence No boring parts at all Is this hyperbole Perhaps But wow A better Chance Encounter unfinished novel you will not read only the pain of the author s passing will diminish its impact The Pale King is a skyscraping achievement Separating Wallace s backstory from the novel might be impossible but the edited text however incomplete astonishes The Pale King doesn t need a sympathy vote the book soars on its own meritsI should also point out that after two attempts I never finished Infinite Jest A couple years back I recommended IJ to my friend James because he plays tennis and I remembered something in that doorstop about a tennis camp James is still mad So I didn t approach The Pale King slobbering over DFW s fiction By this novel s end I felt like I had experienced a masterwork The Pale King revolves around an Internal Revenue Service center in Peoria Illinois IRS personnel gather and engage in the implementation of the potentially soul killing detail inherent in tax law and policy Others have written of course of paperwork s drudgery but only Wallace in my experience captures the way one s mind navigates eight hours of precise abstract analysis Some characters develop panicked sweat laden self talk and almost turn hallucinatory in their attempts to master tasks or accelerate minutes Getting caught in traffic in a packed airless car for example allows the author an opportunity for a brilliant dizzying inner monologue about how the roads could have been better designed the IRS s policies concerning warning stickers on windshields and whether or not fellow passengers can sense the narrator s anxiety But it s than that Way It s the tight wire tension of a potentially cute girl sitting behind you while you worry that you re going to sweat through your clothes It s nerds sharing office legends It s meticulously cataloging every act in aiet room It s making little promises like I will finish the next two tax returns before I check the time It s very hard to explain but penetrates every American s if not human s existence It s a conversation about the type of people drawn to tax auditing It s a man in a bar listening so intensely to a woman s story that he starts to levitate It s trying to separate important facts when your mind processes trivia It s believing that everyone around you knows and feels comfortable than you Wallace doesn t mythologize as much as he obsessively itemizes office hours with endless sentences that mirror the way a train of thought rapid fires into the next So were I for example to recommend The Pale King to James I would probably say It s about working in a Peoria IRS Center but it s about boredom and hope and despair and but I can t explain it well so you re on your own The Pale King is filled with wonder and a curious and powerful paradox of magical realism crossed with an Catalogue Of A Very Interesting And Valuable Collection Of Chinese Art Objects Imperial Treasures And Curios Of Ancient And Modern Origin uncomfortable claustrophobic reality Wallace seems to have found a frantic and exhausting joy in close observationI read this book over ten days in part because I only had fourteen days with the library copy But now that I ve finished The Pale King I ve needed time to readjust to normal novels you know the kind with plots and main characters and recognizable storylines David Foster Wallace s The Pale King is soniue and spellbinding that it s beyond imitation This book inhabits its own stratosphere Five stars No doubt As most of the people in my corner of a corner of a corner of Goodreads know just as well as they know about my rabid Troubleshooting And Repairing Computer Printers undying affection for David Foster Wallace I tend tose Occam s razor to slash through supernaturalistic irrationality on a pretty regular basis Despite this reflexive skepticism I couldn t help feeling like this book was somehow written for me while reading it Working the graveyard shift at a residential treatment facility for at risk youth the second such facility I d consecutively worked at and popping pharmaceutical grade amphetamines may have also contributed to such feelings Of course I never really lost sight of the breadcrumb trail of rational explanations for why I felt this way but as I moved on through the book it just kept raising p remarkable coincidences one after the other in its numerous references to IL s Cook and Lake County area locales drug abuse and shifting attitudes towards said drug abuse working at a psychiatric facility shifting attitudes towards intellectual pursuits and ongoing transformations within big ol overarching worldviews and various other details During these graveyard shift reading experiences which made p most of my time with this deeply personal Strange Awakening unfinished swan song I took copious notes on two pieces of scrap paper that began solely as a makeshift bookmark Among these notes is a scattered list of numerous places mentioned that are all very close by and a part of the greater Chicago region the place I ve occupied for nearly all of my life Continually seeing the name of the itty bitty suburban town I lived in during high school written inside of this book in reference to a fictional college but still was a bit of a thrill So not only was I able to get the deeper personal Identification with Wallace s words that I ve come to expect and that he s generously supplied me with throughout the years but so much of it was literally mentioning specific places I ve been to andor driven through exploring the nature of the specific drugs I was taking at the time and the ins and outs of the specific kind of job I d been working at for the last year plus and was sitting at while I read It all made me feel even closer to the man whom I ve never met or spoken to and who doesn t even exist any Toickly rehash what most people even peripherally familiar with this book might already know it s Creation Stories In Greek Mythology unfinished and was assembled by Wallace s longtime editor Michael Pietsche who whittled down the 1000 pages stacked neatly on DFW s desk at the time of his suicide down to a about half that size Pietsche has stated that all together counting floppy disks hand written and typwritered bits etc the work is originally like 3000 pages He writes a lovely foreword to the book explaining the great emotional pains and the redeeming pleasures of the editing process and I can t think of anyone better to have takenp the task Much like Infinite Jest the I think about this book the overwhelmingly detailed and lengthy the review brewing in my head becomes Looking at the tiny scrawl of my notes isn t helping to preemptively trim this down neither is thinking about all of the broad associative ways in which to connect the details of this book and my experience with it to Wallace my life and Life generally Here s the attemptIn the time leading Remarkable Engineers up to the publication of The Pale King the word on the street was that this book was about boredom and about the IRS1 Despite the way this sounds big DFW fans were still drooling with anticipation knowing full well that Wallace has a well documente. Ing And he has arrived at a moment when forces within the IRS are plotting to eliminate even what little humanity and dignity the work still has The Pale King remainednfinished at the time of David Foster Wallace's death but it is a deeply compelling and satisfying novel hilarious and fearless and as original as anything Wallace ever ,

As good as all his other stuff No less finished seeming than anything else he ever did No plot but thematic balls are always in the air and bouncing around plus the prose is always so readable often easier mature steadier less trying to impress than his earlier stuff Only had to look Shackled Howl Heart Of The Alpha 3 up two or three vocab words Awarded the fifth star to encourage the writer to one day finish it properly for now this collection of 540 bound pages of DFW s writing whether it s annfinished novel linked collection of stories fragments dialogues whatever you call it like a massive Snickers bar offered to all those famished for Mr Wallace s particular sort of caloric content really satisfied on micro and macro levels Not really an office novel More like a longer Brief Interviews with Hideous Men than a shorter Infinite Jest A seuencing job by the editor seems like controlled pomo chaos instead of old fashioned mess Conflicts and thematic dealios are explicated by the author in the final notes and asides section maturityresponsibility reuires ability to pay attention especially in the face of boredom which is really just an inability to pay sufficient attention and paying attention has a moral dimension Apparently purposefully dull passsages come studded with easter eggs toward the end of a long dull footnote there s a woodpeckerishly intensive round of fellatio fellatio performed by an Iranian women who seems sort of like the Indian woman in Freedom wonder if Franzen cribbed her or if he and DFW colluded to sexualize the long liuid hair of such women or maybe as an inside joke re their attraction to Jhumpa Lahiri Minor magic realism a character just barely levitates when he s immersed paying serious attention to work or listening to someone Also a pair of minor phantoms Four major writers mentioned in the book as major writers a writer might aspire to be like are echoed throughout Gaddis dialogue onslaughts of JR Perec Life A User s Manual attention to detail structure the name Sylvanshine echoes the name Bartlebooth Sherwood Anderson Winesburg Ohio portraits of an ensemble cast in the midwest Balzac ridiculous attention to detail I haven t read enough to have much insight LOLs a plenty often at revelation of a paradox see essay on humor in Kafka the bit about A Little Fable Several dozen pages turned down sometimes top and bottom corners turned in first time I ve done that since GileadA systems novel like most of DeLillo or Kafka focused on individualvery much individuated lives thanks to author s observations inside a major faceless institution Structurally the book would ve been loosely organized to have something to do with a yaw system that is attention responsibility maturity are the rotor that turns the propeller that cuts through the wind of boredom loneliness excessive thought and as Shane Drinion demonstrates enables levitationflight temporary transcendence As noted early on in the book yaw backwards is way which is the English word for tao For a 1200 word version of this impression get the tenth edition of The Lifted Brow How odd I can have all this inside me and to you it s just words David Foster Wallace The Pale King If a novel about IRS examiners in a Midwest Regional Examination Center seems like a bad pitch and definitely a boring novel you will have almost grasped about one half the magic of DFW This is absolutely a novel about boredom tedium loneliness isolation bureaucracy melancholy and depression Did I also mention this book is damn funny and absurd I giggled at parts I cried at parts I cried and giggled at parts There are books I love for their power There are books I love for their art Their are other books I love for th I have been a little fascinated with David Foster Wallace since learning of his suicide on the blogosphere several years back I have already written a little bit about my reading of some of his work and just happened pon The Pale King in the CDG airport on the way to Berlin Perhaps it was just a funny twist of fate because the English book selection at Relais H in France tends to be something between the abysmal military fiction of Tom Clancy and the insipid modern novels pretending to be literature like the DaVinci Code So seeing a book by DFW jumped out at me and I grabbed it immediately in case it was just a mirage It wasn t As opposed to Infinite Jest of which I still haven t been able to get past the first 50 pages yet The Pale King grabbed me immediately I wrote somewhat recently that I was getting a little down thinking of the precipitous drop in reading in general and also about my own problems in having enough concentration to read fiction especially since having kids Well somehow this particular book 540 pages I might add didn t let me goIn a nutshell The Pale King talks about a myriad of characters that are all employed by the IRS in a Regional Examination Center or REC in Peoria IL back in 1985 There is no plot or storyline just a jumble of 1st person and 3rd person narratives and several chapters with only dialog The style varies widely and keeps the reader on hisher toes all the time At one point the book s author jumps in on page 69 in 9 in an AUTHOR s FOREWARD that is doubly or triply ironic He claims that it is a fictionalized autobiography I believed this text ntil I did a little wikipediagoogling and determined in fact that it was purely fiction So the author was pretending to be the author pretending to write about himself Kind of that peeling an onion effect in fact There are "Fascinating Pieces Of This " pieces of this particularly the story that he got the IRS job because he was completing various term papers for cash at Genius Loci university and got caught He says that he was able to nearly perfectly imitate the style of the fellow student in order to cover the cheating I found this particularly fascinating because as you read each chapter about the various characters the voice completely changes and it could almost be written by an entirely different person This all added an extra realism to this Foreward that was nearly creepy The triple irony in my mind stems from the additional fact that despite this realism I felt there are supernatural phenomena in the book ghosts and levitation that are fascinatinglyncomfortable to the readerSome of the writing is incredibly hilarious I laughed out loud in particular in 24 as he describes bureaucratic ineptness in excruciatingly funny detail whether it be the ridiculous traffic problems to get into the employee parking lot of 047 the IRS building the lack of sidewalks the tterly inefficient intake processeach of these reminding me of the infinite times I have thought many of the exact same thoughts sitting in traffic jams driving through strip malls and parking lots and having worked for four different companies of which two ginormous IT ones His view is incredibly sarcastic and yet right on As a writer he dives into a depth of detail that adds to the pseudo realism of the scene but especially heightens the comic effect by being so dead panSome of the writing is excruciatingly painful The description of the child in 36 that destroys his own panSome of the writing is excruciatingly painful The description of the child in 36 that destroys his own in order to kiss every suare inch of his body was particularly hard to read Perhaps I missed it but I am not even sure which of the employees at the IRS this disturbed childhood refers to I even rescanned the chapter while I was writing this paragraph but couldn t find any clues In any case the amount of detail of various contortionists through history and the medical detail on the impact of contortion on the spine and on human physical development made me very easy as I read it It was extremely well written and one of the most original texts in the book The stories of Toni Ware s childhood and in particular the car accident which took her mother s life were excellent as wellSometimes the writing is pure bureaucratic observation of how folks work together and how managers thing I thought that the description of Glendenning in 43 was incredibly perceptive If I may Mr Darcy Falls In Love uote a little of DFW here Mr Glendenning could listen to you because he did not suffer from the insecure belief that listening to you and taking you seriously obligated you to him in any way If only a few of managers that I know and no David Bruno and Adrian I am not speaking of you if you are reading this actuallynderstood this The book has many observations like this but this one in particular stuck out for me as particularly truePerhaps the most enigmatic chapter of The Pale King which captures almost all of the elements above funny painful deep complex in narrative intimate was the Drinion Rand dialog in chapter 46 Here the gorgeous Meredith Rand divulges her personal story to the seemingly implacable Shane Drinion as he starts to levitate off his barstool The dialog is very hard to describe I erased about four sentences before writing this one as it moves between the immediate situation of the two individuals talking the subtext of their conversation and the attention that each one is giving to the other and the perception of that attention It is as if the dialog happens on about three or four planes simultaneously At one point the subject of the conversation is the subject of the conversation and leads to this interesting observation Is liking paying attention the same thing as being interested in somebody Well I would say almost anything you pay close direct attention to becomes interesting Much of this was like a snake eating his tail or perhaps how the contortionist from 36 would have written And even interesting after about 70 pages it ends as suddenly as it began It was a strange exhilarating readI thoroughly enjoyed The Pale King It is clearly one of the best most readable works of DFW and I can only imagine what a mess must have been Teslina Poiljka up in his head to have comep with so much twisted detail and have so many original ideas and yet boil it all down to 540 pages of well researched text I would bet that the posthumously published version of The Pale King is not all that different from what DFW would have edited together had he not committed suicide in 2007 What a loss for American 21c writing the loss of DFW wasIf you want an introduction to DFW before taking the big dive into Infinite Jest this is an excellent place to start I wish I know why he was shortlisted for the Pulitzer in 2012 but no prize was awarded Was it because he was no longer alive to receive it Pity that he did not get noticed in 96 for IJI haven t read Independence Day but IJ is better than Sabbath s Theatre a runner The Kennedys up in 96 and that is saying something because I adored ST by Roth as well and reviewed it here on GR What renders a truth meaningful worthwhile c is its relevance which in turn reuires extraordinary discernment and sensitivity to contextestions of value and overall point otherwise we might as well all just be computers downloading raw data to one anotherIn the interest of full disclosure as a novel this work is not five stars As a collection of chapters stories asides and footnotes it is Articles On Xanth Books Including uite close to being five stars I have no idea how to review this I m than a little surprised at myself for reading it I haven t been able to bring myself to finish the stories in Oblivion because of the finality I seem to feel hovering around finishing any of the DFW works that I had been saving for those long dry periods between his work when he died Pale King I had the feeling would be the work that would forever lingernread on a bookshelf Then I got the rge to read it as soon as it came out in paperback I would read the paperback thus buying the book new twice which i THE MONEY I DID NOT WANT3 years ago I noticed mysterious amounts were appearing in my current account Regularly Every week They came from the tax office and they were tax credits I hadn t applied for any tax credits So I phoned them p They said We can t stop it Jn Trklerin Siyasi Fikirleri 1895 1908 unless we know what account these monies SHOULD be paid into and we won t know thatntil someone complains I said well what are you going to do they said we ll be in touch So last month I got a letter through the post saying oh remember all that dough we paid you by mistake wel When someone says something is Feminist Nightmares universal I don t always feel like itite applies to me or it is some big cliche to describe just what people are sed to The big stuff like young love birth taking a crap death Sure that s all niversal and it happens to everyone maybe not young love Still I don t think it s a word that I hop to and The Dominion Mandate use to describe stuff like we re all gonna nod and be in the know Yeah I get that Now I say but damn if The Pale King didn t feel something like thisniversal to me over and over again like my reading it and getting it made it Restoring Wood universal The I didn t know other people felt this way and I thought I was all alone and feeling too familiar and then pleased at the recognition It can prickle a bit like talking to someone who calls you on your shit and manages to sound generic psychic hotline lady I ve never called one of thosecocky therapist maybe because people are sometimes generic and still be right enough to make you feelncomfortable I appreciated this feeling about The Pale King the most maybe something else will get me later in future musings but for now this is it Something I like to do is try to pay attention to mannerisms of other people especially if they are around family If I catch myself doing something someone else does that pleases me even I m really into this self awareness stuff Bordering the line between too damned painful and looking for patterns in behavior and what is like someone else It got me when a character finds out that other people take lots of breaks when studying here is a youtube clip from the Uk series Spaced of Daisy the writer taking any break she can think of even cleaning to avoid actually working That scene is the best depiction of this I ve ever seen The I didn t know that other people did this Leaving your own personal area of the familiar and then venturing into what s also familiar but surprisingly so because you didn t know you would see it there Chris the wastoid and his father with their controlled anxiety about not getting there on time I ve had those same exact train platform crazy paranoid fantasies right down to how the dad died I didn t know anyone else was that crazy When you are driving on the. The agents at the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria Illinois appear ordinary enough to newly arrived trainee David Foster Wallace But as he immerses himself in a routine so tedious and repetitive that new employees receive boredom survival training he learns of the extraordinary variety of personalities drawn to this strange call. D knack for making the mundane magical While the book is in part about these things it s also about so much Instead of saying that the theme is simply boredom and taxes it does it much service to say that the book is thematically concerned with the importance of a self disciplined The Gene use of one s attention as a means of overcoming not only boredom but the apathy cynicism and nihilism that triangulate to cause the symptoms of boredom and its close causally connected relative depression 1 See message 59 in the comment section for my pre reading placeholder reviewAs I was thinking about writing this review it occurred to me that The Pale King is a kind of response to the previous long thing a term DFWsed at various times to describe all three of his extended works ie novels Infinite Jest details the cultural psychological problems of modern first world life eg pathological distraction through trivial entertainment and advertising inter intra personal disconnection depression addictive thought and behavior et al and in a way The Pale King is an attempt to offer solutions The outline of solutions can be found in the now famous keynote address he gave at the Kenyon College graduation ceremony in 2005 which went on to be published in a somewhat controversial form entitled This is Water The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty nsexy ways every day The persistent thematic concern with thinking carefully and compassionately is spread throughout these nfinished pages Wallace is rarely triumphant in tone but offers his tenative theories with profound earnestness encircling the demons of Jerusalemin Veri unthoughtful selfish self destruction with both an analytic precision and a provisional caution that is his trademark style of inuiry The idea seems to be to simply try and think harder about why people behave the way they do and to never fail to indict ourselves in the process That all sounds very pat and obvious but that s the best way I can seem to relay it at the moment In a big way this book just has to be read to really be felt andnderstood but I ll do my best to set Maimonides Reader up road signs pointing in the general direction of the book s powerful contentWallace s somewhat self depreciatingse of the term long thing to describe his novels is really pretty apt when it comes to The Pale King so than with his first two novels It may be a symptom of the Selena Gomez unfinishedality but this book is much of a collection of vignettes than anything one might call a novel People often say this about Infinite Jest as well but IJ revisits characters and plots throughout its course in a way that this posthumous production does not This fact of the matter is not a problem for me in the least because when I read DFW I m not in need of the suspension of disbelief that people seem to yearn for a lot of the time I make the connections to what I know about his life I imagine his writing process as I read his words and this is immensely satisfying That s not to say that I can t feel for the characters as characters because I very much do but I don t need to know everything about them or for them to have wildly distinct ways of thinking and speaking I don t need traditional story arcs laid out before me I m accustom to fragmentation and so is the culture at large this is a fast cut edited world we live in afterall Chapters in this book aren t even called chapters rather the double S section symbol ie signum sectionis is On The Trail Of Merlin used both as an allusion to tax code and legal documents and I think as a way of nodding to the largely disconnected narrative structure of the book None of this is a problem in the least because the content within the incohesive plotlines is solid DFW gold and there s a deepernusual kind of coherence that ties the vignettes together it s thematic and between the lines than a typical novel 5 is easily the funniest section of the entire book It describes a do gooder child that embodies such over the top polite and nerdy perfection that it simply has to be read to be appreciated I read this section a total of three times before moving on significantly through the rest of the book One time I read it aloud something I d never done with any of DFW s writing before It was illuminating I ve written before about how I really never notice the epic sentence length that he tends to go to because I m sually too wrapped p in the content to notice the lack of periods However the run on nature of his writing hit me hard while reading it outloud Much laughter was had between myself and the listener in between large gulps of air at the rest stops of commas and em dashes The listener had never read DFW but laughed so hard that they fell out of bed I would direct skeptics and naysayers of Wallace to read this section if they re ever willing to give him another chance 8 is one of the most gorgeously written sections of the book The language might be characterized as poetic than DFW Model Student Oddball 1 usually is or issually characterized as being A trailer park scene as viewed by a say Updikean prose stylist The main characters from this scene are not mentioned again Les Gardiennes De Brocliande Le Chant Dexcalibur 6 until a taut dramatic bit towards the tail end of the book 15 was what prompted my pen to make initial contact with the aforeillustrated scrap sheet of Adderall scrawl above This section begins to clearly define what s happening within the head of IRS agent Claude Sylvanshine the first character we meet the thoughts of in 1 A syndrome called Random Fact Intuition is described and eventually attributed to Sylvanshine The syndrome consists of the suffer those possessed with RFI almostniversally refer to it as an affliction or disability being filled with random facts at random times about any number of random things This is one of the most potent passages in the book In three pages Wallace manages to distill the entire now fairly commonly nderstood2 idea of the information overload in the Internet Age down to its essence and to emit a personal SOS distress signal DFW once said something half jokingly about his trademark headgear being worn to keep his head from exploding 2 I should mention that in the time it took me to find a magazine image about information overload I was distracted multiple times by various things on the internet for probably a good 20 minutes before finally focusing and finding something Meta info overloadThe section ends with this paragraph Tastes a Hostess cupcake Knows where it was made knows who ran the machine that sprayed a light coating of chocolate frosting on top knows that persons weight shoe size bowling average American Legion career batting average he knows the dimensions of the room that person is in right now Overwhelming p 121 19 is a brilliant extended meditation on extremely important and relevant than ever topics about mostly American socio economic cultural issues as told through a conversation held in an elevator between a few mostly nameless presumably well educated characters that work in various capacities for the Internal Revenue Service Fantastic insights and penetrating estions fill these pages from stem to stern while hugely complex ideas are made clear and direct without sacrificing nuance and doubt It s also the first time I ve seen the concept of corporate personhood pop p in a novel and brought p with an interesting twist for the record nothing in this book is said to extend beyond the mid 1980s Corporations aren t citizens or neighbors or parents They can t vote or serve in combat They don t learn the Pledge of Allegiance They don t have souls They re revenue machines I don t have any problem with that I think it s absurd to lay moral or civic obligations on them Their only obligations are strategic and while they can get very complex at root they re not civic entities With corporations I have no problem with government enforcement of statutes and regulatory policy serving a conscience function What my problem is is the way it seems that we as individual citizens have adopted a corporate attitude That our Lumberjanes Lumberjanes 01 ultimate obligation is to ourselves p 137As the conversation proceeds about how individuals and communities and public and private institutions all interact corporate power and personal responsibility et al one character is led to breathlessly rattle off a stunning page long p 143 block of text about the inevitability of death a topic Wallace s writing fiction and non seemed to have largely avoided previously for whatever reasons It s achingly beautiful in the way such things often are At the end of this solilouy of sorts the tone turns on a dime fromnspeakably sad and impassioned to this This is supposed to be news to s News flash We re going to die Why do you think people buy health insurance Let him finish Now this is depressing instead of just boring This is the most directly intellectually stimulating section of the book and keeps the ledger balanced with neither humor or seriousness toppling the scales while hearty servings of both are piled highClocking in at 98 pages 22 is the longest section in the book and comes to mind first as the most rewarding It s also the most autobiographical from what I can tell I just wrote and then erased I don t even know what to say about it which is not true I have many things to say about it I just wrote the following words down to try and make a sort of outline Drugs Attention Dad Growing Up Actually I m going to leave it at that because I could go on and on and on about this section and this review s length is already probably testing some readers endurance and the maximum character count for GR reviews I ll just say that this section is amazingly fun and sad and wise and is the one with the most references to my neck of the woods and has a great bit about being stoned and watching As The World Turns and about taking prescription amphetamines being the birth of meta awareness and about what it means to grow p and about the highs and lows of the parentchild relationship and about shifting one s way in the world from apathetic nihilism to carefully attentive compassionPerhaps the most perplexing swaths of the book are two boldly metafictional sections where Wallace addresses the reader as himself It seemed out of place to me not just because a Foreword is Senex And Puer James Hillman Uniform Edition 3 usually at the beginning of a book but because since the publication of the magisterial attacktribute to metafiction that rounds out Girl With Curious Hair Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way Wallace hasn t really been so overtly metafictional in print I feel like there must be to it than I realize but I can tite seem to figure out what that is The obvious intuitions would be that it s peturbing the sense that the novel exists seperately from the author all that Death of the *Author Theoretical Lit Crit Stuff *theoretical lit crit stuff or even making fun of that kind of stuff Elucidations Of Hlderlins Poetry ultra metafictionally But all this seems far too facile for a man who so thoroughly trounced the pretensions of generationally regurgitated styles and artistic programmes of experimentalavante gardemetafictional techniues as far back as 1989 in Westward or with mind blowing precision and cogency in this well known interview in 1993 It s puzzling because he often criticized this kind of thing The first interruption which begins with the words Author here is 9 entitled Author s Foreword which goes on to claim that The Pale King is in point of fact like a memoir than any kind of madep story and involves a whole thing about the legal disclaimer placed in kind of made Thorns Bondmate Zarronian Warriors 2 up story and involves a whole thing about the legal disclaimer placed in copywrite et al section of nearly all novels about The characters and events in this book are fictitious A few pages later the point is made blunty again that The Pale King is basically a non fiction memoir with additional elements of reconstructive journalism organizational psychology elementary civics and tax theory c Well whatever it really is it s emotionally jarring and deeper than the Nile There s an interesting bit in this section which leads into a whole series of musings about writing memoirs for money about Wallace selling term papers while in college and getting caught and then kicked out which weirdly enough for this section is totally madep at least the kicked out part The same goes for his claim to have worked at the IRS during a least the kicked out part The same goes for his claim to have worked at the IRS during a of taking time off from school The estions about what s memoirish and what isn t all get very confusing and maybe probably that s the point he was aiming for but despite all of that within this bizarre framework remain top notch musings and fascinating storytelling 46 is a lengthy conversation between two IRS workers at a bar which eerily alludes to a character s superhuman ability to focus attention which is obliuely mentioned elsewhere as something that powers that be might be interested in getting their hands on reminiscent of a certain sought after video cartridge in another book and involves a really moving and disturbing account of mental health treatment and marital disarray 48 is so bizarre and frightening it s like David Lynch s darkest strangest moments all packed into a single scene Stunning stuffThere s a section in which each sentence is or less So and so turn another page Such and such coughed Ad nauseum But nestled within this exercise of banal description is a gem of a phrase Every love story is a ghost story This act of watching boredom transform into beauty is a powerful small scale version of one of the big thematic ideas in The Pale King that finding things of lasting beauty and meaning isn t always easy That it takes effort That s ometimes what s important is dull as an agent declares during the civics conversationThis is a weird and beautiful book and its weirdness and beauty are strung together with a dazzlingly complex intelligence at play all encouraging the reader to exert real attentional effort and thoughtful engagement while still passively getting spoon fed doses of pure entertainment There are big important ideas anchoring this thing and the details are so rich and amusing and transcendently pleasurable to grapple with that it s the kind of book that can be re read and re re read with exponential gains The sadness that permeates and surrounds the book has an obvious source its lasting and redemptive value is a true gift Every love story is a ghost stor. Ndertook It grapples directly with ltimate Not To People Like Us uestionsestions of life's meaning and of the value of work and society through characters imagined with the interior force and generosity that were Wallace's niue gifts Along the way it suggests a new idea of heroism and commands infinite respect for one of the most daring writers of our tim. .


10 thoughts on “The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online

  1. says: The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online David Foster Wallace Ä 8 Characters

    The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online As most of the people in my corner of a corner of a corner of Goodreads know—just as well as they know about my rabid undying affection for David Foster Wallace—I tend to use Occam's razor to slash through supernaturalistic irrationality on a pretty regular basis Despite this reflexive skepticism I couldn't help feeling like this book was somehow written for me while reading it Working the graveyard shift at a residential tr

  2. says: Summary The Pale King David Foster Wallace Ä 8 Characters The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online

    Summary The Pale King The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online Download ¹ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF Ä David Foster Wallace THE MONEY I DID NOT WANT3 years ago I noticed mysterious amounts were appearing in my current account Regularly Every week They came from the tax office and they were tax credits I hadn't applied for any tax credits So I pho

  3. says: The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online David Foster Wallace Ä 8 Characters

    The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online The Pale King is a skyscraping achievement Separating Wallace's backstory from the novel might be impossible but the edited text however incomplete astonishes The Pale King doesn't need a sympathy vote; the book soars on its own meritsI should also point out that after two attempts I never finished Infinite Jest A couple years bac

  4. says: The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online

    The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online Download ¹ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF Ä David Foster Wallace What renders a truth meaningful worthwhile c is its relevance which in turn reuires extraordinary discernment and sensitivity to context uestions of value and overall point otherwise we might as well all just be computers downloading raw data to one anotherIn the interest of full disclosure as a 'novel' this wor

  5. says: The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online

    Download ¹ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF Ä David Foster Wallace The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online David Foster Wallace Ä 8 Characters Well wow What an epic wondrous book I felt a breathless clarity exhaustive elation and all over giddiness reading The Pale King—a feeling unsurpassed in the overlong Infinite Jest which could lose 300 pages easily the often wilfully opaue stories in Oblivion or the CPU on speed attack of his “floating eye” essays Might this have been or be the perfect distillation of all Foster Wallace’s talents? All his streng

  6. says: The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online Summary The Pale King

    Summary The Pale King David Foster Wallace Ä 8 Characters The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online I have been a little fascinated with David Foster Wallace since learning of his suicide on the blogosphere several years back I have already wri

  7. says: The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online

    The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online Original review May 10 2011100 Words in Search of a Precis For Those of Us Who Prefer the Short Form of StimulationDFW is calling on us to become Heroes or Pale Kings There is something Proustian at work in “The Pale King” DFW isn’t so much in search of lost time or even perceptions; he is in search of a lost abili

  8. says: The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online David Foster Wallace Ä 8 Characters

    Summary The Pale King Download ¹ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF Ä David Foster Wallace David Foster Wallace Ä 8 Characters “How odd I can have all this inside me and to you it’s just words” ― David Foster Wallace The Pale King If a novel about IRS examiners in a Midwest Regional Examination Center seems like a bad pitch and definitely

  9. says: Summary The Pale King David Foster Wallace Ä 8 Characters The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online

    The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online When someone says something is universal I don't always feel like it uite applies to me or it is some big cliche to describe just what people are used to The big stuff like young love birth taking a crap death Sure that's

  10. says: David Foster Wallace Ä 8 Characters Download ¹ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF Ä David Foster Wallace The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online

    Summary The Pale King The Pale King {kindle} BY David Foster Wallace – Epub, Kindle ePUB and eBook Online Download ¹ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF Ä David Foster Wallace As good as all his other stuff No less finished seeming than anything else he ever did No plot but thematic balls are always in the air and bouncing around plus the prose is always so readable often easier mature steadier less trying to impress than his earlier stuff? Only had to look up two or three vocab words Awarded the fifth star to encourage the writer to one day finish it properly for now this collection of 540 bound pages of DFW's w

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