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Both Flesh and Not: Essays
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Little, Brown and Company 2012
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Description
Brilliant, dazzling, never-before-collected nonfiction writings by "one of America's most daring and talented writers" (Los Angeles Times Book Review): Both Flesh and Not gathers fifteen of Wallace's seminal essays, all published in book form for the first time.
Never has Wallace's seemingly endless curiosity been more evident than in this compilation of work spanning nearly 20 years of writing. Here, Wallace turns his critical eye with equal enthusiasm toward Roger Federer and Jorge Luis Borges; Terminator 2 and The Best of the Prose Poem; the nature of being a fiction writer and the quandary of defining the essay; the best underappreciated novels and the English language's most irksome misused words; and much more.
Both Flesh and Not restores Wallace's essays as originally written, and it includes a selection from his personal vocabulary list, an assembly of unusual words and definitions.
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Street Date:
11/06/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316214698, 9780316214704
ASIN:
B0078XGSJY
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

David Foster Wallace. (2012). Both Flesh and Not: Essays. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

David Foster Wallace. 2012. Both Flesh and Not: Essays. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

David Foster Wallace, Both Flesh and Not: Essays. Little, Brown and Company, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

David Foster Wallace. Both Flesh and Not: Essays. Little, Brown and Company, 2012.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 03, 2017 06:40:26
Date Updated:
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      • bioText: David Foster Wallace was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1962 and raised in Illinois, where he was a regionally ranked junior tennis player. He received bachelor of arts degrees in philosophy and English from Amherst College and wrote what would become his first novel, The Broom of the System, as his senior English thesis. He received a masters of fine arts from University of Arizona in 1987 and briefly pursued graduate work in philosophy at Harvard University. His second novel, Infinite Jest, was published in 1996. Wallace taught creative writing at Emerson College, Illinois State University, and Pomona College, and published the story collections Girl with Curious Hair, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Oblivion, the essay collections A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and Consider the Lobster. He was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and a Whiting Writers' Award, and was appointed to the Usage Panel for The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. He died in 2008. His last novel, The Pale King, was published in 2011.
      • name: David Foster Wallace
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2012-11-06T00:00:00-05:00
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title
Both Flesh and Not
fullDescription
Brilliant, dazzling, never-before-collected nonfiction writings by "one of America's most daring and talented writers" (Los Angeles Times Book Review): Both Flesh and Not gathers fifteen of Wallace's seminal essays, all published in book form for the first time.
Never has Wallace's seemingly endless curiosity been more evident than in this compilation of work spanning nearly 20 years of writing. Here, Wallace turns his critical eye with equal enthusiasm toward Roger Federer and Jorge Luis Borges; Terminator 2 and The Best of the Prose Poem; the nature of being a fiction writer and the quandary of defining the essay; the best underappreciated novels and the English language's most irksome misused words; and much more.
Both Flesh and Not restores Wallace's essays as originally written, and it includes a selection from his personal vocabulary list, an assembly of unusual words and definitions.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        August 13, 2012
        Now that Wallace’s unfinished novel The Pale King has been published posthumously, the inevitable trawl of his uncollected writings may begin in earnest and, as is the case here, it will inevitably yield both dingers and duds. His writings on subjects ranging from the U.S. Open to Zbigniew Herbert, the AIDS virus to Terminator 2, display, yet again, Wallace’s genuine and infectious love for obsessive human endeavors as disparate as pro tennis, analytic philosophy, and pure math. However, for all the gems, a few essays are simply too slight to merit inclusion, while others such as “Fictional Futures and the Conspicuously Young” have the sort of precociously earnest tone that makes one wonder how happy Wallace would have been about their inclusion. Despite this, the opening essay “Federer Both Flesh And Not” by itself is worth the price of admission. If to that one adds “The Nature of the Fun” (his essay on writing fiction) and “Deciderization 2007—A Special Report” (his introduction to The Best American Essays 2007), the collection already beats most competitors hands down. There is a rare pleasure in reading Wallace at his best. As he writes of Roger Federer: “Genius is not replicable. Inspiration, though, is contagious and multiform.”

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        February 25, 2013
        Wallace’s previously unpublished essays are collected in this latest release following his death in 2008. The essays here are gathered from over two decades of the author’s writing and cover a variety of topics, including an excerpt from Wallace’s personal vocabulary list. Narrating Wallace presents a unique problem: how to handle the many footnotes that are so important in his writing? In this audio edition, dual narrators accomplish this task. Robert Petkoff—who also narrated The Pale King and The Broom of the System—reads the bulk of Wallace’s essays, while Katherine Kellgren voices the personal dictionary entries and footnotes. This creates a perfect balance, especially when Kellgren’s reading underscores the wry footnotes. Both readers give strong performances alone, but together they manage to accurately recreate for listeners the dry, smart rhythm of the author’s prose. A Little, Brown hardcover.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 15, 2012
        Previously uncollected essays and reportage by the late author, reflecting his varied interests, from tennis to Borges to higher math. This collection is arranged not in terms of chronology but notoriety: It's front-loaded with three pieces that Wallace fans have long wished to see in book form. "Federer Both Flesh and Not" is a bracing critical study of tennis star Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2006; though Wallace spent face time with the star, quotes are tucked into the author's trademark footnotes, and he writes mainly as a spectator admiring the power of the human body to perform at extraordinary levels. "Fictional Futures and the Conspicuously Young" is a potent 1988 essay on the roots of what he felt was largely threadbare minimalist fiction. "The Empty Plenum," an encomium to David Markson's 1988 novel Wittgenstein's Mistress, explores the philosophical machinery behind the book and serves as a careful defense of avant-garde fiction. The remainder of the collection is weaker, composed of book reviews and brief essays on politics, sex and the writing life that feel less impassioned than commissioned. A report on the 1995 U.S. Open is a shallower version of Wallace's infamous cruise-ship article, and a 2001 essay on prose poems fractures the traditional essay form into bullet points to little effect. The best overlooked work here is a set of usage notes contributed to the Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus: Wallace has a blast riffing on the fine points of "pulchritude," "unique," "hairy" and other words. To stress his status as a lifelong word maven, the pages between pieces are filled with words and definitions from Wallace's personal vocabulary list, from "croker sack" to "pyknic." Not altogether Wallace's finest work, but it brings some welcome exposure to some of his best pieces.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 1, 2012

        So the Pulitzer people didn't think he deserved a prize. The late Wallace is still the great, original, uncompromised voice of the last few decades of American literature. This collection of 15 essays never available in book format includes early work not easily accessed, along with classics like "Federer Both Flesh and Not." Wallace isn't just a key fiction writer; the collections Consider the Lobster and A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again jointly count over 300,000 copies in print.

        Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        October 1, 2012
        This posthumous volume, appearing in the wake of D. T. Max's much-discussed biography of Wallace, Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story (2012), gathers 15 previously uncollected essays. Six are book reviews, 3 discuss the contemporary state or art of writing, 2 address tennis, and 1 is about Terminator 2. The remainder cover a range of Wallace's wide-eyed, isn't it weird we take things like ad space at the U.S. Open for granted subjects and scarily astute criticism. Published originally between 1988 and 2007, these essays demonstrate Wallace's interdisciplinary approach to both pop culture and abstruse academic discourse. For instance, his formal training in symbolic logic informs his opinion of two, in-his-opinion awful, math novels, Philibert Schogt's The Wild Numbers (2000) and Apostolos Doxiadis' Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture (2000), while his familiarity with the actual life and cranium-crunching philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein lends perspective to his appreciation of David Markson's Wittgenstein's Mistress (1988). For Wallace devotees, these essays are required reading. For everyone else, they're sometimes tough to get into but entirely worth the exertion.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 1, 2012

        Each essay in this volume of previously uncollected nonfiction is a gem in its own DFW way. The topics are diverse yet representative of Wallace's primary interests, ranging from an entry titled "The (as it were) Seminal Importance of Terminator 2" to "Fictional Futures and the Conspicuously Young," a piece written in the eighties about American youth culture, television, and an emergent generation of pop-obsessed American novelists. Like so much of Wallace's work, "Conspicuously Young" picks apart an ephemeral cultural moment with great discernment, yet still manages to stand up well decades after publication. There are, of course, deeply informed--yet still deeply pleasurable--nods to theoretical math, Wittgenstein as literature, and tennis as well as Wallace's concerns regarding the perils of consumer culture. The overall effect of this collection is to remind us again just how expansive and talented a writer Wallace was, an author capable of producing profound essays around seemingly mundane details scattered amid the American cultural fabric. VERDICT This book is for all readers of contemporary nonfiction as well as serious fans of Wallace's work.--Jim Hahn, Univ. of Illinois Lib., Urbana

        Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Brilliant, dazzling, never-before-collected nonfiction writings by "one of America's most daring and talented writers" (Los Angeles Times Book Review): Both Flesh and Not gathers fifteen of Wallace's seminal essays, all published in book form for the first time.
Never has Wallace's seemingly endless curiosity been more evident than in this compilation of work spanning nearly 20 years of writing. Here, Wallace turns his critical eye with equal enthusiasm toward Roger Federer and Jorge Luis Borges; Terminator 2 and The Best of the Prose Poem; the nature of being a fiction writer and the quandary of defining the essay; the best underappreciated novels and the English language's most irksome misused words; and much more.
Both Flesh and Not restores Wallace's essays as originally written, and it includes a selection from his personal vocabulary list, an assembly of unusual words and definitions.
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