Among Wallace's notes for The Pale King are scattered references to Walker Percy's nonfiction, specifically to his volume The Message in the Bottle [...] the essay from Percy's book that most directly engages with The Pale King is "The Man on the Train" [...]
Percy begins the essay by identifying his focus upon the "literature of alienation", which is of course the title of a class Fogle takes (184). But Percy's argument is that this body of literature is, in fact, an inverted category.
In this imaginative union, I'd suggest, there's a clear precedent for Wallace's own belief in fiction's ability to invert loneliness [...]
read his stuff. about aesthetic reversal of alienation (diff between an alienated person, and someone reading about an alienated person; the latter is able to transcend the alienation)