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This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

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137

Vocal Instability and Narrative Structure

10
terms
3
notes

on the skeletal narrative (destabilizing a narrative from within) and its use in Brief Interviews, Oblivion, etc; how DFW establishes us-vs-them in his nonfiction; how he uses humour

Hayes-Brady, C. (2016). Vocal Instability and Narrative Structure. In Hayes-Brady, C. The Unspeakable Failures of David Foster Wallace: Language, Identity, and Resistance. Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 137-164

the view that some statements can be both true and false simultaneously

137

a sort of iteration of the dialethic imperative of deconstruction, such that every text, every narrative, every theory, contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction

—p.137 default author
unknown
1 year, 6 months ago

a sort of iteration of the dialethic imperative of deconstruction, such that every text, every narrative, every theory, contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction

—p.137 default author
unknown
1 year, 6 months ago

destabilising a narrative by means of elements embedded within the narrative itself

137

This strategy, which I have termed "skeletal narrative," is one whereby Wallace destabilizes a narrative by means of elements embedded within the narrative itself

defined by author here

—p.137 default author
notable
1 year, 6 months ago

This strategy, which I have termed "skeletal narrative," is one whereby Wallace destabilizes a narrative by means of elements embedded within the narrative itself

defined by author here

—p.137 default author
notable
1 year, 6 months ago
139

Skeletal narrative refers to a strategy by which Wallace embeds the seeds of textual and interpretive unraveling within the narrative voice of a story; a narrator (often but not always first-person) begins to tell a story, but through asides of tonal slippage reveals another layer of narrative under the surface, ultimately losing control of the primary narrative vocabulary and confessing or revealing what was hidden.

esp in Oblivion, Smithy, Squishy, Suffering Channel, etc. even in Rick's sections in Broom

—p.139 default author
notable
1 year, 6 months ago

Skeletal narrative refers to a strategy by which Wallace embeds the seeds of textual and interpretive unraveling within the narrative voice of a story; a narrator (often but not always first-person) begins to tell a story, but through asides of tonal slippage reveals another layer of narrative under the surface, ultimately losing control of the primary narrative vocabulary and confessing or revealing what was hidden.

esp in Oblivion, Smithy, Squishy, Suffering Channel, etc. even in Rick's sections in Broom

—p.139 default author
notable
1 year, 6 months ago

(noun) the language or speech pattern of one individual at a particular period of life

140

notwithstanding his particular idiolect

—p.140 default author
confirm
1 year, 6 months ago

notwithstanding his particular idiolect

—p.140 default author
confirm
1 year, 6 months ago
145

Randall [...] has an elevated opinion of his own intellectual standing. [...] unnecessary Latin phrases, italicization, and the use of exaggerated inverted commas as a sort of conversational crutch, ostensibly indicating his disdain for contemporary argot, but actually revealing a narrator uncomfortable with his own voice, a discomfort that proves crucial once the sub-narrative is revealed at the close to the story. The uneasy edge to the voice keeps the reader alert [...]

also mentions the use of referral to Hope's father as "Father" & how it undermines the narrative voice (foreshadows when it's revealed that it's Hope's dream)

—p.145 by Clare Hayes-Brady 1 year, 6 months ago

Randall [...] has an elevated opinion of his own intellectual standing. [...] unnecessary Latin phrases, italicization, and the use of exaggerated inverted commas as a sort of conversational crutch, ostensibly indicating his disdain for contemporary argot, but actually revealing a narrator uncomfortable with his own voice, a discomfort that proves crucial once the sub-narrative is revealed at the close to the story. The uneasy edge to the voice keeps the reader alert [...]

also mentions the use of referral to Hope's father as "Father" & how it undermines the narrative voice (foreshadows when it's revealed that it's Hope's dream)

—p.145 by Clare Hayes-Brady 1 year, 6 months ago

lack of the usual social or ethical standards in an individual or group, which lessens social cohesion and fosters decline; popularized by French sociologist Émile Durkheim in his influential book Suicide

149

Wallace finds another way of resisting apocalyptic postmodern anomie

referring to BI and his use of a monologue/dialogue hybrid

—p.149 default author
notable
1 year, 6 months ago

Wallace finds another way of resisting apocalyptic postmodern anomie

referring to BI and his use of a monologue/dialogue hybrid

—p.149 default author
notable
1 year, 6 months ago
151

[...] the narrator despises this girl's lifestyle and outlook, yet finds himself almost obsessively in need of her approval and love. As a consequence, he attempts to master her, to prove his own superiority, in much the same way as Wallace described the tendency he saw in his own and others' work to challenge the reader with long sentences, too much data or the intentional frustration of expectations. When that does not work, and the narrator realizes that the power balance in the story has shifted to the girl, he loses his control over language altogether, transferring his rage to the other mute female character in an incoherent tirade. The transference of anger in the final paragraph demonstrates the effect of a total loss of power on the linguistic control of the narrator, offering a clear psychological link between linguistic dominance and other forms of power.

never thought of it that way ... im also starting to realise i missed quite a bit from that story

—p.151 by Clare Hayes-Brady 1 year, 6 months ago

[...] the narrator despises this girl's lifestyle and outlook, yet finds himself almost obsessively in need of her approval and love. As a consequence, he attempts to master her, to prove his own superiority, in much the same way as Wallace described the tendency he saw in his own and others' work to challenge the reader with long sentences, too much data or the intentional frustration of expectations. When that does not work, and the narrator realizes that the power balance in the story has shifted to the girl, he loses his control over language altogether, transferring his rage to the other mute female character in an incoherent tirade. The transference of anger in the final paragraph demonstrates the effect of a total loss of power on the linguistic control of the narrator, offering a clear psychological link between linguistic dominance and other forms of power.

never thought of it that way ... im also starting to realise i missed quite a bit from that story

—p.151 by Clare Hayes-Brady 1 year, 6 months ago

(verb) to anticipate and prevent (as a situation) or make unnecessary (as an action)

154

simultaneously aggravating and obviating the distinction between self and other

—p.154 default author
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1 year, 6 months ago

simultaneously aggravating and obviating the distinction between self and other

—p.154 default author
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1 year, 6 months ago

(literary term) erotic death or "love death" meaning the two lovers' consummation of their love in death or after death

154

"liebestod," meaning love-death, here is interesting; the connection of love with death further highlights the notion of death as a consummation

footnote 17. referring to IJ p884

—p.154 default author
notable
1 year, 6 months ago

"liebestod," meaning love-death, here is interesting; the connection of love with death further highlights the notion of death as a consummation

footnote 17. referring to IJ p884

—p.154 default author
notable
1 year, 6 months ago

(noun) the act of renouncing or rejecting something; self-denial

155

This repeated abnegation of qualification is one of many figurations of a deeply problematic tendency to reject ideas of authority and authorship throughout the nonfiction, in ways that dovetail interestingly with the structural and vocal instability of the fiction.

on DFW's tendency to say that he's not a journalist (Conversations 83, Up Simba)

—p.155 default author
confirm
1 year, 6 months ago

This repeated abnegation of qualification is one of many figurations of a deeply problematic tendency to reject ideas of authority and authorship throughout the nonfiction, in ways that dovetail interestingly with the structural and vocal instability of the fiction.

on DFW's tendency to say that he's not a journalist (Conversations 83, Up Simba)

—p.155 default author
confirm
1 year, 6 months ago

also spelled paralepsis and paralipsis; the rhetorical strategy of emphasizing a point by seeming to pass over it

156

While lightly dismissing the "magazine people" as disingenuous, Wallace draws paralliptical attention to his own disingenuousness in writing the piece at all.

in the cruise essay

—p.156 default author
notable
1 year, 6 months ago

While lightly dismissing the "magazine people" as disingenuous, Wallace draws paralliptical attention to his own disingenuousness in writing the piece at all.

in the cruise essay

—p.156 default author
notable
1 year, 6 months ago

to speak like a baby (technically: pronouncing the letter "r" so that it sounds like "l")

158

lallating function

originally from the Kafka essay

—p.158 by David Foster Wallace
confirm
1 year, 6 months ago

lallating function

originally from the Kafka essay

—p.158 by David Foster Wallace
confirm
1 year, 6 months ago
164

[...] Wallace distances himself falely from a group in order to establish a relationship wtih the reader. This tactic is more complex--and often less successful--in the scholarly writing, because, as shown here, Wallace frequently is an expert in what he writes about. With that in min, such distancing seems outright mendacious. By linguistically encoding the opposition that may or may not exist between him as author/narrator and the implicit "them"--in this case critics and theoreticians--Wallace attempts to solidify his alliance with the reader. However, the disjunction between this alliance and the tone and content of the essay's substantive portions serves to underscore Wallace's disingenuous construction, thus perhaps putting the reader even more on guard.

—p.164 by Clare Hayes-Brady 1 year, 6 months ago

[...] Wallace distances himself falely from a group in order to establish a relationship wtih the reader. This tactic is more complex--and often less successful--in the scholarly writing, because, as shown here, Wallace frequently is an expert in what he writes about. With that in min, such distancing seems outright mendacious. By linguistically encoding the opposition that may or may not exist between him as author/narrator and the implicit "them"--in this case critics and theoreticians--Wallace attempts to solidify his alliance with the reader. However, the disjunction between this alliance and the tone and content of the essay's substantive portions serves to underscore Wallace's disingenuous construction, thus perhaps putting the reader even more on guard.

—p.164 by Clare Hayes-Brady 1 year, 6 months ago