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180

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men: Interrogations and Consolidations

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Boswell, M. (2003). Brief Interviews with Hideous Men: Interrogations and Consolidations. In Boswell, M. Understanding David Foster Wallace. University of South Carolina Press, pp. 180-231

207

Whereas the postmodern work of his forebears firmly grounds itself in a literary tradition whose grip it feels it cannot shake, Wallace's work demonstrates how the original postmodernists' reliance on self-consciousness, parody, and irony has now become a culture-wide phenomenon: not only is our pop culture equally self-reflexive and self-aware, but so are the people of Wallace's generation, for whom irony is a weapon and a badge of sophistication.

Irony is also a cage the doors of which his work wants to spring. He opens the cage of irony by ironizing it, the same way he uses self-reflexivity to disclose the subtle deceptions at work in literary self-reflexivity. The purpose behind this layered strategy is to create a space outside his work where direct, "single-entendre" principles can breathe and live.

—p.207 by Marshall Boswell 2 years, 5 months ago

Whereas the postmodern work of his forebears firmly grounds itself in a literary tradition whose grip it feels it cannot shake, Wallace's work demonstrates how the original postmodernists' reliance on self-consciousness, parody, and irony has now become a culture-wide phenomenon: not only is our pop culture equally self-reflexive and self-aware, but so are the people of Wallace's generation, for whom irony is a weapon and a badge of sophistication.

Irony is also a cage the doors of which his work wants to spring. He opens the cage of irony by ironizing it, the same way he uses self-reflexivity to disclose the subtle deceptions at work in literary self-reflexivity. The purpose behind this layered strategy is to create a space outside his work where direct, "single-entendre" principles can breathe and live.

—p.207 by Marshall Boswell 2 years, 5 months ago