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Sonora Review DFW Tribute
by multiple authors

Sonora Review DFW Tribute
by multiple authors

Sonora Review DFW Tribute
by multiple authors

28

Heading Westward

8
terms
1
notes

Boswell, M. (None). Heading Westward. In ? Sonora Review DFW Tribute. , pp. 28-32

28

I am reminded of the book's timeliness every time I teach it to 21st century undergraduates. Though they are properly dazzled by its mixture of high-tech literariness, pop-culture savvy, and story-telling brio, they are frankly bewildered by the book's urgency and sense of mission, Wallace's authorial adversaries are as obscure to them as Kierkegaard's battle with Danish Hegelians is to the rest of us. For them the 1980s is a comical decade of bouffant hairdos, pastel suit jackets, and conspicuous consumption. Hence it takes some doing to convey to them how diametrically opposed to all of that was the era's prevailing literary ethos, which, in violent counter-reaction to the fabulist excesses of the 19760s and 1970s, embraced austerity and restraint, concreteness and cynicism, brevity and banality. Writers like Richard Ford, Anne Beattie, Bobby Ann Mason and, most importantly, Raymond Carver reclaimed realism from the bad rap it had gotten from Barth and Barthelme, and the growing guild of grad-school fiction writers quickly followed suit--and who could blame them? After all, the Dirty Realist short story, with its emotional obliqueness and less-is-more ethos, was tailor-made for the graduate workshop, not to mention the university-sponsored literary magazine. Minimalism ruled, and Carver was king.

—p.28 by Marshall Boswell 2 years, 10 months ago

I am reminded of the book's timeliness every time I teach it to 21st century undergraduates. Though they are properly dazzled by its mixture of high-tech literariness, pop-culture savvy, and story-telling brio, they are frankly bewildered by the book's urgency and sense of mission, Wallace's authorial adversaries are as obscure to them as Kierkegaard's battle with Danish Hegelians is to the rest of us. For them the 1980s is a comical decade of bouffant hairdos, pastel suit jackets, and conspicuous consumption. Hence it takes some doing to convey to them how diametrically opposed to all of that was the era's prevailing literary ethos, which, in violent counter-reaction to the fabulist excesses of the 19760s and 1970s, embraced austerity and restraint, concreteness and cynicism, brevity and banality. Writers like Richard Ford, Anne Beattie, Bobby Ann Mason and, most importantly, Raymond Carver reclaimed realism from the bad rap it had gotten from Barth and Barthelme, and the growing guild of grad-school fiction writers quickly followed suit--and who could blame them? After all, the Dirty Realist short story, with its emotional obliqueness and less-is-more ethos, was tailor-made for the graduate workshop, not to mention the university-sponsored literary magazine. Minimalism ruled, and Carver was king.

—p.28 by Marshall Boswell 2 years, 10 months ago

(noun) brilliance, panache, quality of being active or spirited or alive and vigorous

28

they are properly dazzled by its mixture of high-tech literariness, pop-culture savvy, and story-telling brio

on GCH

—p.28 by Marshall Boswell
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

they are properly dazzled by its mixture of high-tech literariness, pop-culture savvy, and story-telling brio

on GCH

—p.28 by Marshall Boswell
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

(noun) an intimate and often exclusive group of persons with a unifying common interest or purpose

28

the small coterie of devoted David Foster Wallace obsessives from that period

—p.28 by Marshall Boswell
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

the small coterie of devoted David Foster Wallace obsessives from that period

—p.28 by Marshall Boswell
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

soon; shortly

29

the piece is set in a writing workshop, about which more anon

on Westward

—p.29 by Marshall Boswell
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

the piece is set in a writing workshop, about which more anon

on Westward

—p.29 by Marshall Boswell
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

(noun) offense or annoyance

29

took similar umbrage in the pages of Harper's

I keep thinking this means shade lol

—p.29 by Marshall Boswell
confirm
2 years, 10 months ago

took similar umbrage in the pages of Harper's

I keep thinking this means shade lol

—p.29 by Marshall Boswell
confirm
2 years, 10 months ago

the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation (adj: semiotic)

30

Though the Dirty Realists had been referencing pop culture artifacts for years, their approach was primarily in the form of semiotic shorthand.

—p.30 by Marshall Boswell
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

Though the Dirty Realists had been referencing pop culture artifacts for years, their approach was primarily in the form of semiotic shorthand.

—p.30 by Marshall Boswell
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

clear and obvious, in a stark or exaggerated form

31

Wallace frankly invites his readers to conflate Nechtr's conflicted feelings about Professor Ambrose with his own misgivings about Barthian metafiction writ large

—p.31 by Marshall Boswell
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

Wallace frankly invites his readers to conflate Nechtr's conflicted feelings about Professor Ambrose with his own misgivings about Barthian metafiction writ large

—p.31 by Marshall Boswell
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

in a way that cannot be removed or forgotten

31

Wallace's own struggle with John Barth's indelible influence on his own fiction, all in accordance with Harold Bloom's theory of artistic anxiety and influence, which the novella both employs and parodies.

on GCH

—p.31 by Marshall Boswell
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

Wallace's own struggle with John Barth's indelible influence on his own fiction, all in accordance with Harold Bloom's theory of artistic anxiety and influence, which the novella both employs and parodies.

on GCH

—p.31 by Marshall Boswell
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

using or containing too many words; tediously lengthy

31

Wallace's later, more prolix argument about pop culture's successful co-opting of postmodern self-reflexivity and irony

—p.31 by Marshall Boswell
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

Wallace's later, more prolix argument about pop culture's successful co-opting of postmodern self-reflexivity and irony

—p.31 by Marshall Boswell
notable
2 years, 10 months ago