By BOMB Magazine
Drawing on 30 years of BOMB journal, this anthology of interviews brings jointly a number of the maximum figures of global literature for an excellent and unforgettable choice of sharp, insightful and intimate writer conversations.
Here we have now a talk with Jonathan Franzen, nonetheless an unkown writer, at the eve of the booklet of The Corrections; and one with Roberto Bolaño, close to the tip of his lifestyles. Lydia Davis and Francine Prose holiday down the intricacies of Davis's tools; Edwidge Danticat and Junot Díaz speak about the facility of Caribbean diasporic fiction. This anthology brings jointly many of the maximum figures of worldwide literature for an excellent and unforgettable number of sharp, insightful and intimate writer conversations.
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Extra info for Bomb: The Author Interviews
I can’t render as well as somebody like Updike—I just don’t see that well, with enough precision and accuracy—but I do hear real well and I can translate that. (Conversations 39) A rhythmic pulse is everywhere in Wallace’s prose—perhaps nowhere more obviously than in the list poem that frames The Pale King, enumerating “Quartz and chert and schist and chondrite” (3)—yet aside from assonance and alliteration, Wallace often created a cascading movement to his sentences by stringing together apostrophed possessives, as in The Pale King’s “station’s flagpole’s flag’s rope’s pulleys” (512).
As the title of Infinite Jest indicates, Wallace’s novel shares with Ulysses a desire to rework the outlines of Hamlet,14 and—as I discuss in more detail in Chapter Three—it also uses its scalar shifts to suggest larger mythical resonances to its action that recall Joyce’s punning transmigration: “Met him pike hoses” (Ulysses 126). The movement between characters also suggests the Joycean example. For all its “Wandering Rocks”-style dispersion, Infinite Jest is—like Ulysses—essentially organized around two overarching narratives that balance a youthful prodigy who has problematic relations with his father, opposite an older man who is less educated but more humane.
The final sentence has one of the most interesting temporal structures. ” What we’re seeing in this complex temporal structure is an example of what Jay Clayton has called genome time. Because the genome simultaneously records our inheritance from the past while also providing the outline for our future development, it gives rise to a 20 David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest conception of time where a perpetual present is made to “contain every possible permutation of time” (Clayton 33). Zooming out to consider the larger issues raised by this short fiction once more, it’s worth noting that the way time dominates the structure of this story can be seen as an instance of one of the ways that many contemporary writers born after the end of the 1950s have reacted against postmodernism.