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A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: An Essay (Digital Original) (English Edition) Format Kindle

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Descriptions du produit

David Foster Wallace made quite a splash in 1996 with his massive novel, Infinite Jest. Now he's back with a collection of essays entitled A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. In addition to a razor-sharp writing style, Wallace has a mercurial mind that lights on many subjects. His seven essays travel from a state fair in Illinois to a cruise ship in the Caribbean, explore how television affects literature and what makes film auteur David Lynch tick, and deconstruct deconstructionism and find the intersection between tornadoes and tennis.

These eclectic interests are enhanced by an eye (and nose) for detail: "I have seen sucrose beaches and water a very bright blue. I have seen an all-red leisure suit with flared lapels. I have smelled what suntan lotion smells like spread over 21,000 pounds of hot flesh . . ." It's evident that Wallace revels in both the life of the mind and the peculiarities of his fellows; in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again he celebrates both.

From Publishers Weekly

Like the tennis champs who fascinate him, novelist Wallace (Infinite Jest; The Broom of the System) makes what he does look effortless and yet inspired. His instinct for the colloquial puts his masters Pynchon and DeLillo to shame, and the humane sobriety that he brings to his subjects-fictional or factual-should serve as a model to anyone writing cultural comment, whether it takes the form of stories or of essays like these. Readers of Wallace's fiction will take special interest in this collection: critics have already mined "Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley" (Wallace's memoir of his tennis-playing days) for the biographical sources of Infinite Jest. The witty, insightful essays on David Lynch and TV are a reminder of how thoroughly Wallace has internalized the writing-and thinking-habits of Stanley Cavell, the plain-language philosopher at Harvard, Wallace's alma mater. The reportage (on the Illinois State Fair, the Canadian Open and a Caribbean Cruise) is perhaps best described as post-gonzo: funny, slight and self-conscious without Norman Mailer's or Hunter Thompson's braggadocio. Only in the more academic essays, on Dostoyevski and the scholar H.L. Hix, does Wallace's gee-whiz modesty get in the way of his arguments. Still, even these have their moments: at the end of the Dostoyevski essay, Wallace blurts out that he wants "passionately serious ideological contemporary fiction [that is] also ingenious and radiantly transcendent fiction." From most writers, that would be hot air; from one as honest, subtle and ambitious as Wallace, it has the sound of a promise.-- also ingenious and radiantly transcendent fiction." From most writers, that would be hot air; from one as honest, subtle and ambitious as Wallace, it has the sound of a promise.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 933 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 368 pages
  • Editeur : Little, Brown and Company (1 avril 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x9287df30) étoiles sur 5 71 commentaires
22 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92a3f7ec) étoiles sur 5 Marvelous Essay, But Too Many Typos In The Kindle Edition 20 avril 2012
Par Tom From NY - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This is one of my favorite works of American prose, always fresh and funny. But. Come on guys. Fix the typos. You're doing Wallace and the reader a disservice.
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x928fefe4) étoiles sur 5 Hint: It's NOT about a Cruise ship vacation. 14 janvier 2013
Par Paige Turner - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
David Foster Wallace is the greatest American writer of the last fifty years. His contemporaries, such as Jonathan Franzen or Bret Easton Ellis, pale in comparison. His magnum opus "Infinite Jest" is like 5 novels in one, each a different style, story and writing technique. He took his own life, as he struggled without the medications that kept him from depression, but at the same time, destroyed his talent. A measure of his greatness is the many books written about him and his life.

"A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" is his essay about his vacation on a Cruise Ship. But like everything else DFW writes, the story is only a milieu for him to reflect on the American condition, and something deeper- the very meaning of life. If you have read his commencement speech "This is Water," you will recognize the same fears, concerns, observations and style.

DFW writes sentences with such genius, and has such an extensive vocabulary, that reading him can be exhausting.1 I often read his longest sentences, looking for grammatical errors, and it is impossible! The only writer with a vocabulary like his is Nabakov.
But where DFW really soars is when he discusses the human condition. He can do it in a brutally descriptive way, showing his brilliance without being unlikable:

"I have seen fuchsia pantsuits and menstrual-pink sportcoats and maroon-and-purple warm-ups and white loafers worn without socks."
He is luring us in, thinking we are going on a Cruise with a clever joker, with pithy snark about our silly fellow passengers. This trip is going to be a lot of fun.

But this is only a trap he is setting for us. If all he wanted to do was write about how goofy people dress and act on a Cruise that would not even be worthy of his genius. No, he has bigger plans.

Instead, the central theme of this work is the depressing, predictable manner in which we will NEVER be satisfied by attaining more goods and services. This parallels his theme of Americans requiring constant entertainment, which he mines so deeply in "Infinite Jest." He writes:

"I mean, if pampering and radical kindness don't seem motivated by strong affection and thus don't somehow affirm one or help assure one that one is not, finally, a dork, of what final and significant value is all this indulgence and cleaning?"
He struggles viscerally with his preternatural intelligence, marveling at the doe-eyed patrons that are able to enjoy this faux affection delivered by the vapid staff. His genius is his burden.

But finally, he explains the perpetual dissatisfaction all Americans suffer from, as they attain material possessions and progress further with career, bigger houses, and more channels of s*** on television. Some call it adaption, or the luxury effect. This is the BIG IDEA of this essay:

"I am suffering from (...) this envy of another ship, and still it's painful. It's also representative of a psychological syndrome that I notice has gotten steadily worse as the Cruise wears on, a mental list of dissatisfactions and grievances that started picayune but has quickly become nearly despair-grade."

"...more precisely that ur-American part of me that craves and responds to pampering and passive pleasure: the Dissatisfied Infant part of me, the part that always and indiscriminately WANTS."

"...the promise to sate the part of me that always and only WANTS - is the central fantasy the (Cruise) brochure is selling."
"...the real fantasy here isn't that this promise will be kept, but that such a promise is keepable at all. This is a big one, this lie."

"But the Infantile part of me is insatiable. In response to any environment of extraordinary gratification and pampering, the Insatiable Infant part of me will simply adjust its desires upward until it once again levels out at its homeostasis of terrible dissatisfaction."

"...part of me realizes that I haven't washed a dish or tapped my foot in line behind somebody with multiple coupons at a supermarket checkout in a week; and yet instead of feeling refreshed and renewed I'm anticipating how stressful and demanding and unpleasurable regular landlocked adult life is going to be now that even just the premature removal of a towel by a sepulchral crewman seems like an assault on my basic rights..."

Mercifully, after making us painfully aware of the Insatiable Infant inside us, he ends the story on a slightly positive note:
"...subsequent reentry into the adult demands of landlocked real-world life wasn't nearly as bad as a week of Absolutely Nothing had led me to fear."

1Now, DFW does have a few "tics" or quirks that grate on some people:
1. He loves to use abbreviations constantly, such as w/r/t (With Respect To)
2. He overuses the word "like" in the beginning of sentences
3. His best sentences run a paragraph long
4. He likes to use obscure words, sometimes the same one often, which becomes distracting (lapis lazuli, in this case)
5. He constantly uses footnotes, in order to not break up the rhythm of the writing, but it does anyway because a curious reader will go back and look at the footnote before reading further. The footnotes have some of the best stuff. It's hard to imagine any editor having the balls or intellectual firepower to get in a discussion with him on the merits of simply including the material from the footnotes with the rest of the prose, but I sure wish one would have.
56 internautes sur 66 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x928feb1c) étoiles sur 5 Deceptively titled 25 décembre 2012
Par Andrew R. Young - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
The essay is not 368 pages long. The book of essays from which this essay was extracted is 368 pages long. I'm looking forward to the essay but I can see it's not going to be as long as I hoped. You'd think with the predatory e-book pricing they'd at least be accurate in the marketing.
18 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92a48240) étoiles sur 5 Great essay, but buyer beware 7 septembre 2013
Par Riva Kelton - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
The essay is great, but beware - that is the only item you get in the Kindle version. None of the other essays in the hard copy are included. So if you are only interested in the essay about Wallace's cruising experience, this is a good buy. Otherwise, you are probably better off getting the actual book.
27 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92a4400c) étoiles sur 5 Misleading product info! 27 avril 2012
Par EU - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
If you follow the link from the book version, you are lead to believe that this is a collection of stories. Furthermore, Amazon states that this Kindle version has an equivalent 300+ pages, which also leads you to believe that you are getting more than one story.

Instead, you are only left with Wallace's story about his cruise.

As for the story, maybe it's just me, but aside from a few witty remarks, I found this essay flat out boring. I felt like Wallace just listed his observations for pages. I also cruised on the Zenith in the mid 90's so maybe I was looking for more about an experience I too had. I really couldn't wait to finish this essay and move on to something else.
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