Up, Simba!: 7 Days on the Trail of an Anticandidate [NOOK Book]

Overview

In February 2000, "Rolling Stone" magazine sent David Foster Wallace, "NOT A POLITICAL JOURNALIST, " on the road for a week with Senator John McCain's campaign to win the Republican nomination for the Presidency. They wanted to know why McCain appealed so much to so many Americans, and particularly why he appealed to the "Young Voters" of America who generally show nothing but apathy.

The "Director's Cut" (three times longer than the RS ...
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Up, Simba!: 7 Days on the Trail of an Anticandidate

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Overview

In February 2000, "Rolling Stone" magazine sent David Foster Wallace, "NOT A POLITICAL JOURNALIST, " on the road for a week with Senator John McCain's campaign to win the Republican nomination for the Presidency. They wanted to know why McCain appealed so much to so many Americans, and particularly why he appealed to the "Young Voters" of America who generally show nothing but apathy.

The "Director's Cut" (three times longer than the RS article) is an incisive, funny, thoughtful piece about life on "Bullshit One" -- the nickname for the press bus that followed McCain's Straight Talk Express.

This piece becomes ever more relevant, as we discuss what we know, don't know, and don't want to know about the way our political campaigns work.

Rolling Stone won the National Magazine Award in Best Feature Writing for David Foster Wallace's "The Weasel, Twelve Monkeys, and the Shrub." Up Simba! is the full text of this piece.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446931410
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 9/15/2000
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 1,270,872
  • File size: 532 KB

Meet the Author

David Foster Wallace
David Foster Wallace was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1962 and raised in Illinois, where he was a regionally ranked junior tennis player. He received bachelor of arts degrees in philosophy and English from Amherst College and wrote what would become his first novel, The Broom of the System, as his senior English thesis. He received a masters of fine arts from University of Arizona in 1987 and briefly pursued graduate work in philosophy at Harvard University. His second novel, Infinite Jest, was published in 1996. Wallace taught creative writing at Emerson College, Illinois State University, and Pomona College, and published the story collections Girl with Curious Hair, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Oblivion, the essay collections A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and Consider the Lobster. He was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and a Whiting Writers' Award, and was appointed to the Usage Panel for The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. He died in 2008. His last novel, The Pale King, was published in 2011.

Biography

Born in Ithaca, NY, and raised in Champaign, IL, David Foster Wallace grew up athletically gifted and exceptionally bright, with an avid interest in tennis, literature, philosophy, and math. He attended Amherst and graduated in 1985 with a double major in English and Philosophy. His philosophy thesis (on modal logic) won the Gail Kennedy Memorial Prize. His English thesis would become his first novel, The Broom of the System. Published in 1987 during his second year of grad school at the University of Arizona, the book sold well, garnering national attention and critical praise in equal measure. Two years later, a book of short stories, Girl with Curious Hair, was published to admiring reviews.

In the early 1990s, Wallace's short fiction began to appear regularly in publications like Playboy, The Paris Review, and The New Yorker, along with excerpts from his second novel, a complex, enormously ambitious work published in 1996 as Infinite Jest. Surpassing 1,000 pages in length, the novel was hailed as a masterpiece ("[A]n entertainment so irresistibly pleasurable it renders the viewer catatonic," raved Newsweek. "[R]esourceful, hilarious, intelligent, and unique," pronounced Atlantic Monthly), and Wallace was crowned on the spot the new heavyweight champion of literary fiction.

Hyperbole aside, Infinite Jest, with its linguistic acrobatics (challenging complex clauses, coined words, etc.) and sly, self-referential footnotes, proved to be the template for a new literary style. Subversive, hip, and teeming with postmodernist irony, the book attracted a rabid cult following and exerted an influence on up-and-coming young writers that is still felt today. The scope of Wallace's achievement can be measured by the fact that one year after the publication of Infinite Jest, he was awarded the MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant."

Nearly as famous for his nonfiction as for his novels and stories, Wallace produced mind-boggling essays on assignment for magazines like Harper's. In contrast to his sad, dark, disturbing fiction, these essays -- subsequently collected into such bestselling anthologies as A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again (1997), Everything and More (2003), and Consider the Lobster (2007) -- were ridiculously exuberant, fairly bursting with humor, energy, and good cheer. Yet Wallace himself suffered from clinical depression most of his adult life. He was treated successfully with anti-depressants, until side effects from the drugs began to interfere with his productivity. At his doctor's suggestion, he stopped taking the medication.The depression returned, and he did not respond to any further treatment. In September of 2008, at the age of 46, he committed suicide.

Wallace's influence on contemporary literature cannot be overstated. Descended from post-war superstars like Thomas Pynchon and Don De Lillo, his style is clearly visible in the work of postmodernists like Jonathan Safran Foer and Dave Eggers. His untimely death was mourned by critics, writers, and millions of adoring fans. As author David Lipsky stated in a tribute that aired on NPR in September, 2008: "To read David Foster Wallace was to feel your eyelids pulled open."

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    1. Date of Birth:
      February 21, 1962
    2. Place of Birth:
      Ithaca, NY
    1. Date of Death:
      September 12, 2008
    2. Place of Death:
      Claremont, CA
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English & Philosophy, Amherst College, 1985;MFA, University of Arizona, 1987

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 2 of 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2000

    David Foster Wallace at his most accessible.

    And most moving. This guy is not just an enormously funny and entertaining writer - he has tremendous insight into some fundamental questions that we all think about, though perhaps just below the surface. And with his famously self-conscious style, he puts these questions into words in a very satisfying way. Foster Wallace is really onto something here - the paradox of the 'anti-candidate': in our spin- and marketing- and media-saturated culture, is it no longer possible for someone to be a genuine leader and still be a viable politician? And would we recognize a real leader if one came along? The answer, I'm afraid, is no. John McCain may be (or have been) the real thing (despite some rather scarily right-wing views, which Foster Wallace rightly questions), but in order for him to succeed he would have had to resort to a hopelessly cynical campaign strategy that is the only way to win public office anymore. He may even have believed that the ends justify the means, but unfortunately, in 21st century campaign politics the means necessarily subverts the ends. Our only hope for true leaders in the new millennium - and this is a point Foster Wallace fails to make - is to look outside politics, where the goal of winning is not so primary. I wish Foster Wallace had taken his story just a little further. I found myself hungry for more at the end. But I enjoyed the journey, and I enjoyed the Reader format, which made even Foster Wallace's entertaining but normally distracting footnotes fun to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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