Gesturing Toward Reality: David Foster Wallace and Philosophy

Gesturing Toward Reality: David Foster Wallace and Philosophy

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Overview

Gesturing Toward Reality: David Foster Wallace and Philosophy by Robert K. Bolger

Asked in 2006 about the philosophical nature of his fiction, the late American writer David Foster Wallace replied, "If some people read my fiction and see it as fundamentally about philosophical ideas, what it probably means is that these are pieces where the characters are not as alive and interesting as I meant them to be."

Gesturing Toward Reality looks into this quality of Wallace's work—when the writer dons the philosopher's cap—and sees something else. With essays offering a careful perusal of Wallace's extensive and heavily annotated self-help library, re-considerations of Wittgenstein's influence on his fiction, and serious explorations into the moral and spiritual landscape where Wallace lived and wrote, this collection offers a perspective on Wallace that even he was not always ready to see. Since so much has been said in specifically literary circles about Wallace's philosophical acumen, it seems natural to have those with an interest in both philosophy and Wallace's writing address how these two areas come together.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441162656
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 06/19/2014
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 1,216,926
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Robert K. Bolger (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University, USA) is the author of Kneeling at the Altar of Science: The Mistaken Path of Contemporary Religious Scientism.

Scott Korb teaches writing at New York University, the New School, and in Pacific University's MFA program (all USA). His books include The Faith Between Us, Life in Year One, and Light without Fire.

Table of Contents

Contents
Acknowledgements

Notes on Contributors

Introduction
Scott Korb

Chapter One. How We Ought To Do Things With Words
Alexis Burgess

Chapter Two. The Subsurface Unity of All Things, Or David Foster Wallace's Free Will
Leland de la Durantaye

Chapter Three. A Less ‘Bullshitty' Way To Live: The Pragmatic Spirituality of David Foster Wallace
Robert K. Bolger

Chapter Four. This is Water and Religious Self-Deception
Kevin Timpe

Chapter Five. Inside David Foster Wallace's Head: Attention, Loneliness, Suicide and the Other Side of Boredom
Andrew Bennett

Chapter Six. The Lobster Considered
Robert C. Jones

Chapter Seven. The Terrible Master: David Foster Wallace and the Suffering of Consciousness (with Guest Arthur Schopenhauer)
Blakey Vermeule

Chapter Eight. Philosophy, Self-Help and the Death of David Wallace
Maria Bustillos

Chapter Nine. Untrendy Problems: The Pale King's Philosophical Inspirations
Jon Baskin

Chapter Ten. The Formative Philosophical Influences of David Foster Wallace With Special Reference to The Broom of the System
Tom Tracey

Chapter Eleven. Beyond Philosophy: David Foster Wallace and the Dangers of Theorizing
Randy Ramal

Chapter Twelve. Good Faith and Sincerity: Sartrean Virtues of Self-Becoming in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest
Allard den Dulk

Chapter Thirteen. Theories of Everything and More: Infinity Is Not The End
Ryan David Mullins

Chapter Fourteen. Does Language Fail Us? Wallace's Struggle with Solipsism
Patrick Horn

Index

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