Global Wallace: David Foster Wallace and World Literature

Global Wallace: David Foster Wallace and World Literature


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Global Wallace: David Foster Wallace and World Literature by Lucas Thompson

David Foster Wallace is invariably seen as an emphatically American figure. Lucas Thompson challenges this consensus, arguing that Wallace's investments in various international literary traditions are central to both his artistic practice and his critique of US culture. Thompson shows how, time and again, Wallace's fiction draws on a diverse range of global texts, appropriating various forms of world literature in the attempt to craft fiction that critiques US culture from oblique and unexpected vantage points.

Using a wide range of comparative case studies, and drawing on extensive archival research, Global Wallace reveals David Foster Wallace's substantial debts to such unexpected figures as Jamaica Kincaid, Julio Cortázar, Jean Rhys, Octavio Paz, Leo Tolstoy, Zbigniew Herbert, and Albert Camus, among many others. It also offers a more comprehensive account of the key influences that Wallace scholars have already perceived, such as Fyodor Dostoevsky, Franz Kafka, and Manuel Puig. By reassessing Wallace's body of work in relation to five broadly construed geographic territories — Latin America, Russia, Eastern Europe, France, and Africa — the book reveals the mechanisms with which Wallace played particular literary traditions off one another, showing how he appropriated vastly different global texts within his own fiction. By expanding the geographic coordinates of Wallace's work in this way, Global Wallace reconceptualizes contemporary American fiction, as being embedded within a global exchange of texts and ideas.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501342707
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 06/28/2018
Series: David Foster Wallace Studies
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Lucas Thompson is a Research Fellow at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia. His primary research is on contemporary U.S. fiction and its intersections with world literature. Other research interests include aesthetics, affect, intertextuality, literary influence, and the relationship between film and literature.

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Introduction
Introduction. Wallace and the World
Chapter One. Wallace and World Literature
Chapter Two. Wallace and Latin America
Chapter Three. Wallace and Russia
Chapter Four. Wallace and Eastern Europe: Kafka and Others
Chapter Five. French Existentialism's Afterlives: Wallace and the Fiction of the U.S. South
Chapter Six. African-American Appropriations: Race, Hip-Hop, and Popular Anthropology
Conclusion. “It's a Small Continent After All”? Wallace and the World

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