In recent years, the American fiction writer David Foster Wallace has been treated as a symbol, as an icon, and even a film character. Ordinary Unhappiness returns us to the reason we all know about him in the first place: his fiction. By closely examining Infinite Jest , Brief Interviews with Hideous Men , and The Pale King , Jon Baskin points readers to the work at the center of Wallace's oeuvre and places that work in conversation with a philosophical tradition that includes Wittgenstein, Kierkegaard, and Cavell, among others. What emerges is a Wallace who not only speaks to our postmodern addictions in the age of mass entertainment and McDonald's but who seeks to address a quiet desperation at the heart of our modern lives. Freud said that the job of the therapeutic process was to turn "hysterical misery into ordinary unhappiness." This book makes a case for how Wallace achieved this in his fiction.
|Publisher:||Stanford University Press|
|Series:||Square One: First-Order Questions in the Humanities|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Jon Baskin is the Associate Director of the Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism program at the New School for Social Research and a founding editor of The Point.