Endnotes: The Afterlife of David Foster Wallace

Open Access
Author:
Wang, Boen
Area of Honors:
English
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Richard Doyle, Thesis Supervisor
  • Xiaoye You, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • David Foster Wallace
  • The Pale King
  • Infinite Jest
  • Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
Abstract:
David Foster Wallace was an American author best known for writing a very long book and killing himself. The book was Infinite Jest; the suicide was by hanging. Since his death in 2008, Wallace has inhabited a strange sort of afterlife. His publisher released several books, including an unfinished novel and previously uncollected material; his likeness was depicted by Jason Segel in a 2015 film; his writing and ideas and life, especially its end, have become the subject of intense scrutiny among certain sections of academia, the media, and the internet. This thesis is an attempt to answer a few questions: why Wallace? What makes him special? Who is he, now that he’s dead?