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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Remember Wallace through tribute

    David Foster Wallace did it all before he ended his own life on September 12, 2008.

    Wallace was an award-winning novelist, short story writer, essayist and college professor. He graduated from the MFA program in creative writing here at the University of Arizona, which gave the idea for the UA Prose Series and Sonora Review to present a tribute in his memory Friday, May 1.

    The tribute will include two panel discussions, “”Reading David Foster Wallace”” at 2 p.m. and “”David Foster Wallace and His Influences”” at 3:30 p.m. Following the panel discussions will be a reading of Wallace’s published works at 8 p.m. All of the tribute events are free and will be held at the UA’s Poetry Center, 1508 E. Helen St.

    “”We want to provide a forum for reading and understanding David Foster Wallace’s work,”” says Aurelie Sheehan, director of the UA creative writing MFA. “”He was profoundly original, a seminal figure, and his work really shifted the conversation in American letters.””

    Readers will include authors Tom Bissell, Charles Bock, Marshall Boswell, Greg Carlisle, Ken Kalfus, film writer Glenn Kenny, and Wallace’s literary agent, Bonnie Nadell.

    Wallace wrote mostly fiction and nonfiction works, which include his most famous novel, “”Infinite Jest,”” but also “”Brief Interviews with Hideous Men,”” “”Consider the Lobster”” and “”A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again.””

    Wallace attempted to cover a wide variety of issues in his writing, especially the ideas of excess and irony in American culture.

    “”I think that Wallace is misunderstood in the same way that Hemingway is misunderstood,”” says Sheehan. “”There is Hemingway, and there is the myth of Hemingway. Similarly, people seem to think they know David Foster Wallace’s work before they read it. He’s known as a postmodern guy who wrote in a maximalist style, but his values were profoundly traditional.””

    Wallace has several other ties to Tucson; in the same year that Wallace graduated from the UA MFA program, he also published his first novel, “”The Broom of the System,”” in 1987. “”Infinite Jest,”” published in 1996, takes place partially on the UA campus.

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