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Oblivion, by David Foster Wallace

Here is a description of Oblivion, from http://www.thehowlingfantods.com/dfw.htm, by, I think, Nick Maniatis.

"The casual Wallace reader will experience new stories of marketing espionage (Mister Squishy), reminiscences of childhood trauma (The Soul is Not a Smithy), parental fear (Incarnations of Burned Children), stunningly obfuscated philosophical sociology (Another Pioneer), harrowing and enlightening personal interrogation (Good Old Neon), possibly more social philosophy (Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature), a complexly troubled relationship (Oblivion), and a closing story that defies even the lame and possibly offensive pigeonholing I’ve given to all of the others (because, well, this is a short review not an essay, and I refuse to spoil any of it); a story that screams out to be acknowledged for its post 9/11 reflection, while at the same time stares me in the face with menace for even suggesting this (and boy does The Suffering Channel stand above a simplistic post 9/11 reading… no surprises there).

The style is characteristically and familiarly ‘Wallace’ and at the same time demonstrates a distinct evolution across all stories: the sentences are noticeably shorter, and footnotes are few and far between. What hasn’t changed is the depth, Wallace’s text still reads like a person who sees the tip of the iceberg and knows the majority of it lies under the surface. I’m just glad I don’t have the same diving equipment, because what’s to be discovered down there can be terrifying, and it’s not just the dark."

 

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