Tuesday, July 9, 2013

DFW book from Madras Press

Straight out of Newton, Massachusetts: Sumanth Prabhaker’s Madras Press has published a section of David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King as a five-inches-square book: The Awakening of My Interest in Advanced Tax. It’s a conversion narrative, the long first-person story of “Irrelevant” Chris Fogle, a drug-taking “wastoid” who walks into the wrong college classroom and finds his life changed by a lecture on the heroism of accountancy. The Fogle story may be the best thing in the The Pale King.

Madras Press books are available from select bookstores and by mail from the publisher. All proceeds go to charitable organizations. The beneficiary for this book is Granada House, where, in 1989, Wallace began living in sobriety. Take a look at the Granada House website: the first account on this page is by Wallace.

My visit to Granada House in 2010 (as a DFW reader wanting to make a donation) helped me understand one of the “exotic new facts” in the Infinite Jest catalogue of things one can learn in a halfway house: “That God — unless you’re Charlton Heston, or unhinged, or both — speaks and acts entirely through the vehicle of human beings, if there is a God.”

Thanks, Ben, for getting me a copy of this book.

Related reading
All David Foster Wallace posts (Pinboard)

[My link to “An Ex-Resident’s Story” is no revelation: Jason Kottke made the Wallace connection in 2008. I have borrowed most of the sentence describing Chris Fogle’s story from a review of The Pale King that I wrote for World Literature Today.]

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