Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

Consider the Lobster and Other Essays Do lobsters feel pain Did Franz Kafka have a funny bone What is John Updike s deal anyway And what happens when adult video starlets meet their fans in person David Foster Wallace answers these quest

  • Title: Consider the Lobster and Other Essays
  • Author: David Foster Wallace
  • ISBN: 9780316156110
  • Page: 183
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Do lobsters feel pain Did Franz Kafka have a funny bone What is John Updike s deal, anyway And what happens when adult video starlets meet their fans in person David Foster Wallace answers these questions and in essays that are also enthralling narrative adventures Whether covering the three ring circus of a vicious presidential race, plunging into the wars betweDo lobsters feel pain Did Franz Kafka have a funny bone What is John Updike s deal, anyway And what happens when adult video starlets meet their fans in person David Foster Wallace answers these questions and in essays that are also enthralling narrative adventures Whether covering the three ring circus of a vicious presidential race, plunging into the wars between dictionary writers, or confronting the World s Largest Lobster Cooker at the annual Maine Lobster Festival, Wallace projects a quality of thought that is uniquely his and a voice as powerful and distinct as any in American letters.Contains Big Red Son, Certainly the End of Something or Other, One Would Sort of Have to Think, Some Remarks on Kafka s Funniness from Which Probably Not Enough Has Been Removed, Authority and American Usage, The View from Mrs Thompson s, How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart, Up, Simba, Consider the Lobster, Joseph Frank s Dostoevsky and Host.

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    About “David Foster Wallace

    • David Foster Wallace

      David Foster Wallace worked surprising turns on nearly everything novels, journalism, vacation His life was an information hunt, collecting hows and whys I received 500,000 discrete bits of information today, he once said, of which maybe 25 are important My job is to make some sense of it He wanted to write stuff about what it feels like to live Instead of being a relief from what it feels like to live Readers curled up in the nooks and clearings of his style his comedy, his brilliance, his humaneness.His life was a map that ends at the wrong destination Wallace was an A student through high school, he played football, he played tennis, he wrote a philosophy thesis and a novel before he graduated from Amherst, he went to writing school, published the novel, made a city of squalling, bruising, kneecapping editors and writers fall moony eyed in love with him He published a thousand page novel, received the only award you get in the nation for being a genius, wrote essays providing the best feel anywhere of what it means to be alive in the contemporary world, accepted a special chair at California s Pomona College to teach writing, married, published another book and, last month Sept 2008 , hanged himself at age 46 excerpt from The Lost Years Last Days of David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky in Rolling Stone Magazine October 30, 2008.Among Wallace s honors were a Whiting Writers Award 1987 , a Lannan Literary Award 1996 , a Paris Review Aga Khan Prize for Fiction 1997 , a National Magazine Award 2001 , three O Henry Awards 1988, 1999, 2002 , and a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant.More thehowlingfantods dfw

    598 thoughts on “Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

    • Full disclosure: I have a major intellectual crush on David Foster Wallace. Yes, yes, I know all about his weaknesses - the digressions, the rampant footnote abuse, the flaunting of his amazing erudition, the mess that is 'Infinite Jest'. I know all this, and I don't care. Because when he is in top form, there's nobody else I would rather read. The man is hilarious; I think he's a mensch, and I don't believe he parades his erudition just to prove how smart he is. I think he can't help himself - [...]

    • Consider The EssayThis is a fine collection of essays. It does not seem to be put together following any particular collective logic, but all the essays seem to be good advertisements to DFW’s intuitively imaginative, explorative and curious writing method. Would need to read more of DFW’s essays to be able to comment on the logic of this particular set of essays inhabiting the same book. It is, however, vintage DFW and hence cannot be rated below 5 stars, even if a couple of essays were so- [...]

    • BREAK ON THROUGH TO THE OTHER SIDENel 1966 i Doors debuttarono con il disco omonimo. Un capolavoro. Undici canzoni indimenticabili. Eterne, semplici e raffinate, banali e rivoluzionarie.Usavano motivi latini (bossanova) e soul, ma poi anche Brecht & Weil, non usavano il basso, almeno in concerto, e a coronare tutto c'era lui, Jim Morrison, insuperabile rettile e crooner.Fu una rivoluzione. Tuttora, il disco è fantastico, attualissimo e per tanti versi, ancora anticipatore.DFW mi ci ha fatto [...]

    • What can I say? Another brilliant set of essays.1. Big Red Son - at the AVN (Adult Video News) Awards. An insightful and amusing look at the porn industry. For a regular civilian male, hanging out in a hotel suite with porn starlets is a tense and emotionally convolved affair. There is, first, the matter of having seen the various intimate activities and anatomical parts of these starlets in videos heretofore and thus (weirdly) feeling shy about meeting them. But there is also a complex erotic t [...]

    • A reading inspired by Ian, who is presently traipsing across Portugal (whatever, I'm not jealous), because, Lord Byron, I presume. This is my first foray into the works of DFW. It's unclear at this time if I'll read this in one sitting or at random, notwithstanding, my intent is to review each essay as a standalone. Big Red SonBig Red Son is the first of nine essays. What possible contrasts can be drawn between auto-castration, the Hollywood film industry with it's less celebrated but more lucra [...]

    • Outstanding. The closest one can get to triple penetration in essay form.Each one is a stunner, from the grotesquerie of the Adult Video Awards in ‘Big Red Son,’ the magniloquent ass-handing of John Updike, the sublime pedantry of the modern classic ‘Authority and American Usage,’ the obsessive campaign chronicling of ‘Up, Simba,’ to the staggeringly researched meta-bubbling John Ziegler profile ‘Host.’All the essays succeed at tying razor-sharp exegeses of American culture to a [...]

    • This is an interesting collection of unrelated essays by the late David Foster Wallace. The funniest one for me was the title essay. No one could match him for wit and manipulation of language as this book attests. There are some essays though which are nearly unreadable like the one about a dictionary. Once you have read Infinite Jest and Pale King and wish to read a bit of his non-fiction, this one or Something Supposedly Fun that I'll Never Try Again would be a nice place to start.

    • What a trip! DFW's fractured narrative feels more like a genuine conversation than anything else. The essays are insightful and thought provoking; but I feel they are aimed mostly at an American audience. I loved DFW's writing, especially the last piece where endnotes were boxed-in and merged with the body of essay itself; but asides from a chapter or two, a big bulk of the content was socio-political issues that hardly matter to a non-American.

    • Do you know that feeling of falling in love so hard and so fast that your head spins? That feeling that your sweetie is AMAZING, PERFECT, and you have no idea how you ever lived without them? The sun rises and sets with each breath they take?? No? Sorry about your luck.The first DFW book I read was A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again and I was instantly smitten. Totally in love.And then I read this.That AMAZING, PERFECT love? I feel like I have just busted him mid-nose pick. Knuckle deep [...]

    • Un saggio e sono poco usa a leggere saggi.Complicata cerebrale meravigliosa mente geniale di Wallace che solleva i coperchi che coprono di banalità e superficialità il modo in cui recepiamo i fenomeni: che sia l’ultimo pensiero che attraversa il nervoso carapace dell’aragosta prima di essere buttata nella pentola bollente alla fiera dell’astice nel Maine, o l’autocontrollo richiesto ad un campione di tennis nei secondi che precedono la battuta del suo probabile match-point o ancora le [...]

    • (Ceci n'est pas une review, but I'm getting tired of just rating and adding status updates)Thought maybe this was worth 4.7666666666666665 stars, but what the hell, there isn't going to be any more, so.'Up, Simba' wrestles in my affections with the cruise ship essay, it's that good. Big Red Son, Tracy Austin, lobsters, Dostoevsky, Kafka, 9/11, gutting Updike, all amazinge _one_ thing I don't like is the Host essay, which seems a little long and (gasp) pointless, altho with a stunning conclusion. [...]

    • There's a small theme running through some of these essays(1): People trying to bridge the gap between two different camps. In "Authority and American Usage" DFW praises Garner for bridging the gap between the Prescriptionist and the Descriptionist usage experts. In "Joseph Frank's Dostoevsky" Frank impresses DFW by weaving together two rival approaches to literary criticism. "Up, Simba" is an encomium to John McCain's ability to appeal to Young Voters (presumably of all political stripes(2).) H [...]

    • A Democratic Spirit is one that combines rigor and humility, ie, passionate conviction plus a sedulous respect for the convictions of others. As any American knows, this is a difficult spirit to cultivate and maintain, particularly when it comes to issues you feel strongly about. Equally tough is a DS’s criterion of 100 percent intellectual integrity – you have to be willing to look honestly at yourself and at your motives for believing what you believe, and to do it more or less continually [...]

    • I don't have anything to say that hasn't already been said. DFW is/was amazing, brilliant, and it is so devastating that he won't spend the next several decades casting his genius out to us in small sips, book by book by book. One of my favorite things about reading what I consider to be DFW's best writing is the sheer grace of his phrasing, the joy of getting sucked right in and through paragraph after paragraph of the longest, most convoluted-seeming sentences which nonetheless pull you along [...]

    • I didn't know much about David Foster Wallace when I cracked open this collection of his essays, so the first piece on the Adult Video News Awards caught me rather by surprise. Within just a few paragraphs, however, the sheer and utter brilliance of this fascinating and yet also erudite and intellectual examination of the porn industry left me with little doubt that DFW's reputation as one of the smartest and funniest writers of my lifetime is well-deserved.Prior to this book, if you had told me [...]

    • David Foster Wallace is a self-described SNOOT, the sort of person "who watched The Story of English on PBS (twice) and read Safire's column with their half-caff every Sunday." So, he's a bit of a know-it-all, and if you're like me, you'll feel like you're out of your league trying to keep up with him when it comes to grammar and all things English. But that's okay, because he's also witty and self-deprecating, and interested in not just English usage (thank goodness!), but also politics, lobste [...]

    • "A strange and traumatic experience," David Foster Wallace wrote in an essay on attending the Annual Adult Video News Awards, "which one of yr. corrs. will not even try to describe consists of standing at a men's room urinal between professional woodmen [male porn stars] Alex Sanders and Dave Hardman. Suffice it to say that the urge to look over/down at their penises is powerful and the motives behind this urge so complex as to cause anuresis (which in turn ups the trauma)." Aside from hinting a [...]

    • I would suggest, dear reader, that when considering Consider the Lobster, that you consider it in the same light as David Foster Wallace's collection A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. Use that book as your frame of reference for style and content and you can place this collection firmly into the category of "typical" DFW. That being said, if you thoroughly enjoyed A Supposedly Fun Thing then you'll likely thoroughly enjoy this one as well; by that same coin, if you're on the fence, you [...]

    • I just finished reading Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace. What I'm left with is an absolute amazement at the immense amounts of knowledge related in the essays. It's like DFW had - or did enough research - to fill a set of encyclopedias on each topic, and then whittled it down to the presented short-storyish length.In "Big Red Son", an essay about the Annual AVN Awards (that's Adult Video News, by the way) I learned more about the adult entertainment industry than I ever thought poss [...]

    • So let's get this out of the way: intellectually Wallace trounces Klosterman and Gladwell and still has more than enough left over to bounce David Brooks or any other pop-essayist du jour.This collection is actually better, more substantial, than the essays in "A Supposedly Fun Thing" It's nothing I can exactly single out, except that this group of essays came across as more polished, professional, but no less amusing and illuminating. In the course of reading these, I've had the pleasure of pon [...]

    • I must confess that I am not one of the cult of DFW followers that wallow in his genius ramblings; I honestly appreciated, though did not love, his (universally acknowledged) masterpiece: "Infinite Jest"; despite its raw humor, it rambled and meandered WAY too much for me to get a feel for his true storytelling talent. It seemed almost as if he was using his (arguably infinite, or at least infinitely superior to my) intelligence to slap the reader insensate. (Part of this feeling was no doubt du [...]

    • Credo di aver goduto poche volte nella mia vita come durante la lettura di Considera l'aragosta, e mai leggendo una raccolta di saggi.David Foster Wallace è intelligente, brillante, divertente, acuto, gigione, abilissimo in quel gioco delle tre carte che è una scrittura che incolla il lettore alla pagina.Nonostante i saggi che compongono la raccolta siano un po' datati, le conclusioni che trae e la sua capacità di tenere il lettore per mano anche quando lo spedisce su quelle piste di caccia c [...]

    • Not his best for the following reasons:1. We know what we know now of how his life was cut short. So why the hell did someone, in retrospect, choose to send the great American writer to a bloody lobster festival? To a pornography awards show? At any rate, all this ended up revealing was that DFW was the real world Buzz Killington- he starts his porn award article with genital mutilation statistics, and implores of the readers of some gourmet food magazine to consider the pain and suffering of no [...]

    • Riprovo, dopo la disastrosa lettura di Tutto, e di più: storia compatta dell'Infinito, con un saggio di DFW tra i più acclamati, complice il GdL saggistica del gruppo di GR Italia. “Considera l’aragosta” è una raccolta di 10 saggi scritti tra il 1998 e il 2004, equamente divisi tra lingua inglese e letteratura (5 saggi) e politica, società e cultura (altri 5). Gli argomenti dei singoli saggi sono piuttosto eterogenei, in omaggio alla pretesa, per quanto molto ben dissimulata, expertise [...]

    • O que há de mais estimulante em ler David Foster Wallace é, sem dúvida alguma, o fato de que estamos diante de um escritor com um projeto literário muito, muito claramente articulado. Não restam dúvidas de que, na prosa de DFW, vibra aquele que talvez seja o traço mais eloquente da literatura contemporânea (sobretudo pós-Joyce, pós-Woolf): a ambição de produzir parágrafos excessivamente conscientes de si mesmo, parágrafos que sejam também meta-parágrafos; a intenção de desenhar [...]

    • What I look for in a David Foster Wallace book is not so much his much-talked about brilliance, but his humanity. Under the verbal and visual tricks, there was a sensitive man who thought and felt deeply about everything he experienced. He was not what I expected from a "post-postmodern writer," which is to say that he was earnest and genuinely funny, and his writing style seems to be an organic representation of how his brain works, rather than something consciously literary. Reading him feels [...]

    • reading dfw takes work. it takes focus and a dictionary, and not the pocket kind that has commonly used words, but the kind with SAT words that is too heavy to carry. you probably have to read dfw at home or with a smart-phone handy. and i still prefer reading him to any other writer. i’ll throw the warning out there that i have an inability to articulate why i like a favourite author’s work (but this doesn’t mean i won’t keep trying).i remember when dfw was writing and speaking about wh [...]

    • Review #8 of "Year of the Review All Read Books"Big Red Son was the first thing that I ever read by David Foster Wallace. It was a few days after Christmas 2011 and I was at my local Barnes & Noble. It was the anecdote about men that had voluntarily cut off their own penises that had gotten me. I knew of David Foster Wallace in vague terms: a depressive, a gifted fiction writer of large books I was long away from reading (how wrong I turned out to be), a successive suicidal, and a man whose [...]

    • Welp, I could not finish the book. I found it to be weird - a throwback to the days of Art Buchwald etc but could not get into it for some unidentifiable reason.I planned to binge David Foster Wallace but obviously that's no longer on the cards.

    • The math makes this come out at four stars. But I was disappointed. Disappointed in the same way you are when you hear so many rave reviews about a movie and expect it to be the best movie ever and it turns out to be only really good. That said, I'm reading another collection of his essays next and still VERY much look forward to getting into his fiction (which is more my preference than essays anyhow)."Big Red Son"--my very first taste of Wallace (I can't bring myself to refer to him as "DFW" f [...]

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