Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Pale King

There's an interesting article in the LA Times about The Pale King, David Foster Wallace's unfinished novel. It's reportedly hundreds of thousands of words long (by way of comparison, Ian McEwan's short novel On Chesil Beach is 39,000 words long) but:

"It's not clear what the intended structure was," [Wallace's editor Michael] Pietsch admits, although Wallace left copious outlines and notes about "The Pale King" that he will use as guides.

Pietsch edited Wallace's gargantuan, fragmented novel Infinite Jest, so I suppose he's as qualified as anyone to put this thing together.

Infinite Jest is a huge assemblage of set pieces (some hypnotic in their virtuosity, some rather tedious). So on that level maybe The Pale King's structure will feel familiar.

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