Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Red Dragon is a Hard Novel

From an interesting little Newsweek piece about the DFW archive:

His class materials take up a couple of boxes in the Ransom archive, providing readers with the opportunity to see which essays and stories Wallace assigned, and then read the professor’s own marked copies of the works. You can see the lines of Lorrie Moore’s short story “People Like That Are the Only People Here” that Wallace thought were either funny or “bad”—as well as how Wallace saw that Stephen King made the potentially stock character of Carrie into a fuller portrait. (When Wallace assigned genre fiction to his students, he warned them against slacking off. “Red Dragon is a hard novel, at least the way we’ll be reading it,” he wrote in one handout.)

Of course, some of us already knew the closeness with which Wallace read (and even, some might say, plagiarized) Thomas Harris's novel.

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