led by: William Mottolese
Readers had long known that David Foster Wallace was working on a novel throughout much of the decade before his suicide in 2008. The Pale King, published posthumously on April 15, 2011, represents both a compositional and editing achievement as it was culled and pieced together by Wallace’s editor Michael Pietsch from boxes and drawers full of manuscripts after the author’s death. The Pale King, a typically non-linear David Foster Wallace narrative, centers around a collection of IRS employees in Peoria, Illinois. Funny, sad, deeply human, transcendent, and mundane, The Pale King, manages, like Infinite Jest, to sweep the reader along even if the subject matter seems quotidian and the plot is not always clearly defined. While The Pale King would be in most writers’ cannons vast and challenging, it is for Wallace a more accessible and grounded work than Infinite Jest.
Participants should read up to page 117 (through the end of chapter 14) before the first session.
William Mottolese has taught at Fordham University and Saint Joseph’s College in Indiana and is presently Chair of the English Department at Convent of the Sacred Heart in Connecticut. He has published on such subjects as Olaudah Equiano, Laurence Sterne, and James Joyce and is presently at work on projects on Joyce, teaching critical thinking, and the relation of literary modernism to twentieth-century popular music. William is an award-winning teacher, published poet, and proud father of three children who love to read and write.
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