Depression and Dysphoria in the Fiction of David Foster Wallace  book cover
1st Edition

Depression and Dysphoria in the Fiction of David Foster Wallace

ISBN 9780367858599
Published January 4, 2021 by Routledge
180 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

Depression and Dysphoria in the Fiction of David Foster Wallace is the first full-length study of this critically overlooked theme, addressing a major gap in Wallace studies. Wallace has long been recognised as a ‘depression laureate’ inheriting a mantle previously held by Sylvia Plath due to the frequent and remarkable depictions of depressed characters in his fiction. However, this book resists taking Wallace’s fiction at face value and instead situates close reading of his complex fictions in theoretical dialogue both with philosophical and theoretical texts and with contemporary authors and infl uences. This book explores Wallace’s complex engagement with philosophical and medical ideas of emotional suffering and demonstrates how this evolves over his career. The shifts in Wallace’s thematic focus on various forms of dysphoria, including heartache, loneliness, boredom, and anxiety, as well as depression, correspond to an increasingly pessimistic philosophy underlying his fiction.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: ‘Lovers and Propositions’ Chapter 1: The Broom of the System Chapter 2: Girl with Curious Hair and other stories Part 2: ‘This Logarithm of All Suffering’ Chapter 3: Infinite Jest Chapter 4: Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Part 3: ‘Custodian to the Statue’ Chapter 5: Oblivion and other stories Chapter 6: The Pale King Conclusion

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Rob Mayo is based at the University of Bristol. As well as work on Wallace he has published research on disability and science fiction (MOSF Journal of Science Fiction) and ‘inner space’ in literature, film, and videogames (Healthy Minds in the Twentieth Century: In and Beyond the Asylum).