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

Depression and Dysphoria in the Fiction of David Foster Wallace

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ISBN 9780367858599
December 30, 2020 Forthcoming by Routledge
182 Pages

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Book Description

Depression and Dysphoria in the Works of David Foster Wallace is the first full-length critical study of the prominent and persistent themes of mental anguish – including clinical depression and analogous conditions such as loneliness and boredom – in the fiction of David Foster Wallace, an author indelibly associated with depression since his tragic death in 2008. This study provides accessible, yet critically probing readings of all six of David Foster Wallace’s major works of fiction, The Broom of the System, Girl with the Curious Hair, Infinite Jest, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Oblivion, and The Pale King, examining how his conceptualization of depression and other dysphoric conditions evolves across the three decades of his career. These readings clearly demonstrate the connections and divergences between Wallace’s works, and explore their relation to wider debates surrounding affect, medical humanities, and the ‘new sincerity’ in US fiction. By presenting his fiction alongside theorists, philosophers, and contemporary authors whose works also explore these themes, this monograph provides a thorough account of Wallace’s literary project and career-long concern with depression.

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 Asylums).