Readersforum's Blog

November 18, 2012

David Foster Wallace on ‘The Nature of Fun’

Filed under: Authors — Tags: , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 9:48 am

In this extract from the posthumously published collection Both Flesh and Not, the novelist and essayist describes the mixture of love and repulsion that the writer feels for his work.

The best metaphor I know of for being a fiction writer is in Don DeLillo’s Mao II, where he describes a book-in-progress as a kind of hideously damaged infant that follows the writer around, forever crawling after the writer (ie, dragging itself across the floor of restaurants where the writer’s trying to eat, appearing at the foot of the bed first thing in the morning, etc), hideously defective, hydrocephalic and noseless and flipper-armed and incontinent and retarded and dribbling cerebrospinal fluid out of its mouth as it mewls and blurbles and cries out to the writer, wanting love, wanting the very thing its hideousness guarantees it’ll get: the writer’s complete attention.

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