This past spring, I wrote an essay on DFW’s The Pale King and it’s relationship to acedia, which is something like a cross between despair and sloth. My thesis examiner was a Jane Austen scholar who teaches ESL, poses in Victorian dresses for local newspapers, and had never heard of Wallace. She also hated the essayistic style of the piece, which was reflected in the grade she gave me. But I learned a lot, and, in retrospect, am proud of the work.
It’s online now, and I thought I’d post it in case anyone is interested…and has a fair amount of time on their hands. If you do choose to read it, you may want to skip the bio section, which is slightly wrong in a few places. (Wallace wasn’t always honest with interviewers, as the new DT Max bio reveals.)