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Remember how the Nothing invaded the fantasy land in The Neverending Story? It's happening to comedy. Un-comedy is in the show "Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job" (and much else on Adult Swim); it's in the New Yorker; and McSweeney's, the writhing heart of the Nothing, has infected Esquire with it. In a piece titled "Joke" McSweeney's writer Deb Olin Unferth tells an intentionally stupid story. Am I too dumb to get whatever clever point Unferth is making, or is this really the worst "so unfunny it's funny" story ever to appear in a publication not edited by Dave Eggers? (Don't worry, there's a plain text version of the "joke" under the napkin-scribble version shown here, although I bet Unferth wanted to make everyone decipher her handwriting.)

Praise for Every Love Story is a Ghost Story

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The cover, inside cover, and various annotated pages from David Foster Wallace's teaching copy of Stephen King's .
Image courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center

The "real Timothy McSweeney" has died.

Handwritten draft pages of David Foster Wallace's essay "Tense Present: Democracy, English, and the Wars over Usage."
Images courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center.

BritishLibrary Lansdowne MS 851 fol.

A Narrative Bibliography - William J.

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Chaucer's - Andrzej Wicher [.pdf]

of Cambridge

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A few years ago, a friend asked me if I had ever read David Foster Wallace’s essay on Fyodor Dostoevsky. It was the last essay, he said, of Wallace’s 2005 collection, . Despite being at the exact peak of my Wallace fanboy phase, and having listened through the audiobook of more than once, I was certain I’d never heard anything about my favourite Russian novelist. Google revealed the truth: the audiobook was an abridged version. I had been robbed! Happily, a brisk walk into town revealed that ’ shelves were home to a single copy of the real thing. That evening – in front of a small log-burner of precisely the kind I could imagine nineteenth-century Russian philosophers huddling around – I inhaled the elusive essay.

"Crueel Tigre": Animal Imagery and Metaphor in "The Knight's Tale" - Jennifer LaBurre [.pdf]

Silverman - Skylar Hamilton Burris

We, like you perhaps, received this message in our "e-mail" inbox, from the twee literary magazine of one Dave Eggers: "It's a month of major things—a new quarterly, a new novel, and a new Wholphin are all bursting forth, via our website , yearning to be sent your way by the brave men and women of our warehouse, who right now are emerging from their cryogenic chambers and taking in nutrient-rich fluids in order to prepare for this fabled late-February triple-delivery. The major news networks are, inexplicably, not covering any of this, but here is what we can tell you: McSweeney's 26, first of all, is itself three separate objects, two books of short fiction featuring tornadoes, child reporters, Amanda Davis, and someone called the Black Shaman, and one volume of dead-serious dossiers, based on actual Pentagon documents, outlining how the United States might justify its next round of wars." DIAL DOWN THE CUTENESS OVERLOAD, m'kay, guys?

Curtis III  - Rachel Wald  - Jean Di Paolo  - Kaye Anfield  - Diana Dosik

Melillo - Victoria Wickham - Michael Ginzburg

Park Slope parents, your salvation is cometh! You've probably been wondering to yourself, "How are we going to pay for little Maxim's $800 per hour private school tutors in a few years, what with this massive house payment on our Park Slope co-op?" Not to fear! McSweeney's is now accepting your children, for indoctrination!

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Marino - Guinevere Shaw - Cathy Cupitt

Throughout the film, Lipsky’s watchful insecurity is urgent — who is he, if not a writer? What if he’s a writer but ? As he tries to untangle his envy and admiration, you’re never quite sure what he most wants to find: proof that Wallace is worth admiring unreservedly, or some flaw that will let him off the hook. Nor is the watchfulness wholly one-sided. Wallace is uneasy with Lipsky’s power to control his story, threatened when he thinks Lipsky is moving in on his grad-school ex. These are not the writerly ways in which Lipsky might wish to threaten Wallace, perhaps, but they’re still intimidating; they make the two men, at least in some sense, peers.