Episode 22 - Discussing David Foster Wallace with Nicolas Giacobone




In this episode with talk with Academy-Award winning screenwriter and DFW fan Nicolás Giacobone. Nico is best known as the co-writer of Iñarritu's Birdman and Biutiful, but he's also a writer of fiction and a serious reader.

If you have not seen the movie Birdman, it is strongly advised that you do so.

In this episode we discuss his grandfather's filmography, literary influences, Manu Ginobli, and many other things.  

Books and writers mentioned include Alberto Laiseca, John Updike, Don DeLillo, George Saunders, and Michael Ondaatje's Coming Through Slaughter among others. 

Contact us: concavityshow@gmail.com

Show notes: 

00:042 - background and introductions

02:16 - writing for television is painful

03:41 - Like Ed Wood, he was his own extra

09:08 - Homer and Dostoevsky and Cervantes

22:22 - movie writing is collaborative by nature

28:19 - San Antonio Spurs and ego

32:20 - In Latin America, everything is sold with a handshake

33:40 - Treating writing like work

35:08 - Ruth Reichl and DFW

43:40 - Never wrote another novel

49:00 - Six minute takes

53:01 - Tortured artist whose biggest obstacle is himself

54:00 - Free time and they write bullshit

57:07 - Aaron Swartz's theory of IJ

1:04:26 - We can't do math

1:08:11 - Plenty of good books are forgotten

1:12:01 - The 160-page version of CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

1:15:19 - Sergio de la Pava

1:22:06 - The Internet as a tool

1:28:00 - Mario Bellatin

1:32:32 - Moving past Bolaño's influence

1:36:46 - Make fun of Shakespeare

1:37:59 - Comparing Birdman and Infinite Jest

1:39:56 - IJ is impossible to film

1:45:55 - Easter egg: technical difficulties


Episode 21 - Discussing David Foster Wallace with Clare Hayes-Brady





In this episode we talk with Wallace scholar Clare Hayes-Brady about her new book The Unspeakable Failures of David Foster Wallace.


She is Lecturer in American Literature at University College, Dublin.

We discuss a variety of issues in this episode including bad endings, DFW Studies, Ricoeur, love, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and assorted other things.

You can find her on Twitter https://twitter.com/ClareHayesBrady


Show notes

00:30 - Byzantine Erotica right off the bat

01:30 - Spelling of Quebecois

02:30 - UCD vs TCD

04:01 - The Unspeakable Failures

05:01 - Noncompletion, the lack of closure

05:45 - A Failed Entertainment

08:30 - Short Story Theory, resistance to closure

10:39 - We don’t have neat narratives

13:00 - How can you be done with something?

14:26 - Starting IJ again

15:20 - The peripheral stuff

16:27 - Was IJ/DFW narcissistic?

19:10 - The empathetic connection with readers

20:38 - Incoherent need to communicate

22:21 - The problem with romantic relationships--and Anne Geddes

25:21 - Misogyny from a place of fear

26:36 - The Granola Cruncher

30:53 - The silencing of female characters

31:02 - The Lionel Shriver issue

35:18 - A poorly disguised avatar

35:45 - Hungerford piece

37:02 - The Joycean Boys Club

39:59 - The C-word

44:42 - Inhabiting other minds

45:29 - Hurston not explaining things

47:26 - White male protagonists. . . groan

48:46 - VIDA count and the equivalent awareness

50:01 - Separating the artist from the art

51:29 - Ferrante & Knausgaard

55:36 - Writing beyond his own perspective

56:20 - Hardcore Theory Weenies

58:41 - Conflating a couple of paradoxes

59:59 - A fascinating disaster of a book

1:01:54 - The conclusions of the failures

1:04:40 - First attempt in Learning

1:05:08 - Post on Poor Yorick’s Summer

1:05:30 - Honest Ulsterman and motherhood

1:08:40 - Easter Egg

Episode 20: Discussing David Foster Wallace with John Mango



In this episode we talk with John Mango. John is a teacher and a scholar but in this episode we talk a lot about recovery, AA membership, depression, and alcoholism--perennial DFW subjects all around.

01:07 - Twenty episodes in a year

02:02 - Introducing John Mango

04:01 - John Grisham paperbacks

05:05 - Joseph Heller, Thomas Pynchon, Cormac McCarthy

06:30 - A comforting loss and depression

08:30 - Terry Eagleton & the role of literature

11:22 - Discovering Wallace after death

13:15 - We feel like we know him

14:14 - Can you even talk about AA?

15:25 - Hiding stuff all the time

16:29 - Humility

17:30 - Separating the biography from the writing?

18:20 - Alcohol & Poetry, John Berryman

19:48 - Sharing and honesty and irony

21:11 - The Big Book is IJ

22:14 - William James, Religious Experience

25:39 - AA and agnosticism

26:02 - G.O.D. = Group of Drunks

26:25 - It all comes down to pragmatism

27:15 - Gately saving Randy Lenz, a program of action

29:04 - The gift of desperation

31:30 - St. Anselm

33:00 - Gately enjoys riding with the crocodiles

37:31 - Big Craig

38:10 - Interview with Deb Larson-Venable, the real Pat Montesian

39:43 - How John came in

41:09 - Gratitude? Seriously?

44:58 - A giant love letter to AA

48:44 - It sounds like a cliche

51:20 - A favorite part of Infinite Jest

54:05 - Fleeting mention of Trump, sorry

54:44 - Fake cliche motto

57:40 - Burlington, Vermont & Hebron, Connecticut

59:01 - Norwalk virus

1:00:11 - The Joke in Infinite Jest

1:02:13 - Vocabulary of emotional literacy

1:03:56 - The problem of solipsism

1:07:07 - @callmejohnmango, Facebook, The Blog - https://hazardsofthecourse.wordpress.com/

1:10:23 - Destigmatizing the disease

1:11:13 - Android Netrunner

Episode 19 - Discussing David Foster Wallace with Rachel Laird & Amy Pelletier



In this episode, Dave and Matt start by catching up about the recent photo caption contest winner and entries, Dairy Queen, Flannery O'Connor conferences, and the distinguished list of famous writers Matt has met. Then, our guests Amy and Rachel talk to Dave about their recent experiences reading Infinite Jest for the first time. 

Episode 18 - Discussing Infinite Jest with Sean Pratt



In this episode we speak with audiobook narrator extraordinaire, Sean Pratt. Sean is the narrator of the 56-hour-long audiobook of Infinite Jest. He has also narrated over 800 other books. Believe it or not, Infinite Jest is not even the longest book Sean has narrated! We discuss the mechanics of recording, the different voices in the book, the endnotes issue, what it takes to become an audiobook narrator, and many other things

You can find Sean on Twitter at @SPPresents and his website http://www.SeanPrattPresents.com

Show Notes

2:06 - Sean Pratt’s background & how he got the part

7:04 - So you want to be an audiobook narrator

10:01 - The economics of recording an audiobook

13:30 - A state of “flow”

16:24 - How many hours did this really take?

20:51 - When we first meet Ken Erdedy

24:30 - Acting vs. Reading: Tom Robbins

28:04 - A silk purse out of a sow’s ear

32:01 - Reading the paratext & The Four Voices of Nonfiction

35:10 - Just skip the endnotes: a debate

41:50 - No really, how to do the endnotes?

44:02 - Blood Sister: One Tough Nun & comedy

47:50 - Do you listen to yourself?

50:38 - Always Be Entertaining

52:52 - How to navigate all the voices

58:10 - Don’t do it like a puppet show

59:15 - Hal watching a video cartridge

1:01:15 - Some of Sean’s best audiobooks

1:06:25 - Speed vs. Tempo

1:12:20 - To honor the text

1:16:15 - Easter egg

Episode 17.2 - David Foster Wallace Conference 2016 Recap Show - Part 2



In Part 2 of this episode we look back at the 3rd Annual David Foster Wallace Conference, held at Illinois State University July 28-30. We talk with a number of DFW scholars and conference attendees. 

In this episode are interviews with Melissa Holton, Jane Carman, Emily Spalding & Josh Katz, Tony McMahon, Ryan Marnane, and Rob Short & Chris Ayers. 

Last day for photo caption contest entries is end of day Aug 31st, so post on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! Winner to be determined shortly thereafter.

Show Notes:

00:00:55 - Melissa Holton - @maccalisa17

00:12:27 - Jane Carman - festivalwriter.org

00:21:40 - Josh Katz & Emily Spalding - @ewspalding

00:41:17 - Tony McMahon - @tony_mcmahon2

00:59:57 - Ryan Marnane - @ryanmarnane

1:20:00 - Chris Ayers & Rob Short - @chrisAcreative pooryorickentertainment.tumblr.com & @vismeainlabore

Episode 17.1 - David Foster Wallace Conference 2016 Recap Show - Part 1



In Part 1 of this two-part episode we look back at the 3rd Annual David Foster Wallace Conference, held at Illinois State University. We talk with a number of DFW scholars and conference attendees. 

In this episode are interviews with keynote speaker Marshall Boswell, Michael O'Connell, Jeff Severs, Corrie Baldauf, Matt Luter, Mike Miley, and Samantha Wallace. 

Show notes:
00:00:45 - Recap of our respective summers
00:05:30 - The Inkiest Black
00:06:55 - Online communities
00:10:30 - 4th Annual Conference
00:15:01 - photo caption contest
00:17:18 - Interview with Michael O'Connell
00:27:51 - Interview with Marshall Boswell
00:29:00 - Cambridge Companion to David Foster Wallace, edited by Ralph Clare
00:38:20 - Interview with Jeff Severs
00:50:57 - Interview with Corrie Baldauf

01:04:37 - Interview with Matt Luter
01:17:03 - Interview with Mike Miley
01:30:53 - Interview with Samantha 'No Relation' Wallace

People notes:
Michael O'Connell, Siena Heights University

Marshall Boswell, author of Understanding David Foster Wallace

Corrie Baldauf 

Matt Luter, author of Understanding Jonathan Lethem
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
Twitter: @matthewjluter

Mike Miley

Samantha Wallace, University of Virginia

Episode 16 - Discussing David Foster Wallace with Edmund Waldstein



In this episode, we talk with Pater Edmund Waldstein. 

He is a Cistercian monk at a monastery in Austria and a David Foster Wallace scholar. 
We talk about religion and morals and a number of other related issues in Wallace's work. 

His blog is an excellent resource for his writing about Wallace and other topics: https://sancrucensis.wordpress.com/

Pater Edmund is on Twitter @sancrucensis

Episode 15 - Discussing David Foster Wallace with Krzys Piekarski



In this episode, we talk with Krzys Piekarski, PhD. Krzys is a DFW scholar who has written extensively on DFW and Buddhism. He also runs a wisdom program in Austin called Character by Design: https://characterbydesign.org/

We cover a variety of topics in this show, from parables to stress and boredom to the basics of Buddhism and how it manifests in Wallace’s writing. 

The book Krzys mentions is at the end of the show is called Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, and we talk about the books of Steven Batchelor - Buddhism without Beliefs.

His podcast, with author Sunni Brown is called Sunni & Wise. http://sunniandwise.com / @sunniandwise

There are some weird booming sounds in this episode. Sorry about that!


Show Notes

01:46 - Introduction Krzys & his teaching background

03:00 - Teaching in prison

04:24 - Krzys’s dissertation on Buddhism, Philosophy, and David Foster Wallace

06:48 - Can Wallace be considered a Buddhist thinker?

08:30 - Krzys’s path to Buddhism

11:00 - DFW’s undergrad years at Amherst & Wittgenstein

12:08 - Wittgensteinian zen parable

14:14 - The limits of language

14:25 - Buddhism 101

15:15 - Suffering

18:59 - How we can gain freedom

21:50 - George Saunders calls Wallace a great Buddhist writer

23:57 - Wallace and meditation

25:38 - The boredom thing

29:11 - Flow state

35:49 - What is the purpose of life?

36:00 - David Foster Wallace and the Velveteen Rabbit

38:30 - Escape from the self

43:10 - Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

44:20 - Mario Incandenza

47:00 - Disgust and addicts

52:00 - Trying to express inexpressible truths

53:20 - Double binds

57:20 - Stepping in to a monastery

1:00:30 - Sincere curiosity 

1:02:15 - There is nothing missing in you

1:07:00 - Show wrap-up, thanks, and links






Episode 14: Discussing David Foster Wallace with Josh Roiland and his class at the University of Maine



In this special episode we talk with Professor Josh Roiland and his class at the University of Maine. Roiland is Assistant Professor + CLAS-Honors Preceptor of Journalism in the Department of Communication and Journalism + Honors College. Roiland’s class this semester was called “Consider David Foster Wallace” and they read a TON of DFW work. As part of their class project, the students also created a really useful website about IJ called Consider Infinite Jest https://considerinfinitejest.wordpress.com/

Josh has written a lot about Wallace and here are a few of his pieces we mention in this episode:

·        "Getting Away from It All: The Literary Journalism of David Foster Wallace and Nietzsche's Concept of 'Oblivion'"Literary Journalism Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2, Fall 2009, 89-105. (Revised and reprinted in The Legacy of David Foster Wallace, University of Iowa Press).

·        "The Fine Print: Uncovering the True Story of David Foster Wallace and the 'Reality Boundary'" Literary Journalism Studies, Vol. 5, No. 2, Fall 2013, 148-161. (Reprinted by Longreads; 10 Most Popular Exclusives of 2014).

·        "Spiritually Midwestern: What Middle America Meant to David Foster Wallace" published (w/essential footnotes maddeningly located on the side of the text) by A24 Film Studios "Just Words" site in conjunction w/the release of The End of The Tour. 

You can follow Josh Roiland on Twitter @JoshRoiland or check out his website: www.joshroiland.com 

SPECIAL THANKS are due to Justin Harlan-Haughey for his audio expertise.Thanks also to Robyn O’Neil, Parquet Courts, Josh Roiland, Derrek Schrader, Alex Abrahams, Emily McNair, Atticus Dennis, and Taylor Cunningham.


03:00 – Josh’s writing on Wallace

04:38 – Josh’s email intro to the class

06:34 – Class syllabus and reading list

08:38 – Reconciling Wallace’s death with his writing

10:21 – Starting the class with a discussion onsuicide

13:52 – Is Wallace’s writing autobiographical?

16:55 – The class on Twitter

18:20 – The Wallace community on Twitter

19:51 – When the class read Infinite Jest

21:35 – Meeting in different spaces

22:45 – The ending of Infinite Jest

24:35 – Is the graveyard scene real? What’s going onthere?

27:49 – Waiting for plotlines to converge

30:30 – Reading IJ in public

31:07 – The cliché of dudes/bros reading Infinite Jest

37:38 – The marginalization of journalism in Englishdepartments

39:06 – DFW’s exaggerations in non-fiction

40:25 – Your favorite Wallace piece?

48:24 – Your least favorite Wallace piece?

53:33 – How to teach Infinite Jest

55:25 – Class-created website about IJ

1:01:32 – What to read after Wallace?

1:05:15 – Your favorite Wallace character?

1:09:52 – Any huge takeaways from this experience?

Contact us at concavityshow@gmail.comor @concavityshow

Episode 13: Discussing David Foster Wallace with Rob Short



In this episode we talk with Wallace scholar Rob Short. We discuss everything from AA & recovery to William James and summer camp. 

You can follow Rob on twitter and academia.edu here:




Show Notes

Urine trouble? You’re in luck! - 00:49

Rob’s academic background – 1:09

Wallace’s interview with SPEAK magazine – 3:15

Rob’s paper at the 2014 DFW Conference – 5:26

The idea of “worshipping” – 6:30

Readers at academic conferences – 8:42

The obtuseness of Derrida – 10:24

Glenn K. – 11:30

“To impress people when you are 24” – 12:19

Teaching Wallace - 15:18

DFW’s early publishing history & audience – 29:00

David Markson – 30:26

Wallace’s inter-novel period – 34:00

Rob’s dissertation’s structure – 37:27

William James – 41:26

The rhetoric of AA – 46:33

How Don Gately goes straight – 50:30

Zadie Smith on DFW – 52:29

Catholics by Brian Moore – 56:33

Personal religion stuff – 57:45

United Church of Canada and atheism– 1:01:21

Post-secular society – 1:03:36

A spectrum of salvation/hope - 1:05:47

Addicts are throwaway people – 1:08:15

“Use” and usefulness - 1:09:55

Rote discipline and routine – 1:12:35

Wallace at Le Conversazioni http://robshort.org/files/Le_Conversazioni_2006.mp4 - 1:15:48

Eternal thanks to Parquet Courts, David C. Jensen, and Robyn O’Neil … and You of course. 

Episode 12: Discussing David Foster Wallace with David Hering



In this episode we talk with DFW scholar David Hering. Hering is the author of the forthcoming book David Foster Wallace: Fiction + Form. He's also a Lecturer at the University of Liverpool and editor of the book Consider David Foster Wallace. You can follow him on Twitter at @hering_david


Episode 11: Answering Your Questions about David Foster Wallace




In this episode, we finally get around to answering the questions you submitted in February. Listen to find out if we answered yours!

We also mention this clip of Wallace talking about traveling to Italy:

And be sure to follow our show on Twitter over yonder ----> @ConcavityShow

Episode 10: Discussing David Foster Wallace with Nick Maniatis of The Howling Fantods



In this episode, we talk with Nick Maniatis, proprietor and webmaster of the invaluable website, The Howling Fantods.

If you are a DFW fan, Nick probably needs no introduction, but we do ask him how the site came to be and how it has evolved over the years. 
Be sure to follow him on Twitter here:@nick_maniatis or on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/and.but.so/

Episode 9: Discussing David Foster Wallace with Jenni B. Baker



In this episode, we talk about Infinite Jest (and lots of other things) with Jenni B. Baker, Editor-in-Chief of The Found Poetry Review and creator of the Erasing Infinite project. 

Jenni is also one of the guides of the current Infinite Winter project. You can follow Jenni on Twitter @erasinginfinite and @jennibbaker.

Episode 8 - Discussing David Foster Wallace with DT Max



In this episode we talk with Wallace biographer D.T. Max. Max is the author of Every Love Story is a Ghost Story

We also mention his latest piece in the New Yorker about a pioneering surgery for paraplegics. 

If you don't follow him already, he's @dtmax on Twitter.

Also, here is a WBUR radio interview with David Foster Wallace from 1996, which we mention in this episode: http://radioopensource.org/david-foster-wallace-chris-lydon/

Episode 7 - Discussing David Foster Wallace with Chris Ayers



Chris Ayers designed a number of movie posters from James Incandenza's filmography. He posts his art and designs at http://pooryorickentertainment.tumblr.com

In this episode we discuss the upcoming 20th anniversary edition of Infinite Jest and the cover design contest. Head on over to Poor Yorick Entertainment to see the winning design and some other entrants.

You can follow Chris on Twitter at @chrisAcreative

Episode 6 - 2015 Year in Review



In this episode we go almost completely OFF TOPIC and wrap up 2015 by discussing our favorite books, movies, music, TV shows, and games of the year. 

We've collected some of the music recommended in this episode into this playlist on Apple Music.
One artist who didn't make it on the playlist is Joanna Newsom, who doesn't license her music to most streaming services. But she does get Paul Thomas Anderson to direct her new music video!
At the end of this episode we request that listeners send us questions. We will be collecting listener questions about DFW & his work through the end of January. We'll answer those questions in an episode in February. Email us at concavityshow@gmail.com or hit us on Twitter @ConcavityShow.

Episode 5 - Discussing David Foster Wallace with Tim Groenland



In this episode with talk with Irish scholar Tim Groenland, who has written extensively about Wallace and The Pale King. Groenland's doctoral work is concerned with authorship and the way Michael Pietsch molded The Pale King after Wallace's death. We also discuss Gordon Lish's editorial relationship with Raymond Carver. 

You can follow Tim on Twitter @groenbot.

Episode 4 - Discussing David Foster Wallace with Corrie Baldauf



In this episode we talk with artist Corrie Baldauf. If you haven't seen her Infinite Jest project, check it out here: http://hyperallergic.com/178866/reading-david-foster-wallace-for-the-colors/

And follow her on Twitter! https://twitter.com/CorrieBaldauf
Show notes courtesy of Jordan Tibbett.

Show Notes

(00:00) - Intro

(00:30) - Guest Corrie Baldauf

(01:50) - Corrie’s Infinite Jest Project

(03:50) - Pale King Cover Design

(06:51) - Corrie’s Introduction to Infinite Jest

(08:20) - Color References in The Book

(12:00) - An Excerpt of Color Usage

(13:30) - Jenni Baker’s Erasing Infinite Jest

(15:05) - Matt’s Entry in The Found Poetry Review (http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/wrt-david-foster-wallace/david-foster-wallace-titles-roughly-translated-into-other-languages-and-roughly-translated-back-into-english/)

(16:19) - Various Narrative Threads in Infinite Jest

(20:50) - Corrie’s Profile in Hyperallergic (http://hyperallergic.com/178866/reading-david-foster-wallace-for-the-colors/)

(20:50) - Corrie’s Cover Art on Unspeakable Failures: David Foster Wallace

(25:15) - The Literary Community and Twitter

(28:38) - Infinite Jest’s 20th Anniversary Cover Redesign

(33:14) - Imagery of ‘The Cage’

(38:30) - Karen Green’s Bough Down

(42:28) - Corrie’s Experience Reading Infinite Jest

(45:04) - Autism and Wallace

(48:20) - Characters in The Pale King linked to Characters in Infinite Jest

(50:36) - Corrie’s Optimism Project

(53:50) - Corrie’s New Book

(55:40) - Wallace in The Classroom

(57:45) - Final Thoughts

(59:30) - Outro


People Mentioned

Corrie Baldauf (http://corriebaldauf.com/home.html)

David Foster Wallace (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Foster_Wallace)

Karen Green (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/apr/10/karen-green-david-foster-wallace-interview)

Jenni B. Baker (http://www.jennibbaker.com)

Clare Hayes-Brady (http://www.amazon.com/Unspeakable-Failures-David-Foster-Wallace/dp/1501313525)

Sarah Rose Sharp (http://hyperallergic.com/author/sarah-rose-sharp/)

Sidney Peterson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Peterson)

Matt Tresco

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