Now You Can Buy the Book David Foster Wallace Was Most Ashamed Of

Tom Scocca · 08/09/13 12:34PM

Ever since David Foster Wallace committed suicide in 2008, the late novelist's friends and literary executors have been exploring the intersection of canonization, exploitation, and vengeance. His publishing house chopped and shuffled his unfinished and unfinishable final manuscript into a "posthumous novel." Jonathan Franzen, loser of their head-to-head trial of literary merit in life, set about relitigating it through underminer-y ostensibly memorial essay-writing. Elizabeth Wurtzel used him as a reference point for her crush on David Boies ("David Boies makes David Wallace look like, well, some other lesser David, maybe David Remnick"). He's become the lit-martyr equivalent of Bruce Lee in Game of Death, with everything he ever said or wrote available for potential repackaging as a holy relic. (A phoner I did with him in 1998 has made it into two different volumes.)