From amplified e-books to coupons, sometimes it seems that there is no limit to the “extras” publishers will create to entice you to buy a book. I will admit that typically the extras don’t do a whole lot for me (although I appreciate a good reading group guide in the back of a paperback).
Today, however, I read about some additional content that I am genuinely excited about. When David Foster Wallace‘s posthumous novel, The Pale King, is released in April of next year, the University of Texas’s Harry Ransom Center‘s website will “showcase the draft manuscript, journal entries, and other aspects about the making of this posthumous novel” (from Little Brown’s spring/summer catalog).
The New Yorker‘s book blog has already posted a couple manuscript pages from The Pale King, and it is fascinating to get a behind-the-scenes look at Wallace’s process. Although most of the materials associated with The Pale King won’t be available at the Harry Ransom Center until April, the website is well worth a browse now. See the words Wallace circled in his dictionary, annotated personal novels and more.
Are you going to read The Pale King? Here’s a description from Little Brown:
The agents at the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, IL, appear ordinary enough to newly arrived trainee David Foster Wallace. But as he immerses himself in a routine so tedious and repetitive that new employees receive boredom-survival training, he learns of the extraordinary variety of personalities drawn to this strange calling. And he has arrived at a moment when forces within the IRS are plotting to eliminate even what little humanity and dignity the work still has.
Infinite Jest has long been on my TBR list (at 1,100+ pages, I suspect it’s on many of your lists, too), although the publication of The Pale King just might inspire me to read Wallace’s backlist. Anyone else hoping to tackle some Wallace sometime soon—perhaps as a New Year’s resolution?