Review of David Foster Wallace and “The Long Thing”

I just found a review by Mathias Nilges, published earlier this year, of David Foster Wallace and “The Long Thing”: New Essays on the Novels (Bloomsbury, 2014), edited by Marshall Boswell. Nilges discusses at some length my contribution to the volume, “‘Then Out of the Rubble’: David Foster Wallace’s Early Fiction.” The review was published in the American Literary History Online Review, series ix, January 2017.

Review of The Rocking Chair

My debut poetry collection, The Rocking Chair (Blue Sketch, 2015), just received its first review by Mike Good in volume 53, no. 2 of the Hollins Critic (their website). Though not available online, I was able to access it through my library and the AcademicOne File database, and a print copy looks like it should be available shortly for order.

An excerpt: “The poem’s content reaches often and expansively, shifting from personal narrative, classics, baseball, to philosophy, politics, pop-culture, sci-fi, western, geology, mathematics, and academic double-speak, sometimes in the span of a single sequence. . . . While annotations across a book-length outline of a poem might deter even the most intrepid reader, in the end, Fest’s debut is heartfelt, entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny. . . . [It] appears to be an invention to tame, preserve, and organize culture’s excess, but evades easy definition” (19).

More Bleeding Edge Reviews and The Crisis in the Humanities

This month’s issue of Harper’s Magazine has a lengthy and interesting review of Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge by Joshua Cohen (article link requires subscription), and an interesting take on the crisis in the humanities (something this blog has posted frequently on this last summer) in Thomas Frank’s monthly column, “Easy Chair,” titled, “Course Corrections.” Frank nicely summarizes many of the issues facing humanists and the humanities today, and ends with a fairly bold call: “The world doesn’t need another self-hypnotizing report on why universities exist. What it needs is for universities to stop ruining the lives of their students [financially]. Don’t propagandize for your institutions, professors: Change them. Grab the levers of power and pull.” (On a semi-related note I’m happy to report that my own current department looks like it is doing just that.)