A Tutorial on How To Emulate David Foster Wallace


I have taken the first post of Sentence of Dave, "I am shopping for a new digital camera because my wife has a habit of leaving things on the roof of our car," and followed the instructions I found on kottke.org called Growing Sentences with David Foster Wallace and here is the Wallacized result: "I am going shopping for a shiny new camera--a shiny new digital camera to replace our shiny old perfectly good digital camera-- because-- and this has happened before-- my lovely and beautiful spouse has a predilection for delicately balancing things between the roof and the billeted struts of our car, such as her keys, a hot cup of coffee, a memory stick full of MP3 and RTF files, and a Styrofoam container of left-over Chow Fun, and then blithely driving away, the aforementioned thing precariously perched until she changes her speed rapidly enough and the object's momentum pitches it forward or backward onto the pavement, where it is destroyed by other vehicles," and I recommend that you take one of your sentences and try it; you'd be surprised how easy it is to be obscure and convoluted (and some fans of this blog might say-- and they might be right-- that I have drifted in the direction of David Foster Wallace . . . my earlier posts were certainly more concise and perhaps this exercise will send me back on the path of precision and austerity . . . or perhaps not).



5 comments:

Igor said...

This is kind of how I talk all the time. This is why people always look like they are trying to get out of a conversation with me.

zman said...

If you really want to DFW your sentence you should add at least two footnotes to it, but this will then add at least two sentences to your sentence of the day, negating the entire point of your blog, so you really can't properly DFW a SOD sentence.

Dave said...

i feel like both of you could have made your comments much more prolix, but maybe it's better this way. DFW is dead for a reason.

zman said...

As in E. Annie Prolix? I liked The Shipping News, but I heard the movie wasn't as good.

Dave said...

david foster wallace would have loved that pun!

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