Designing The Pale King APR 06 2011
Marie Mundaca designed a few of David Foster Wallace's books, including The Pale King.
As it turned out, it was too distracting and sad for me to read while I was designing it. Wallace's tiny, pointy notes were all over the manuscript copy, mostly name changes and corrections and small additions. One character, Elise Prout, used to be a "G3," and a phrase that said "been squashed like a cartoon character" was changed to "worn the brown helmet." His notes reminded me of the post-it notes that would come back to me on galley pages of the essay "Host" from Consider the Lobster -- notes that said things like "Totally bitchingly great" -- and I remembered that I no longer lived in a world where David Foster Wallace was alive.