New Scientist on Everything and More: "There

posted by Jason Kottke Oct 31, 2003

New Scientist on Everything and More: "There are moments where David Foster Wallace pulls off a very convincing impression of maverick writer Dave Eggers's style". How embarrassing for the reviewer

Reader comments

CraniacNov 01, 2003 at 1:17AM

Embarassing because DFW preceded Eggers by many years? Or because they are secretly the same person...

SallyNov 01, 2003 at 2:41AM

Yeah, how embarrassing for people (like me) who don't know why the reviewer should be embarrassed

TimNov 01, 2003 at 3:05AM

Eggers always seemed to be imitating DFW, but with less creativity or sense of humor (just my 2 cents)

jkottkeNov 01, 2003 at 9:06AM

Yeah, how embarrassing for people (like me) who don't know why the reviewer should be embarrassed

You've got no cause to be embarrassed. You're not a book reviewer who, one would presume, would be aware of DFW's influence on Eggers and certainly not the other way around.

JoshNov 01, 2003 at 10:09AM

Doubly embarassin, IMO, especially since Wallace is/was one of the greatest writers of his decadce, and Eggers is/was one of the most overhyped (in my opinion, anyway).

I hope that Wallace publishes another novel soon -- though in general I feel that the reason Infinite Jest was 1,100 pages along was specifically so that his style and approach would never, ever be used again. There aren't that many new novels about whaling, either, if you know what I mean.

AugustNov 01, 2003 at 10:59AM

I'd have to say they're both way over-hyped, although yeah, the influence of DFW on Eggers is fairly obvious.

I like both their writing, but my god they're pretentious. At least I've heard that Eggers is a good person.

TomNov 01, 2003 at 11:16AM

Embarrassing. Very. Eggers is probably calling DFW to apologize. Embarrassing because this is like a music reviewer discovering the Velvet Underground and saying they sound like the Strokes. As Jason mentions, you'd expect a well-tuned relational chart of chronology and creative influence it part of any self-respecting reviewer's basic tool kit.

AugustNov 02, 2003 at 11:25AM

Or he could be a high-postmodernist, in which case new books are capable of influencing old books (not kidding) and influence (a la intertextuality, in most cases) becomes a continuum that functions in multiple directions rather than simply being forward and linear.

But somehow I doubt that's what he's going for.

dtettoNov 02, 2003 at 5:50PM

New books influencing old books? Must be pretty high, indeed.

JoshNov 02, 2003 at 6:02PM

Must be pretty high, indeed. Hahahahahaha, that's awesome.

EmilyNov 03, 2003 at 12:28PM

high on intertextuality, neato...i saw both DFW and DE at a reading once, and each lavished the other with praise, DE much more humbly and in a "he's my idol!" sort of way. despite this lame-o review, i cannot wait to get this book...

EdNov 03, 2003 at 4:42PM

Embarassing because DFW is ten times the writer DE is, has a more interesting prose style, and probably smells better too now that he's, w/r/t smoking, given it up, and certainly doesn't cry or kvetch nearly as much as sissy-boy Eggers (the sensitive, incisorless James Taylor of our time), who writes dreadfully cluttered sentences like this one but is praised nonetheless and causes several book freaks migraines and resultant angry natterings, why the focus on this I don't quite know but, like DFW's nicotine habit, I've stopped with this thing, you can too, if only to digest better because there are other things more important to get angry about like killer klowns in oval offices, the like. Dammit.

Donover Sandra Corsover Feb 28, 2004 at 12:53PM

A good friend can tell you what is the matter with you in a minute. He may not seem such a good friend after telling.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.