Magazine
Latest Issue

Forget the footnotes

David Foster Wallace was an essayist of the first rank

By Matthew Walther  

(photo: Giovanni Giovannetti/effigie)

Both Flesh and Not: Essays by David Foster Wallace (Hamish Hamilton, £20)

The name David Foster Wallace refers to three distinct writers. The first was a highbrow, encyclopaedic novelist; the second was an essayist of the first rank; and the third was the giver of a famous inspirational talk (“This is Water”) quoted frequently on the internet. I confess to having little interest in the first of these figures, and none whatsoever in the third. For me, Wallace was almost…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect