In Italy for Epiphany we have the Befana, a character that brings little gifts and candies to the good boys and girls or carbon for the bad ones. She leaves them in socks which we usually put near the fireplace or at the foot of the bed. In my family, traditionally, we fill the socks not with “normal” gifts, but always with books and a few candies, to encourage the children or the people we love to dream through reading stories.
To continue this tradition virtually, I love to dedicate each Epiphany’s post to a book, a publisher or a bookstore. Because of my passion for David Foster Wallace books and the fact that I haven’t found the time yet to write a review about the first English book of his I read, my choice this year goes to “David Foster Wallace – The last interview and other conversations”.
Anyone who follows my blog with a minimum of continuity is certainly aware of my addiction for the writings of David Foster Wallace. Melville House Publishing gave me a great feeling publishing “The Last Interview and Other Conversations” dedicated to DFW. This book, as usual when I read something related to this author, fashinated me with the nonsense, the jokes, the clumsiness of David along with his illuminating reflections and his immense culture. All those things reveal once again Foster Wallace’s incredible acumen, amazing power of observation and critical sense.
There are six interviews incorporated in the collection, including his latest, before the suicide. But the one I cannot forget is “A brief interview with a five-draft man” in which David describes his incredible writing process:
“[…] I am a Five Draft man… the first two of these drafts are pen-and-paper, which is a bit old-fashioned, but other than that I don’t think there’s anything very distinctive about my work habits. I fluctuate between periods of terrible sloth and paralysis and periods of high energy and production, but from what I know about other writers this isn’t unusual. Work-wise, my only real distinction is that I am an incredibly fast and accurate two-finger typist, the best I’ve ever heard of […]”
According to him, nothing special, except for the five drafts, two handwritten and other three two-fingers quickly typed [I loved that part… maybe because I’m a fast two fingers typist too…]. Nothing special, but what amazing results every time…
You should discover the rest reading the book, it’s a bit more than 100 pages, just the time to fly back from San Francisco, in my case. Reading is wonderful, remember! 🙂
Other posts about David Foster Wallace