Five Dials celebrate David Foster Wallace

I have mentioned it before, but I thought I´d write a proper post about it: the literary magazine Five Dials. It´s published by Hamish Hamilton, a publishing house in London, it´s published on their website once a month, and it´s free. You find it here. To read it comfortably I recommend printing it.

I just finished reading Number 10, a special issue devoted to the memory of David Foster Wallace. Now, I have never read Wallace, the first I heard of him was two years ago, when he took his own life and made the news. Apparently, he is one of the really great American authors, and reading the tributes to his genius (by such clever people as Zadie Smith, Jonathan Franzen and Don Delillo) certainly makes me curious about his novels. This is the best of the quotes:

"I´ve gotten convinced, that there´s something kind of timelessly vital and sacred about good writing. This thing doesn´t have that much to do with talent, even glittering talent [...] Talent´s just an instrument. It´s like having a pen that works instead of one that doesn´t. I´m not saying I´m able to work consistently out of this premise, but it seems like the big distinction between good art and so-so art lies somewhere in the art´s heart´s purpose, the agenda of the consciousness behind the text. It´s got something to do with love. With having the discipline to talk out of the part of yourself that can love instead of the part that just wants to be loved."

You must fall for a guy who can write something like that. Whatever kind of books he wrote, he certainly had the right motivation. He is on the top of my reading list for 2011.

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