David Foster Wallace’s
Nonfiction and Short Fiction
Led by: William Mottolese
Time: 6 - 7:30pm
Meets: Third Thursday of the month; four sessions
Dates: 2/16, 3/16, 4/20, 5/18
David Foster Wallace is best known for his monumental novel Infinite Jest. He is less celebrated for his nonfiction and short fiction, though he was quite accomplished at writing both. Those who followed Wallace throughout his career know that he was an impressive and inventive essayist. His essays were published widely and in high profile places. Sprawling and idiosyncratic, Wallace’s non-fiction pieces tackle topics as wide-ranging as tennis, Borges, and cruise ships—all executed with his characteristic attention to detail and unique wit. Like his long fiction, Wallace’s short fiction can be off-putting and recondite. Most critics consider Oblivion, written during the period of The Pale King’s composition, his strongest collection of short stories. This spring we will explore Wallace’s classic early collection of essays, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, Oblivion, and String Theory, an anthology of tennis writings published in 2016 to great acclaim.
Please read A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again for our first meeting in February.
William Mottolese has taught at Fordham University and Saint Joseph’s College in Indiana and is presently Chair of the English Department at Convent of the Sacred Heart in Connecticut. He has published on such subjects as Olaudah Equiano, Laurence Sterne, and James Joyce and is presently at work on projects on Joyce, teaching critical thinking, and the relation of literary modernism to twentieth-century popular music. William is an award-winning teacher, published poet, and proud father of three children who love to read and write.