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Consider the Lobster and Other Essays av…
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Consider the Lobster and Other Essays (urspr publ 2005; utgåvan 2007)

av David Foster Wallace

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3,728702,437 (4.13)169
For this collection, Wallace immerses himself in the three-ring circus that is the presidential race in order to document one of the most vicious campaigns in recent history. Later he strolls from booth to booth at a lobster festival in Maine and risks life and limb to get to the bottom of the lobster question. Then he wheedles his way into an L.A. radio studio, armed with tubs of chicken, to get the behind-the-scenes view of a conservative talk show featuring a host with an unnatural penchant for clothing that looks good only on the radio. Do lobsters feel pain? Did Franz Kafka have a sick sense of humor? What is John Updike's deal anyway? And who won the Adult Video News' Female Performer of the Year Award the same year Gwyneth Paltrow won her Oscar? Wallace answers these questions and more.--From publisher description.… (mer)
Medlem:whiskerando
Titel:Consider the Lobster and Other Essays
Författare:David Foster Wallace
Info:Back Bay Books (2007), Edition: Later printing, Paperback, 343 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:****1/2
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Consider the Lobster and Other Essays av David Foster Wallace (2005)

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engelska (68)  tyska (1)  japanska (1)  Alla språk (70)
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“If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible psychological reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.”

“Truly decent, innocent people can be taxing to be around.”

“It never once occurs to him, though, that the reason he's so unhappy is that he's an asshole.”

DFW may have been an asswipe during his 46 years on earth and he may have taken some liberties in his essays but there is no question that the dude could write. He may even be one of the best authors of his generation. This is the second essay collection I have read and loved and teaming that up with his massive masterwork, Infinite Jest, has sealed the deal for me. I just would have loved to have heard his voice during the Trump era. ( )
  msf59 | Feb 14, 2021 |
David Foster Wallace is my favorite author to read, and my least favorite author to talk about.

I dislike being a DFW fan for the same reason I'm uncomfortable with being passionate about sports: there's a certain inherent anxiety that comes from being in questionable company. The fact of the matter is that David Foster Wallace attracts an army of young, white, educated men who probably think very highly of themselves. These men often then turn around and recommend DFW to anybody who moves, and as a result many women resent the author who represents a sprawling demographic of "literary bros" that insist that "Infinite Jest will change your life".

Sometimes I worry about being one of those people. So if I'm going to write about this book, I have to express right now that David Foster Wallace is not an author for everybody, in fact I have never recommended him to another person. That being said, his writing consistently blows my mind and this book is no exception.

It's not without problems. This collection of essays has it's strengths and weaknesses, as some topics work better than others. A few cringeworthy parts include the painful starting essay about a pornography convention (why in the world would you lead the book with that), and the segment of his review of a dictionary (yes that happens) where he walks the reader through common interactions between him and his black students about "urban dialect". That conversation goes as poorly as you'd expect, although Wallace does express self-awareness about how closed minded he was being. That's the problem and also the greatest strength in Wallace, he doesn't strive for perfection, he strives for all encompassing honesty. It makes it painful to read what he has to say, but it also makes it so satisfying to truly understand it.

Like anything else Wallace has written, this book is not only long but also very dense. Page after page is dedicated to topics that seem entirely pointless, all so that it can serve as a subpoint of a subargument of a large meaning. I specifically got this on audiobook because it made it easier to digest over the course of, what, two months? This is part of why I don't recommend DFW to people, especially casual readers. Starting a book by DFW and not finishing it is pointless, but starting it and then finishing it is so painful it feels like there's no use. Alas, it always has to be amazing and the dedicated Wallace reader always has to feel compelled to pick up another work of his.

This is the part where I finally feel comfortable talking about why this book is getting such a dedicated review and four stars. It's phenomenal. Yes, it's problematic and dense and long and sometimes incredibly frustrating, but it's an outstanding work of non-fiction prose, in the same way Infinite Jest was an outstanding work of fiction prose. Particularly "Up, Simba!", his essay chronicling his time on the John McCain for President 2000 press bus, was absolutely amazing. Wallace has a way to completely defy expectations even for a seasoned fan, and to take a topic such as the analysis of a dictionary and turn it into a gripping argument on the meaning of communication. The mundane become life and death, and life and death become mundane. It's not that Wallace thinks that he can bend the world, it's that he challenges the reader to consider the possibility that anybody can.

Considering the abstract nature of IJ, I didn't know what to expect going into a non-fiction work of Wallace's mind. But when he's talking about the aftermath of the September 11th attacks from the perspective of a midwesterner, or when he's talking about the fruitless desire of a tennis player to learn greatness from a ghostwritten sports memoir... it's so material. It's real in a way that is raw and uncomfortable, and when he spends pages describing something that seems meaningless, it's because the majority of our lives is fulled with the mundane and unimportant meaningless garbage. As he describes a significant question at a McCain town hall meeting, the reader finds it compelling because we've spent so long reading (or listening to, in my case) descriptions of the boring day to day on the campaign trail. It's acute meaning within a pile of dense description, it's grand philosophy in the desert of semantics and detail.

This book reveals a lot about Wallace, and some of it isn't great. I wish I could rate this five stars but that would be so disingenuous. It's not perfect, and it's not an easy read. I'm not even totally sure it was worth my time. But it was the best book I've "read" so far this year. I just won't tell you to read it, because yknow, literary bros. ( )
  MaxAndBradley | May 27, 2020 |
"I'm guessing that for the young educated adults of the sixties and seventies, for whom the ultimate horror was the hypocritical conformity and repression of their own parents' generation, Updike's eviction of the libidinous self appeared refreshing and even heroic. But young adults of the nineties-- many of whom are, of course, the children of all impassioned infidelities and divorces Updike wrote about so beautifully, and who got to watch all this brave new individualism and sexual freedom deteriorate into the joyless and anomic self-indulgence of the Me Generation-- today's subforties have very different horrors, prominent among which are anomie and solopsism and a peculiarly American loneliness: the prospect of dying without ever having loved something more than yourself."

I feel bad having recommended this to my mom before reading "Big Red Son." ( )
  uncleflannery | May 16, 2020 |
This month was kind to me in terms of finding new authors I resonate with. In the span of a week I fell in love with Agatha Christie's careful plot constructions and was amazed at David Foster Wallace's ability to distill chunks of humanity into insightful essays that can span anything from 5 pages to 150 pages.

David's thinking took me by surprise. It's rare to see an author so unapologetically dissect his own introspection of reality for us to critique. He doesn't hide his more sharp thoughts or shroud them in doublespeak as a matter of insurance. He was a keen observer of humanity's flaws and in this collection of short stories he takes us along for a ride.

There are a few brilliant essays, but the collection itself suffers greatly from those essays being bundled alongside some really dreary ones that one would not lose much if skipped. I highly suggest reading "Consider the Lobster", "Authority and American Usage", "How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart" & "Certainly the End of Something or Other, One Would Sort of Have to Think". ( )
  parzivalTheVirtual | Mar 22, 2020 |
Variable but mostly interesting. My main complaint is about footnotes: the layout of footnotes in the last essay was hard to follow in several places, and the subfootnote font in the other essays was stupidly tiny. I preferred A Supposedly Fun Thing &c. ( )
  tronella | Jun 22, 2019 |
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Se siete annoiati e disgustati dalla politica e non vi disturbate a votare, di fatto votate per gli arroccati establishment dei due principali partiti, i quali … hanno una consapevolezza profonda di quanto gli convenga mantenervi in una condizione di disgusto e noia e cinismo … Sia chiaro: avete tutto il diritto di stare a casa, se volete, ma non prendetevi in giro pensando di non votare. In realtà, non votare è impossibile: si può votare votando, oppure votare rimanendo a casa e raddoppiando tacitamente il valore del voto di un irriducibile.
Essere turisti di massa, per me, significa diventare puri americani dell'ultimo tipo: alieni, ignoranti, smaniosi di qualcosa che non si potrà mai avere, delusi come non si potrà mai ammettere di essere … Significa imporre la propria presenza in luoghi che sarebbero, in tutti i sensi non-economici, migliori e più veri senza di noi … come turisti, diventiamo economicamente rilevanti ma esistenzialmente deprecabili, insetti su una cosa morta.
[John Powers]: «… la proliferazione di blurb nei trailer cinematografici ha fatto sembrare tutti i critici o degli idioti o degli agenti pubblicitari …»
La domanda sconvolgente … è perché mai dovrebbe essere divertente ascoltare gente che viene portata con l'inganno a offendersi e agitarsi sempre più. Non sembra esserci una risposta valida. A un certo punto bisogna semplicemente chinare la testa e accettare che certi americani si divertono con cose per le quali a qualsiasi persona sana di mente vorrebbe voglia di tagliarsi le vene. Ci sono, dopotutto, adulti statunitensi del tutto efficienti cui piace la televisione evangelica, il canale delle televendite e la musica per ascensori. Si chiama Avventura democratica.
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For this collection, Wallace immerses himself in the three-ring circus that is the presidential race in order to document one of the most vicious campaigns in recent history. Later he strolls from booth to booth at a lobster festival in Maine and risks life and limb to get to the bottom of the lobster question. Then he wheedles his way into an L.A. radio studio, armed with tubs of chicken, to get the behind-the-scenes view of a conservative talk show featuring a host with an unnatural penchant for clothing that looks good only on the radio. Do lobsters feel pain? Did Franz Kafka have a sick sense of humor? What is John Updike's deal anyway? And who won the Adult Video News' Female Performer of the Year Award the same year Gwyneth Paltrow won her Oscar? Wallace answers these questions and more.--From publisher description.

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