I looked at this Updike book, and I thought, who’s interested in A) American fiction and B) the near future. I thought, let’s give David Foster Wallace a call. I did not think let’s kill off Updike. When the piece came in and it was supremely negative, I had no more to do with it. Because I was not at the staff of The Observer at the time, I was simply advising them who to assign pieces to. I was nominally the book editor, but I wasn’t in charge of editing. So I assigned it and then it was edited by Peter Kaplan’s widow, Lisa Chase. And Peter obviously conceived of the idea and asked me to execute it -- getting Sven Birkerts to write a companion piece about the senescence of these writers. So yes, I got David Foster Wallace, but no, I was not involved in the attempt to assassinate Updike. I was then an Updike fan. Not an ardent Updike fan. I became more ardent in 2003 when the early stories came out, and then when I began reading him completely and in depth, which in some cases may have turned you off Updike, but in my case, it turned me entirely on. My admiration for him has deepened and clarified.
David Foster Wallace was not a full-blooded critic of Updike. He had in his collection a heavily annotated copy of “Rabbit, Run.” He is an Updike fan. But “Toward the End of Time” is not a good novel.
david foster wallace essay | Selected Essays and Squibs …
Everyone’s favourite Sarah Palin impersonator , parodied the title to this compendium in her own autobiography, Bossypants, adding: “If you get this reference to David Foster Wallace’s 1997 collection of essays, consider yourself a member of the cultural elite. Why do you hate your country and flag so much?!”