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Pale King or Noonday Demon? Acedia, The Pale King, and David Foster Wallace's Moral Vision.

Michael, Jonathan LU (2012) LIVR07 20121
Master's Programme: Literature - Culture - Media
Comparative Literature
Abstract
This essay argues that acedia is a helpful concept in illuminating the fiction of the American author David Foster Wallace, particularly his unfinished novel The Pale King. Following a brief biographical sketch of Wallace, the essay explores the development of the term acedia—which means something along the lines of apathy, sloth, and listlessness—and the two types of acedia: personal acedia and the broader form of cultural acedia. Boredom, which is intimately connected with acedia as well as one of the explicit subjects of The Pale King, is examined in parallel to acedia. Next, the essay moves to an exploration of Wallace’s aesthetic and moral vision to demonstrate how acedia ties into Wallace’s attempts to turn, from the prevailing irony... (More)
This essay argues that acedia is a helpful concept in illuminating the fiction of the American author David Foster Wallace, particularly his unfinished novel The Pale King. Following a brief biographical sketch of Wallace, the essay explores the development of the term acedia—which means something along the lines of apathy, sloth, and listlessness—and the two types of acedia: personal acedia and the broader form of cultural acedia. Boredom, which is intimately connected with acedia as well as one of the explicit subjects of The Pale King, is examined in parallel to acedia. Next, the essay moves to an exploration of Wallace’s aesthetic and moral vision to demonstrate how acedia ties into Wallace’s attempts to turn, from the prevailing irony of his postmodernist forbearers, to an ethic of sincerity. Finally, acedia is employed as a lens for a close reading of The Pale King, and it is argued that Wallace’s solution for dealing with acedia is attention. (Less)
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author
Michael, Jonathan LU
supervisor
organization
course
LIVR07 20121
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
David Foster Wallace, Acedia, The Pale King, Infinite Jest, Evagrius, Sloth, Accidie
language
English
id
2861758
date added to LUP
2012-08-01 08:02:25
date last changed
2012-08-01 08:02:25
@misc{2861758,
  abstract     = {This essay argues that acedia is a helpful concept in illuminating the fiction of the American author David Foster Wallace, particularly his unfinished novel The Pale King. Following a brief biographical sketch of Wallace, the essay explores the development of the term acedia—which means something along the lines of apathy, sloth, and listlessness—and the two types of acedia: personal acedia and the broader form of cultural acedia. Boredom, which is intimately connected with acedia as well as one of the explicit subjects of The Pale King, is examined in parallel to acedia. Next, the essay moves to an exploration of Wallace’s aesthetic and moral vision to demonstrate how acedia ties into Wallace’s attempts to turn, from the prevailing irony of his postmodernist forbearers, to an ethic of sincerity. Finally, acedia is employed as a lens for a close reading of The Pale King, and it is argued that Wallace’s solution for dealing with acedia is attention.},
  author       = {Michael, Jonathan},
  keyword      = {David Foster Wallace,Acedia,The Pale King,Infinite Jest,Evagrius,Sloth,Accidie},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Pale King or Noonday Demon? Acedia, The Pale King, and David Foster Wallace's Moral Vision.},
  year         = {2012},
}