The Austin Writing Workshop discusses a short story by the legendary David Foster Wallace and a member story. Wine flowed, food was consumed, and good times were had by all. Also, too: writing techniques galore, literary theory, and a wee bit of philosophy. An enjoyable listen, maybe.

Approximate time stamps and detailed topics are listed below:


0:37 David Foster Wallace biography from Wikipedia

1:40 Reading of “Everything is Green” by David Foster Wallace

5:27 Group analysis of “Everything is Green” by David Foster Wallace, including plot summary, grammatical messes, unreliable narrators, intentional techniques, interruption by the dogs, the ending working, symbolism of color green, Richard Ford, Rock Springs, The Sportswriter, rednecks as transcendent figures, Hemingway, rednecks in a trailer, bare bones, no narrative intrusion, internal and external, communication, Mayfly, mayfly insects, short life spans, analysis of the ending, feeling of a mood of incapacitation from drugs and alcohol, religious saying of the name of God, Yahweh, I am I, making the external real, Biblical significance of the incommunicable name, taxonomical significance, packing a lot of meaning into a small space, narrative efficiency, risking by keeping the narrative short, silhouettes in the shade, maximalism, brevity, postmodern techniques of suggesting rather than telling everything, internal monologue, grammatical choices, lack of connection between the characters, it’s all in his head, putting the character on a pedastal, redneckese as a narrative technique, INFINITE JEST, Richard Ford quitting INFINITE JEST, stream-of-consciousness, positivity, Anton Chekhov, splitting up of any thing and every thing, liking the story first, then thinking it is a contrivance, the backyard and the sink and the setting, directing sadness through laughter, sublime details, hating every story the first time around, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, Murakami, authenticity, Richard Ford stealing cars, socio-economic status, recording dialogue, fiction transcending reality, schizophrenia, and Googling.

41:56 Group analysis of member story, including no title, author, page numbers, Word documents, Jester as the real-life dog named “Dexter,” inside information, learning about the main character’s life through the “love life” of the dog, conflation, non-dog people enjoying the story with a dog in the spotlight, absurd characters, writer jealousy, grammatical errors, first drafts, getting thrown out of the story, writing a story every day, plot summary, emotional stuffing, ruining relationships, Zsa Zsa Gabor’s pillow, confusion at the dog park, unnecessary characters, dog toys, character analysis, plot summary, timeline issues, liking the dog character, brutality of critiques, postmodern techniques, anthropomorphising, author as archetype, tape recording dialogue and how to use that as a technique that achieves a writing goal, THE ATHEIST, Swedish women with muscles, the torn chain-link fence, science-fiction characters named Jester, O. Henry, and The Hairbrush.

1:22:04 Conflation of David Foster Wallace and Salinger’s Glass family and tribute to DFW.

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  1. […] and the Austin Writing Workshop discussed one of his stories, “Everything is Green,” during this podcast. […]

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