David Foster Wallace’s "Fate, Time, and Language."

David Foster WallaceOne of our most-talked-about forthcoming books during the just-closed BEA and online has been David Foster Wallace’s never-before-published Fate, Time, and Language: An Essay on Free Will.

The book includes Wallace’s undergraduate thesis along with essays exploring the work’s philosophical content and its relationship to his fiction.

The book is already starting to receive attention on sites such as: GalleyCat, New York Magazine, Huffington Post, Flavorwire The Constant Conversation, and HTML Giant (admittedly, the last two sources express some skepticism about the book.)

The introduction is by James Ryerson, whose 2008 New York Times Magazine article, Consider the Philosopher, helped to pique interest in Wallace’s philosophical work and his critique of the philosopher Richard Taylor. Here is a brief excerpt from Ryerson’s introduction to Fate, Time, and Language:

The real accomplishment of this work is not technical or argumentative but more like a moral victory. David Foster Wallace’s intellectual powers have been used to set aright a a world momentarily upended by an intellectual sleight of hand. He enlists clinical argument in defense of passionate intuition. He restores logic and language to their rightful places.

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