How David Foster Wallace Used Compromise Aesthetics to Sell Infinite Jest

How David Foster Wallace Used Compromise Aesthetics to Sell Infinite Jest

Rachel Greenwald Smith on the Treacherous Common Territories of Literary Culture and Capitalism

Ardor characterizes Anderson’s tone, but it also becomes a value in and of itself in her editorial work. “I loathe compromise, and yet I have been compromising in every issue by putting in things that were ‘almost good’ or ‘interesting enough’ or ‘important,’” she writes in this particular issue. “There will be no more of it.”

Against “good poems” she wants to publish capital-A Art, art that goes beyond simply being the best version of itself. Notably diverging from Poetry magazine’s Open Door policy, Anderson believed that truly great art was not a matter of individual quality; it was a matter of ferocity of commitment. She wanted art that could knock a person over, art that “uses up all the life it can get.” She invokes the modernist credo “art for art’s sake,” but in an avant-garde reversal insists that this means not a retreat from the world of politics and history but a commitment to it. “Revolution is Art,” she explains. “You want free people just as you want the Venus that was modelled by the sea.”

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE: https://lithub.com/how-david-foster-wallace-used-compromise-aesthetics-to-sell-infinite-jest

Rice and Beans in the Outer Darkness

Psychotherapists figured out a long time ago that a roundabout approach is necessary if you want to tease out the origins of any serious psychological problem. You won’t get there by any direct approach, since the defensive maneuvers the patient uses to keep from thinking about the real source of his problems will keep you from getting there either. That’s why dreams, slips of the tongue, and the like played so large a role in psychotherapy, back before the medical profession stopped helping people understand their problems and settled for the more lucrative option of drugging them into numbness instead. That strategy is also a viable option when the craziness we need to understand belongs to a society—ours, for example—rather than an individual.

LINK TO FULL STORY: https://www.ecosophia.net/rice-and-beans-in-the-outer-darkness/