The New Yorker's lengthy profile of David Foster Wallace broke some news: Little, Brown will publish the late novelist's unpublished manuscript for "The Pale King" in 2010. Chunks have already appeared online.
The subject of the novel is boredom, as confronted by workers at an IRS center in Illinois. The blog Howling Fantods assembled a list of what turn out to have been "Pale King" excerpts going back to 2006, many of them online. The most recent excerpt is the one published by the New Yorker alongside this week's profile (partly typeset and party as a photographic reproduction).
Little, Brown released a statement that the novel runs "several hundred thousand words and will include notes, outlines and other material." Wallace left the manuscript in the garage, to be discovered by his wife. He apparently did not feel the material ready to publish. But the work, like the New Yorker's epic, "intimate" and ultimately difficult profile, would seem befitting the "maximalist" postmodern author at least in its (hopefully glorious) sprawl.
(Photo by Steve Rhodes on Flickr)