Glad to have KF back in fine form (anonymously with little reax)and happy to anticipate further returns (with big public reaction).
Re. Miller’s review. That “merely” appears in a sentence where the reviewer is switching from “”David Wallace”” the entity in the fictional world to “Wallace” the author [not Wallace as author function]. Miller is baiting the reader and caught perhaps on her own hook. The adverb “merely” is indeed undermined by the verb “suggests” that precedes the clause. “This, of course, suggests that all of ‘Good Old Neon’ is merely Wallace’s solpistic effort to attribute his own miseries to a man who might have killed himself for entirely different reasons.” The argument seems to proceed along the lines: Wallace fails; fiction succeeds. Intriguing, if I am not myself, my identity cannot be stolen. Even if my identity could be stolen and the self I ennunciate could coincide with the ennunciated self, there is still no guarantee that identity determines the stories that unfold. There is a social contract at play where the game of fakery is at stake. Who I appear to be is not who I am and because of this who I appear to be is not deterministic of the performative responses of my interlocutors who remember the reserve of who I am and willing to be surprised. If the person before me has a history, they are not “finished”, they are not “perfected”, they can evolve or devolve. I wonder if the trope of fakery in American literature has travelled from agents to persons: from secret agents to secret persons and how this might be related to the deployment of various phases of technologies of communication. If so, I am willing to argue that there may be another phase soon where the screen effect comes into play and the dream of control meets the limits of the agency of control : talking about X is not the same as talking to X — X as an individual can control access to X but only as a member of a collective can X influence the social discourse that sets the rules of how talk about is handled. I think the key is “devlove”. In societies where one can imagine senility as a condition that will not by-pass one _and_ one can imagine that a community of care will be at work, there is less fuss about the “about” because the to and from is observed and thus reverberates on the about. That is KF doing an interview with David Wallace need not privilege the voice of the author, it can provide a model of dialogue between cultural workers. That’s a dare to mention.