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There are so many choice moments from that THEY LIVE book. What immediately leaps to mind is Lethem's analysis of the final scene and the sideways glance at gay porn in the introductory scene between Piper and David.

Fine piece of work, that.

"Page after grueling page, a great craftsman tries to escape the life he's created for himself and the art the world still demands from him, chased the whole time by the insidious conversations of blameless curiosity dwellers, seeking only explanation down where mortality ends." That sounds like the Pynchon caricature done by Bolaño in 2666. It's great that you juxtapose this to The Pale King. Do you believe that David Foster Wallace felt like Greene's character about his own career?

I've been writing off and on for the last week about Pale King, and that was certainly on my mind when I wrote that sentence you quoted. But I think i'd ultimately say no--in Case, Querry does seem committed to giving up on his particular form of expression, and the way he's forced back into a relationship with success and failure came across to me as being one where choice wasn't an option. And while I think Wallace might have shared some of Querry's sense of oppression, he never made the drastic location and career changes that Querry does. Querry also doesn't really suffer from depression, his struggles are mostly externalized in the people that surround him.

That's a really great question, by the way. I wish I could verbalize a better answer, as it's really gotten me thinking more about this stuff.

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