Fiction Fix: DFW’s Untitled Chunk


The Fiction Fix is your weekly dose of short story. If that’s not your drug of choice, too bad: consider it medicine. Every week, we’ll scour the literary magazines you don’t have time to read, online and in print, and let you know where to find one story worth reading.

The Chaffey Review is a brand new literary annual put out by Chaffey College in San Bernardino County, CA. The “editorial collective” of students are lucky enough to have at their helm a professor who was friendly with the late great David Foster Wallace, and he was kind enough to donate an “Untitled Chunk” for their inaugrual issue. It is a fragment, although the emotional arc of the narrator is completed when, as happens for so many of Wallace’s characters, his most fearsome and irrational nightmare comes true. It appears to have a maddeningly missing footnote. It is also steeped in corporate language and acronyms, a bit like “Mr. Squishy,” a story that first appeared under a pseudonym in McSweeney’s and was ferreted out as DFW’s by his internet fans long before it appeared in his last story collection Oblivion .

We knew when our copy of The Chaffey Review arrived over the weekend that David Foster Wallace would be this week’s Fiction Fix. Turns out it’s DFW day out here on the internet: TheRumpus rounds up‘s links on the man (we have some concerns w/r/t accuracy on the photo tour of Boston via Infinite Jest, though), The Howling Fantods posts scans of a 1993 interview, in which Wallace describes the challenge of embodying the possibly mutually exclusive characteristcs of good writer and good human, and announces a tribute to the man from The Sonora Review that is sure to wet the pants of DFW fans everywhere (including us).