Read a Previously Unpublished Scene from David Foster Wallace’s ‘The Pale King’


The new paperback edition of David Foster Wallace’s posthumous novel, The Pale King , bears an alluring missive across the front, proclaiming: “with four previously unpublished scenes.” Obviously, this is catching a lot of eyes, since it isn’t something you really see in novels — alternate endings and deleted scenes are usually the territory of films coming to DVD. After all, it’s not like The Pale King suffered from lack of space, so we wonder what brought on the addition of the unpublished scenes — editorial hindsight? A marketing ploy? Pressure from the Wallace estate?

No matter what the cause, we have to admit that we’re interested, and luckily for us, The Millions has provided the Internet with one of those scenes, straight from Wallace’s publisher, Little, Brown. Head over there to read the excerpt, which begins with a short explanation from the publisher, and let us know if you think three more would enhance your own reading of the book in the comments.