Humanisation of the Subject in David Foster Wallace’s Fiction: From Postmodernism, Avant Pop to New Sensicerity? (Tri-Stan: I Sold Sissee Nar to Ecko, 1999)

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David Foster Wallace’s fiction is often considered to be an expression of the new American fiction emerging in the late 1980s, the authors of which expressed a certain distance from the dehumanised and linguistically constructed subject of postmodern fiction, and which depicted individuals influenced by mass media, pop culture and technology in technologically advanced American society. David Foster Wallace’s short story Tri-Stan: I Sold Sissee Nar to Ecko (1999), however, was also included in the Avant-Pop Anthology (Larry McCaffery, L., eds. After Yesterday’s Crash: The Avant-Pop Anthology. London, New York: Penguin, 1995). Some other critics (Adam Kelly, for example) consider him to be an author who expresses New Sincerity in his depiction of reality, which is a tendency in fiction trying to depict human experience and emotions through the use of language and which does not emphasise the human subject and experience to be a product of the interplay of signifiers as understood by Deconstruction criticism and many postmodern authors. This paper will analyse David Foster Wallace’s use of narrative strategies that are connected with postmodern narrative techniques and, at the same time, the way they express a distance from them through a depiction of human experience as interactive communication between human subjects. In addition, the paper will analyse the poetics of the new sincerity as part of contemporary postpostmodern sensibility. That is why I use the term sensicerity to express a combination of the new sensibility and sincerity.

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