Wallace After Postmodernism (Again): Metamodernism, Tone, Tennis
David Foster Wallace’s writing has come to be synonymous with post-postmodernism. Strategies that are often singled out in this respect include the return to epic forms of storytelling; a post-ironic attitude towards its subject matter; a concern with empathy and affective generosity; and an ambiguous but reinvigorated relationship of language to ‘reality’. In this essay I consider some of these in the context of visual art. The aim is less to map one onto another, detailing how much they have in common, than it is to tease out some of the differences between them so as to pinpoint Wallace’s position on post-postmodernism’s cognitive map across the disciplines.