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Full-Text Articles in English Language and Literature
The Poststructuralist Broom Of Wallace’S System: A Conversation Between Wittgenstein And Derrida, Vernon W. Cisney
Philosophy Faculty Publications
David Foster Wallace famously characterized his first novel, The Broom of the System, as ‘a conversation between [Ludwig] Wittgenstein and [Jacques] Derrida.’ This comes as little surprise, given the ubiquity of the question of language in the works of these two thinkers, and given the novel’s constant reflections on the relation between language and world. Broom’s protagonist, Lenore Beadsmen – in search of her eponymous great-grandmother – is preoccupied with the dread that ‘all that really exists of [her] life is what can be said about it,’ that is to say, that reality is entirely coextensive with language. If, as ...