“Anachronisms of Authority: Authorship and Exchange Value in David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King” considers the materiality of the printed book where postmodern theories of culture intersect with the contemporary economics of the print publishing, digital publishing, and antiquarian book industries. The essay elaborates Karl Marx’s writings on exchange value in relation to more recent works of historical-materialist writing by Fredric Jameson, Terry Cochran, and others to build a frame for a reconsideration of Wallace’s incomplete and posthumous novel, thereby proposing a premise for renewed analyses of the contemporary writer and the printed book.

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