The Electric Typewriter

Great articles and essays by the world's best journalists and writers.

25 Great Essays by
David Foster Wallace

A complete collection of DFW's nonfiction articles and essays

Words and Writing

Tense Present

Perhaps the finest review of an English usage dictionary - this classic essay touches on everything from race bias in academia and the evolution of language to the pros and cons on non-standard English.

Deciderization 2007

Why just about every important word on The Best American Essays 2007’s front cover turns out to be vague, debatable, slippery, disingenuous, or else ‘true’ only in certain contexts…

Laughing With Kafka

"For me, a signal frustration in trying to read Kafka with students is that it is next to impossible to get them to see that Kafka is funny…"

The Nature of the Fun

"A book-in-progress is a kind of hideously damaged infant that follows the writer around wanting love, wanting the very thing its hideousness guarantees it’ll get: the writer’s complete attention."

Fictional Futures and the Conspicuously Young

"The honeymoon’s end between the literary Establishment and the contemporary young writer was an inevitable and foreseeable consequence of the same shameless hype that led to many journeyman writers’ premature elevation in the first place…"

E unibus pluram: television and U.S. fiction

"Fiction writers as a species tend to be oglers. They tend to lurk and to stare. The minute fiction writers stop moving, they start lurking, and stare. They are born watchers."

Grammar Lessons

The late great DFW on Grammar

What Words Really Mean

An excerpt from Twenty Four Word Notes

Films, Music and The Media

FX Porn

A fascintating reflection on the inverse relationship between the amount of special effects used in a film and the quality of the story.

David Lynch Keeps His Head

DFW hangs around on the set of Lost Highway and dissects the greatness of America's most distinctive director.


Riding shotgun with a political talk radio shock jock.

Signifying Rappers

"Rap, whether fecund or sterile, is today's pop music's lone cutting edge, the new, the unfamiliar, the brain- resisted-while-body-boogies. And that alien, exhilarating cutting edge has always been black."

Big Red Son

Each year, between one and two dozen adult US males are admitted to ERs after having castrated themselves...

See also...

15 Great Essays by Joan Didion

Essential essays from the master of the form

15 Great Articles by Tom Wolfe

Classic reads from a journalistic pioneer

12 Great Essays by John Jeremiah Sullivan

Essays by one of the best in the business

7 Great Essays by Zadie Smith

Amazing reads by a great essayist/novelist