Read David Foster Wallace, biographical entry (3068-3069); “The Devil Is a Busy Man” (3069-3071). – attached file Re-read the following passage from David Foster Wallace’s “The Devil Is a Busy Man.” This flood of emotion, on his part, caused me, sickeningly, too late, to realize, that what I had just done, during the call, was to not only let him know that I was the individual who was responsible for the generous gesture, but to make me do so in a subtle, sly manner that appeared to be, insinuationally, euphemistic, meaning, employing the euphemism: “whoever was responsible for___________,” which, combined together with the interest I revealed in the money’s “uses” by them, could fool no one about its implying of me as ultimately responsible, and had the effect, insidiously, of insinuating that, not only was I the one who had done such a generous, nice thing, but also, that I was so “nice”—meaning, in other words, “modest,” “unselfish,” or “untempted by a desire for their gratitude”—a person, that I did not even want them to know that I was who was responsible. (3071) In a response between 500 and 700 words, demonstrate how you can focus on one or two specific examples of the literary structure of this passage—that is, the words it uses, the emphasis it places on them, its way of arranging them, in relation to metaphor (if applicable) and the images and feelings such words generate. How does such literary language shape—indeed, make unique—the idea the passage is conveying regarding human communication, contact, and the expression of emotions? By answering this question, you will be doing a close reading of the passage: an analysis that pays sustained attention to the language of a text and the way such literary language produces effects. To weave your discussion together, relate the passage to the concept of America as we discussed it in our first lecture. What kind of America is being imagined here?

 

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