Jeffrey Severs

Associate Professor, Department of English, University of British Columbia

Cambridge Companion and Pynchon, Sex, and Gender

Happy to be a part of The Cambridge Companion to David Foster Wallace, edited by the esteemed Ralph Clare. I wrote a piece on “Wallace’s Nonfiction.” Also pleased to have my “‘Homer is my role model'” essay about Pynchon and The Simpsons appear in Thomas Pynchon, Sex, and Gender, edited by Ali Chetwynd, Joanna Freer, and Georgios Maragos and published by the U. of Georgia Press.

Seattle Magazine

Seattle Magazine did a write-up on my Twentieth-Century Literature article about all the references to the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair (or Century 21) in Gravity’s Rainbow.

Keynote and New Book Chapter

I gave the keynote address at the David Foster Wallace Conference at Illinois State University on June 9, 2017: “‘We’ve been inside what we wanted all along’: Immanence and David Foster Wallace.” The just-published article on which the talk was based is previewable here, part of Brynnar Swenson, ed., Literature and the Encounter with Immanence (Brill, 2017).

David Foster Wallace’s Balancing Books

In February 2017 Columbia University Press’s blog published an interview with me as well as my essay, “Spectacles Vehement and Untutored and Rude: Reading David Foster Wallace in the Age of Trump.”

I also had a great time talking with Matt Bucher and Dave Laird of The Great Concavity podcast about Balancing Books and all things Wallace.



David Foster Wallace’s Balancing Books: Fictions of ValueColumbia University Press, 2017.

Pynchon’s Against the Day: A Corrupted Pilgrim’s Guide. Co-edited with Christopher Leise. University of Delaware Press, 2011.

Recent Articles

“‘A City of the Future’: Gravity’s Rainbow and the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair” (in Twentieth-Century Literature)

“Collision, Illinois: David Foster Wallace and the Value of Insurance” (in Modern Fiction Studies)

“‘Playing Father Son and Holocaust’: The Imagination of Totalitarian Oppression in the Works of John Edgar Wideman” (in MELUS)

“‘Blank as the Faces on Coins’: Currency and Embodied Value(s) in David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King” (in Critique)

“‘A terrible inertia’: Thomas Pynchon’s Cold War History of 9/11 and the War on Terror in Bleeding Edge” (in Reflecting 9/11, eds. Heather E. Pope and Victoria M. Bryan)

“On the Red Couch: Breaking Bad and the Refusal of Therapy” (in Breaking Down Breaking Bad: Critical Perspectives, eds. Matt Wanat and Leonard Engel)

Fifty Years With The Crying of Lot 49

My blog post for Studies in the Novel on the fiftieth anniversary of Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49.

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