Tim Gurowich

University of Sussex

Project Title: Failed Entertainment: David Foster Wallace and the Failure of Language

I graduated with a BA in English from the University of Bristol in 2012, and went on to study for an MA in 'Modern and Contemporary Literature, Culture, and Thought' at the University of Sussex, graduating in 2014. My MA dissertation explored failures of language and communication in David Foster Wallace's The Pale King.

I began my PhD, which is funded by CHASE, in September 2014, jointly supervised by Maria Lauret and Peter Boxall. Building on my MA dissertation, my research investigates the role of failure in the work of David Foster Wallace, especially in regard to his self-conscious concern with language and the purpose of fiction. I question whether Wallace finds a value inherent in failure itself, and whether his writing can be seen to put forward a model for 'failing better'.  

I am currently co-editor of the 2016 edition of Excursions, an interdisciplinary journal run by postgraduate students at the University of Sussex.


Conference Presentations

  • 'The Heroism of Failure: Communication Breakdown and Information Excess in The Pale King', 2nd Annual David Foster Wallace Conference, University of Illinois, 28th-29th May 2015
  • 'Written in the Margins: Notes from the David Foster Wallace Archives', English Graduate Seminar, University of Sussex, 16th October 2015

Research Activities

  • Editorial Board: Excursions Postgraduate Journal, University of Sussex
  • Archival Research: Harry Ransom Centre, University of Texas, Austin, June 2015