of Maine


David Foster Wallace
September 15, 2008, 10:00 am
Filed under: Words | Tags:

One of the unique tragedies of a death like this is that no one could have written a more precise eulogy than David Foster Wallace. Of anyone. The man’s ability to grasp a person, moment, or occasion in all of its complexities and eccentricities was quite literally jawdropping, something beyond what you thought one human mind was capable of. He was as authoritative as he was encyclopedic. It’s impossible to read his non-fiction works and not come out more alert, thoughtful, and most of all, humble.

So, to read. Yes, read Infinite Jest (or yes, try to read it again). But more, read A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, a giddy rollercoaster of opinions and perspectives. It’s a book I do and will return to annually. Read his piece on John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign (which was recently released as a stand-alone book). Read this simple, disarming fiction story from the New Yorker last year. Read what will likely be a lovely week of remembrances at McSweeney’s. Read this one at Salon. Ignore the needlessly critical one at the Times. Keep reading. We’ve got some serious slack to pick up.

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