David Foster Wallace: 1962-2008



Please Read:






I feel so sick.

Certainly the best writer of our generation.

A Supposedly Fun Thing… is probably my favorite of his books (though I love them all). I remember one Christmas Vacation where my family went to Telluride to go skiing together (a supposedly fun thing, right?) and, for a variety of reasons, it was an absolute nightmare…every day. My escape was to flee the family and hide out in the lodge and read A Supposedly Fun Thing. Those little hour or so vacations from the “vacation” were some of the happiest times I think I’ve ever spent. It was like DFW was there for me in the way that only the smartest, funniest person you’ve ever met can be…making you laugh and think and …for a little while… forget about the shit even while your mind was expanding. Dear Lord.


From the NYT (link above) obit:

“He had a mind that was constantly working on more cylinders than most people, but he was amazingly gentle and kind,” Mr. Pietsch said. “He was a writer who other writers looked to with awe.”

“He was like a lot of postmodern novelists, but braver.”

“He wrote showstoppers…He was brilliantly funny. People stayed with these long, complicated novels because they made them laugh.”

Quote from the LA Times obit:

“He is one of the main writers who brought ambition, a sense of play, a joy in storytelling and an exuberant experimentalism of form back to the novel in the late ’80s and early 1990s,” Ulin said. “And he really restored the notion of the novel as a kind of canvas on which a writer can do anything.”

“He was a fabulous teacher,” Kates said Saturday. “He was hands-on with his students. He cared deeply about them. . . . He was a jewel on the faculty, and we deeply appreciated everything he gave to the college.” [He had been teaching at Pomona College since 2002.]


Anecdote found on Amazon about DFW (sort of jibes with my “vacation” story):

“…the kind of writing he’s after, unlike TV, or what we usually see there, doesn’t want anything from you. It’s there as a kind of open-ended offering, given to an anonymous recipient with a hopeful generosity that is a form of love.”



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