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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » David Foster Wallace, RIP

David Foster Wallace, RIP

David Foster Wallace, dead:

He talked about how difficult it was to be a novelist in a world seething with advertisements and entertainment and knee-jerk knowingness and facile irony. He wrote about the maddening impossibility of scrutinizing yourself without also scrutinizing yourself scrutinizing yourself and so on, ad infinitum, a vertiginous spiral of narcissism — because not even the most merciless self-examination can ignore the probability that you are simultaneously congratulating yourself for your soul-searching, that you are posing. He tried so hard to be sincere and to attend to the world around him because he was excruciatingly aware of how often we are merely “sincere” and “attentive” and all too willing to leave it at that. He spoke of the discipline and of the abrading, daily labor such efforts require because the one imperative that runs throughout all of his work is the intimate connection between humility and wisdom.

A truly wonderful person is gone. If there was anyone who understood the horrors of the modern landscape, it was DFW. My friend Ross insisted that I read Brief Interviews with Hideous Men; he went so far as trying to give me his own copy with the caveat that I “pass it along to someone else who needs to read it.” I ended up leaving the book at his apartment but I have since read it* and am still looking forward to reading Infinite Jest (whenever I have something that resembles free-time).

*For what it’s worth (and it’s not) I have become obsessive about the hillarity of footnotes.

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1 comments
michelle
michelle

Damn. I only just discovered DFW's writings maybe 2 months ago... Guess I need to stop procrastinating about reading this copy of Infinite Jest I have sitting here.It's a tragic loss, of that I'm sure.P.S. thank you for following my blog. :)