My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected to the new home page in 60 seconds. If not, please visit
and be sure to update your bookmarks. Sorry about the inconvenience.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'll admit, I'm still a little shaken up over the news of David Foster Wallace's suicide, and it's caused me to go back through my archives looking at the last few years of DFW posts.

* An early post looking forward to Oblivion, followed by my review of it, which was more dedicated to the whole parody-footnotes routine than I've ever been, before or since1.

* My review of Everything and More, his brief history of infinity, which Cosmic Variance points out contains some evocative footnotes in light of his death.

* My review of Consider the Lobster, a review I'd now characterize as "frustrated with the slow pace of his writing." Another barb at the lack-of-timeliness of his McCain book. And I wasn't especially happy with the introduction to his Best American Essays collection, either, nor of the last story of his I read, from the New Yorker.

It's hard to think of another writer that I liked so much by whom I was so often disappointed. I don't quite know what to make of this fact yet. And understanding his suicide as a literary act—the only register in which I have access to it, having never met him—it's hard not to think of it as the final disappointment, the final shutting of the door, the final, declarative proof that I will never get the work from him I thought I wanted.

* David Foster Wallace vs. Proust.

* David Foster Wallace, Zadie Smith, Jonathan Franzen, Jeffrey Eugenides, and some other guy met on the Isle of Capri to talk about language and identity.

* David Foster Wallace on a desert island.

* Interview with The Office's John Krasinki about the film he's made of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.

* n+1 wonders to what extent a follow-up to Infinite Jest is was would have even possible.

* When DFW tried to read one of his books aloud for the audiobook.

* Just an interview. But a good one.

* 'Federer as Religion Experience.' Say what you will, the man loved tennis.

* David Foster Wallace Visits the Adult Video News Awards.

* The Kenyon College speech I linked to yesterday.

* True story. As an undergraduate, my friend took a creative writing course from David Foster Wallace at Illinois State University. On the first assignment he turned in, Wallace wrote, “I swear to God if you ever turn in a piece of shit like this to me again I will flunk your ass. I shit you not.” The meaning of this anecdote is open to interpretation, but to me it suggests several things about Wallace's way of relating to others.

* And I've had this Kottke post bookmarked forever for my long-planned second trip through Infinite Jest. Having lost my way through it the first time, I'll still reread it—but not, I'm afraid, as the reader I was the first time.

1 or likely ever will be again