I used two bookmarks when I read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest: one for where I was in the story proper, and one for where I was in the footnotes, which, as everybody who’s ever read it knows, were massive, and often chapter-sized in and of themselves.
As anybody who cares to know already knows, Wallace was found dead this weekend — an apparent suicide — and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.
Dude was my age. He wrote one of the key novels of the past couple of decades. And was one of those writers who I loved unreservedly, and I devoured the essay and short story collections as well, especially Oblivion1.
His writing was deeply erudite, and yet totally piss-taking about that erudition. One of those writers who felt like he was coming from exactly the cultural space I come from, but so much more literate. He looked a lot like the people I’ve been hanging around with for my entire adult life, one of the few people who create art I love that I actually figured I could also have a beer with. But he thought so little of his life that he needed to end it.