On David Foster Wallace
What has been said of DFW is out there, and this will present nothing new to you except my new found love of David. I find his writing to be hilarious, insightful, massively articulate, musical, intelligent, thoughtful, full of esoterica and trivia. Generous use of footnotes as a medium for sidebars and N.B.s and general extrapolations on the topic at hand as well as long-winded sentences(much like this one) and the unabashed expert use of the english language; the jumping around the page to catch DFW’s train of thought becomes a most endearing and stimulating activity. One feels as if he is in cahoots with David, following him around in a religious fever in his uber-critical critique of modern life and academia. In his non-fiction, you are surprised by the sheer breath of knowledge of DFW, and in fiction you are surprised by the sheer depth of language of DFW. In short, there is no one like David.
Although I feel at 25, age notwithstanding, I’m not well-read enough to read DFW. He does not make it easy. He asks to you to come meet him when you’ve done your homework, read your books, developed a reading habit and now are looking for a challenge. In a sense, DFW is the tipping point of going from normal literature to roll-up-your-sleeves literature, similar to say Joyce (who personally I lack gumption for) but modern, approachable, and dare I say, infinitely more compassionate to the reader. Is it then an accident that people who read Infinite Jest are on an average aged 25?
In my head and possibly modern literature(on which I have remarkably unremarkable knowledge), he occupies a place that no writer has come close, a place of awe, respect, tender love and friendship.