Monday, September 15, 2008

The Death of David Foster Wallace

Apparently David Foster Wallace hanged himself this weekend. He was 46.

Many considered Mr. Wallace one of the greatest living authors mostly for his epic novel, Infinite Jest.

He's one of those writers that hipsters often namedrop to show their superiority over everyone else. I'm not going to use this space to do the same thing. I've written in other places before that I've always wanted to like him as a writer, but never could. That the idea of enjoying his work is more fashionable than actually enjoying his work.

But I will say I love his non-fiction essays. He wrote many, and his buckshot approach to topics is what I find really appealing. From politics to sports, he wrote on a number of different subjects with the same emotional yet analytical approach that I would love to mimic. If there was one topic he seemed to comeback to occasionally, it was the sport of tennis, something I am familiar with as well and therefore enjoyed intimate, detail oriented way he wrote of it. I'll miss that voice the most.

Here are a couple of his essays, just in case anyone else cares...

On lobsters (Gourmet)
On Roger Federer (The New York Times' Play Magazine)
On conservative talk radio (The Atlantic)

I've never read Infinite Jest, but maybe today I'll give it a try.

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