Tuesday, April 20, 2010

An Appreciation

A great paragraph on David Foster Wallace from "Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: a Road Trip with David Foster Wallace" by David Lipsky

David was six feet two, and on a good day he weighed two hundred pounds. He had dark eyes, soft voice, caveman chin, a lovely, peak-lipped mouth that was his best feature. He walked with an ex-athlete's saunter--a roll from the heels, as if any physical thing was a pleasure. He wrote with eyes and a voice that seemed to be a condensed form of everyone's lives--it was the stuff you semi-thought, the background action you blinked through at supermarkets and commutes--and readers curled up in the nooks and clearings of his style. His life was a map that ends at the wrong destination. He was an A student through high school, he played football, he played tennis, he wrote a philosophy thesis and a novel before he graduated from Amherst, he went to writing school, published the novel, made a city of squalling, bruising, kneecapping editors and writers fall moony-eyed in love with him. He published a thousand-page novel, received the only award you get in the nation for being a genius, wrote essays providing the best feel anywhere of what it means to be alive now, accepted a special char to teach writing at a college in California, married, published another book, and hanged himself at age forty-six.

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