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David Foster Wallace

Evidently David Foster Wallace committed suicide.  I mourn his passing.

When I read Infinite Jest, it was a revelation in reading. I hadn’t read a book that stretched my brain like that since. . .  learning to read.  His development, plot, imagery, sentence construction, thought patterns, characters, and vocabulary stretched me and challenged me.  Just the vocabulary! I hadn’t needed a dictionary to read a book since I was 10, and there he was, making me reach for the shelf more than once per chapter.  I convinced several friends to read it and it was the source of months of discussions.

I went back through Broom in the System and thought it was OK.  Oblivion also gets an OK. The short stories in Girl with the Curious Hair and Brief Interviews are more on par with Infinite Jest – mind-altering books that leave you wondering how much different you are from the stranger who started reading the book.

There are a few other fiction writers that I really have loved, including Frank Herbert and Greg Egan.  Foster’s writing was on a different plane. I guess he’s another example of genius being crazy, and crazy being genius.  It would be nice if a few more of the crazy geniuses would stick around longer.