Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"How's The Water?"*

I became smitten with David Foster Wallace a few years back when I read this brief couple of paragraphs by him in the Atlantic Monthly.

I had never read anything by him before seeing this cover essay asking 100 of our country's great thinkers to give us something to think about. It clearly did just that. His succinct essay stopped me cold and I wondered why no one had bothered to say this before. I also wondered who this man was.

I got one of his books- A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. His writing is dense and not easily digested. Keep your dictionary handy. If you want to take a look, again, at those things we take for granted.... he is the writer for you.

He killed himself at the age of 46 after a long struggle with clinical depression. It was sad, but almost like a freight train bearing down on you- an inevitable conclusion. It really puts a focus on the tragedy of mental illness (?)......and such a loss for humanity.

Don't know why he has popped into my head again. Look him up. Keep him alive.

*From his address at a Kenyon College graduation.


JAF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAF said...

I had no idea I could remove my own comment. The last one sounded so pedantic and was so riddled with typos, I had to try...and I did! So, I have some of his books, but I can't finish them because they, and the sentences which fill them up, are so overwhelming. I know his work is widely acclaimed -- not just because of his character development and story -- but also because of his genius with regard to sentence structure. You've inspired me to pick one up again and to stay on top of my Atlantic Monthly! (I'll try not to sneak-delete again. Sorry.)

SMC said...

I will forgive you for deleting your comment if you will forgive me for continuing to edit posts long after they have gone up.