No More Infinite Jests

David Foster Wallace was found dead in his house after apparently committing suicide.

I shied away from his writings at the time of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, being there enough hideousness in the world as it is. But he had kept me enthralled (for two long holiday weeks) with Infinite Jest, the definitive novel about addiction; interested with A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again; and entertained with The Broom of the System (to my knowledge, the only work of fiction to ever feature a publishing house by the name of “Frequent and Vigorous”).

It would be wrong to say I am going to miss his writing. I think I am going to miss this: once every couple of years, the publishing industry comes up with a new dazzling star of such brilliance and originality that the “genius” label is liberally applied. Often, they are very solid writers. But I don’t think that Dave Eggers is a genius. Jonathan Safran Foer is not a genius. D.B.C. Pierre is, most definitely, not a genius.

David Foster Wallace, I believe, was as close at it gets to genius these days. And that’s, I think, what I’m going to miss.

Update: here is a post by Ben Casnocha on David Foster Wallace a a teacher.

One thought on “No More Infinite Jests

  1. Pingback: Five American Writers « Live from Planet Paola

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