(David Foster Wallace 1962 - 2008)

Pervasive endnoter and verbose weaver of Everest-scale ironies, author David Foster Wallace was found dead of an apparent suicide Friday night. Wallace, a writer who challenged readers by challenging conventions of culture, word choice, and syntax, is to be sorely missed in this, the most scattered generation of literature in history. Infinite Jest, Wallace's most acclaimed work, is a 1,000+ page tome focused on a pastiche of cultural musings and post-postmodern (sic) society that takes place in a hypothetical present and near future in which years are referred to by names given by corporate sponsors (think "Year of the Whopper"). Wallace was also a contributor of thought-provoking non-fiction rhetoric both brazen and skeptical, his essays appeared everywhere from Harper's to Rolling Stone to Science, and covered topics ranging from tennis to politics. If you aren't familiar, he's worth a look, and if you are, he's worth reminding yourself about. Links below.

LINK: Tense Present (Harper's, April, 2001)
LINK: Good People (The New Yorker, February, 2007)

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