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Old September 14 2008, 09:39 PM   #1
MyCylon
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David Foster Wallace dead

I just read a few minutes ago that American author David Foster Wallace was found dead.

Now, I have to say right away that I had never heard of him before and (consequently) have never read any of his works. However, having done some very brief reading up, I have become curious. "Infinite Jest", in particular, caught my attention.

So, I'm sure there will be a number of people in here who know of Wallace and have read his work. What can you tell me about it?
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Old September 15 2008, 09:05 PM   #2
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Re: David Foster Wallace dead

So, nobody knew this guy?
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Old September 15 2008, 09:38 PM   #3
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Re: David Foster Wallace dead

Oh wow...I had no idea! How sad.

I'm very familiar with the name, but haven't actually read any of his books, so I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to help you out. He's incredibly well regarded as an author, though, so I'm sure checking out one of his books (and Infinite Jest is the best known, I believe) would be worth your while.
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Old September 15 2008, 10:17 PM   #4
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Re: David Foster Wallace dead

I believe Wallace was also known for being considered a literary successor to Thomas Pynchon, a label about which Wallace was somewhat dismissive and vocal in rejecting.
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Old September 16 2008, 04:13 AM   #5
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Re: David Foster Wallace dead

Crap.

David Foster Wallace was probably my favorite essayist of the creative nonfiction movement. His novels are a bit dense and difficult to engage with (as much metafiction is), but I loved his collections, especially "A supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" and "Consider the Lobster". Other than that, I knew him mostly from Harpers I guess...

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Old September 16 2008, 09:40 AM   #6
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Re: David Foster Wallace dead

It's a strange thing, in a way, learning about somebody because they died. But such is life, I suppose.
I'll certainly look out for his works at the bookstore the next time I'm there.
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Old September 16 2008, 04:56 PM   #7
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Re: David Foster Wallace dead

^ If you're going to try to wade into his novels, I strongly suggest starting with Broom of the System, which was his first and probably most 'traditionally' structured novel. As the linked article indicates, his work gets more dense and self-referential as he went along (including things like page-long endnotes on linguistic theory), so it's probably best to start early and move up from there as you get used to the structure. I would personally suggest "A Supposedly Fun thing I'll never Do Again" as a good starting point, but those are nonfiction essays (some very fun and humorous ones though!).
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