some essays by David Foster Wallace

as you may have read, the writer David Foster Wallace died by his own hand on September 12. here is one of many remembrances and memorials.
DFW was, I suppose after reading the heaps of praise thrown in his direction lately, a brillian fiction writer. 
I "suppose"  because I havent' read any of his fiction – years ago I picked up "Infinite Jest" at Joseph-Beth's, but after reading a couple of footnote-heavy pages, put it back.  can't quite handle footnoted fiction. at any rate, the loss  is mine.  and I cant' go and read it now, right after DFW's death.  too disrespectful.

what I can say is that I've enjoyed DFW's non-fiction:  I've read a few of his essays, and would like to read more. and thus comes the point of this post.  to list where DFW's essays live in the big bit bucket in the sky, at hand to read.

Harper's magazine, which probably commissioned more of DFW's work that any other magazine, is now making available, for free (and for an unknown limited time) eleven of David Foster Wallace's essays.  the most famous of these is  Shipping Out: On the (nearly lethal) comforts of a luxury cruise.

Consider the lobster is one of DFW's best known essays; it was the title and lead of a book collection. it was first published and it is made available by Gourmet  magazine.

back in 2000, Rolling Stone had DFW traveling alongside John McCain during his primary campaign for the Republican nomination.  the result was The weasel, twelve monkeys and the shrub – recently expanded and published as a book, McCain's Promise: Aboard the Straight Talk Express with John McCain and a Whole Bunch of Actual Reporters, Thinking About Hope


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6 thoughts on “some essays by David Foster Wallace

  1. I never read his fiction, either, but I did read the luxury cruise essay in one of the first Harper's I ever read. I still have it. It totally cracked me up, footnotes and all.

  2. Thanks for these links, I'm sure these are great. No one can structure a sentence quite like Wallace could. I have picked up Infinite Jest three times and each time I get a little further. It's so unlike me, I'm usually really good about getting to the end – especially of a really great book like IJ – but it was so time consuming…I always had to be in the right place to read it so I could switch from my regular place to the footnote bookmark. The footnotes really made it tough, but at the same time, they were awesome treasures too. I really do need to pick this back up again…fourth time's the charm, right?Oh, and the Onion has a cute send up.

  3. To confess my ignorance, I have never heard of DFW (other than the tri-letter code for the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport) before his suicide, and honestly what I have heard of him was from other writers. I don't think it's disrespectful to read his work post-mortem. It is, in it's own way, immortality itself. A great writer's work lives on long after the writer has shed the mortal coil.

  4. heh. no wonder it felt familiar to write "DFW". you are right it is not dissing the man to read him post-mortem. I just feel that way, personally, because I did pick-up Infinite Jest and put it back down. to read it now would be for me, disrespectful and a bit hypocritical.imho, a good place to get acquainted are the essays linked to above – I think you might enjoy the one about cruising

  5. val, thanks for The Onion bit. hai-lay-rius. and right on DFW's sense of humor. fit for the cliched "I think he would have liked it".your efforts in reading IJ are similar to mine trying to get through Moby Dick – I tried at least ½ dozen times, and once something clicked and I was able to go right on through the end – and was glad I did

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