This is an adaptation of what I posted on Metafilter about the death of David Foster Wallace, one of my favorite authors (despite my relative neglect of his work in the recent past):
I can’t say anything that others haven’t already said, but I’ll say it anyway, and I’ll say it relatively simply, despite that not being precisely the way DFW would have done it.1
I loved his work. I finished Infinite Jest years ago. I will read it again.
I’m really sad that when I finish Oblivion and the various other essays I haven’t read that that’s it — no more David Foster Wallace.
I’ve been thinking about Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams and Hunter S. Thompson in the wake of this horrible shock. This is different, though. DFW was a hero and an influence that was closer to a peer than any of those other heroes of mine. I recognized something in him, and in his writing, that reminded me of me, more than any other writer, of someone who could see the complexity and the absurdity of everything, of someone who was from the Midwest and smart and young-ish and a little bit angry and a little bit sad. Or maybe a lot of each. (More than I evidently knew.)
I’m not going to get over this quickly or easily, even though (or maybe because) I never met him in person.
I’m glad that I heard the news from Will, who introduced me to DFW, though it was strange that it was in a Facebook posting.
I have felt really alive lately, really engaged in my life to a degree that I hadn’t been for a few years, but this was like a punch in the gut. And the head. And the heart.
1 (Mostly because, among many reasons, and obviouslya, I am not he.)
a [I hope]