Monday, September 15, 2008


NPR's David Lipsky found a better way than I to describe the prospect of a future without DFW:
When someone very gifted kills themselves, it's like the best student dropping out of high school. There's the tragedy, but it's set in a particular and personal fear: What are they seeing that we don't? The loss to his family is impossible to imagine. The loss to us is easy.

No writer saw the era as clearly. Wallace's readers counted on him to go on, progressing distantly but alongside us, filing new reports every couple of months, helping us remember how smart we were, inviting us into his crisper world. In his last book of fiction, he wrote a story about suicide, about "emerging from years of literally indescribable war against himself," and ending with the sentence, "Not another word."


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