David Foster Wallace: One Year Later
As of today, it's been a year since David Foster Wallace died. Wallace was an important author and teacher; incidentally, the first movie adapted from his work is about to come out. n+1—yes, that n+1—has a nice remembrance.
It's a small, great story about the writer, Michael Casper, who discovers, by going through his record collection, that David Foster Wallace named some of the characters in Infinite Jest after the real-life characters associated with an uber-obscure record label at the University of Arizona, where Wallace earned his MFA. This was my favorite part; someone who knew Wallace, a US military vet turned fellow MFA candidate, talking about his interactions with the author:
Wallace, who was fresh out of his undergraduate years, was attracted to stories of experience because he thought his life was bare of detail. "Dave liked to hear me tell stories," he said. "He didn't know what to write about. He thought he had used up all he knew in Broom of the System.
"Dave used to say that his life story would be, ‘David sat in the smoking room of the library'-they still had smoking rooms in those days-‘trying to think of the next line to write.'"
Wallace is still gaining popularity: a website devoted to helping readers get through Infinite Jest, called Infinite Summer, popped up earlier this year. Regardless of the movie on its way, and maybe more of his writing to be unearthed—who knows? The guy was prolific.—David Foster Wallace put to paper the kind of work that'll ensure his legacy and influence over contemporary literature living on for a long, long time to come.