Infinite Monday: David Foster Wallace 1962-2008

. …send not to know For whom the bell tolls, It tolls for thee. — John Donne . There but for the grace of God go I — I have no idea who said this The news of David Foster Wallace’s death suicide by hanging hit me hard on Saturday. Not because he was a great talent. Confession: I’ve never read his most acclaimed novel, Infinite Jest. Had it on my book shelf for 3 years before I admitted that I wasn’t going to read it, and even worse, didn’t really want to read it. It was over 1000 pages, and from the whole 2 pages that I had read of it, I could tell that it wasn’t exactly a page turner like the last over-1,000-page book that I had read, The Count of Monte Cristo. I gave Infinite Jest away to the Squirrel Hill Library in Pittsburgh right before departing town for L.A. And I didn’t give the thick book with the pretty cloud cover much thought after that. Also, I don’t read essays, which he reportedly excelled at. (This dislike of essays may also be why I seem to be one of the few people in my Facebook circle who is not a “Fan Of” David Sedaris.) No, I was most struck by the David Foster Wallace’s death for two reasons: 1) At a party that I attended after I read the news online of his death, the most common reaction to the announcement of his suicide was,  Who is David Foster Wallace? You see, no movie had ever been made out of his book, so though he was a darling of the literary world, the vast majority weren’t aware of his existence. If a writer hangs himself in his home, and...