Monday, September 15, 2008

David Foster Wallace has left the building

The news today, oh boy, is David Foster Wallace has died, at a very young age, and from terrible circumstances.

In private conversations with writers and other artists I trust, I’ve been known to discuss dividing the world of novelists (and maybe the whole world) into two camps: those who get the joke and those who don’t get the joke. You know, “the joke.”

D.F. Wallace, though, was a different stripe of cat altogether. Even saying “gets the joke” has a certain finality to it; i.e., to get the joke, the joke’s been told and done. But Wallace seemed to play on the plane of the never-ending joke. Hey, I’m not talking about the title of his novel here.

Anyway. You had to walk away from your life to read Wallace, slip through the door. And you had to bring a fork.

And now it seems David himself has slipped through the door; his method was different, but he’s laid the terrible master to waste. Poor David. His poor wife.