It feels necessary to write something about David Foster Wallace. But it's very difficult to say anything that doesn't sound idiotic. His intelligence was viral. You read his stuff -- his non-fiction, especially -- or listen to interviews etc, and become infected with intelligence and humor -- it makes you smarter, funnier, most likely permanently. All of which makes it more terrible. I saw "Man on Wire" about five hours before I heard about DFW's death. The end where the little French dude walks a tightrope between the Twin Towers is absolutely ecstatically wonderful, thanks to the juxtaposition of scale. There's something similiar about the terribleness of DFW checking out now -- a time when his humor and intelligence is more than needed. He seemed to have the neurological balance and fluency to cross impossible synapses, importantly, inspiringly, necessarily. Why'd he do it? McCain/Palin? James Wood? Lord knows. He always wore that huge bandana like a war-wounded Apollinaire. Philippe Petit, the little French dude on the wire above, said when he sees three oranges, he juggles, and when he sees two towers, he walks between them -- otherwise, no "why" is required; it's a beautiful act, a gift. But for DFW yesterday, there had to have been an enormous why. The enormity of the why surely did him in. I can't imagine that he didn't leave a long, heavily footnoted suicide note, ideally one that crosses the divide for everyone, a final act of generosity.

DFW on Charlie Rose Talking About 
"A Supposed Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" 
at 32 minutes and 20 seconds into it, he says
"he's not getting ready to jump off a building"

DFW on Twirlers

DFW in Italy - and in Italy

DFW, Franzen, and Leyner on Charlie Rose

One of the First Posts on Eyeshot: 
About DFW's "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men"


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