David Foster Wallace keeps coming up in my life recently. Not in person of course, just references to him.
Here’s a video of him reading excerpts from two essays, "Getting Away from Already Being Pretty Much Away from It All" and "A Supposedly Fun This I’ll Never Do Again." It’s a long video (27 minutes), but well worth watching.
Both essays are available in the collection A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments, which was the first thing I read by DFW and which remains a favorite.
Once you’ve read just a little DFW, you’ll get the humor in the cartoon "David Foster Wallace Stranded on a Desert Island." Except you might not realize why the cartoon DFW has a bandanna; for that, you’ll need to review the author photos on his books.
Also, a movie version of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men is scheduled to come out this year (IMDB page). I have trouble imagining how that collection of short stories will translate to cinema, but the first story in the book is my favorite short story, so I particularly hope it’s good. The synopsis does not strike me as promising:
After her boyfriend mysteriously leaves her with little explanation, grad student Sara Quinn is left looking for answers as to what went wrong. Directing all her energies into her anthropological dissertation, Sara conducts a series of interviews with men in an effort to uncover the secret thoughts that drive their behavior. As she records the astonishing and disquieting experiences of various subjects, Sara discovers much more about men and herself than she bargained for.
So, that’s just three recent references, but in the last few months DFW has come up in conversation with a range of unconnected people, and I’ve recommended Infinite Jest several times. Still waiting for anyone to finish it so we can discuss….
(YouTube video thanks to Syntax of Things; cartoon link thanks to Maud Newton.)