06 November 2008

Gone East, to meet Eudora Welty.

a note from David Foster Wallace, found here

David Foster Wallace always meant to me my friend C. going off to rehab, and coming home 28 days later, dubiously improved with the exception of having digested Infinite Jest whole. Gabe sent me a Rolling Stone profile yesterday of DFW, which is one of the more striking pieces I've read in quite a while. The thing of non-fiction, is how to mesh the current language, the language of the writer, with the world inhabited by the subject. David Lipsky has captured an echo of a man, brought to life by the precision of the love of his family and his best friend, Jonathan Franzen.

Despite his struggle, Wallace managed to keep teaching. He was dedicated to his students: He would write six pages of comments to a short story, joke with his class, fight them to try harder. During office hours, if there was a grammar question he couldn't answer, he'd phone his mother. "He would call me and say, 'Mom, I've got this student right here. Explain to me one more time why this is wrong.' You could hear the student sort of laughing in the background. 'Here's David Foster Wallace calling his mother.' "

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