David Foster Wallace: Saluting a Writer Who Constantly Looked Outward, Past His Own Demons


Benjamin Strong contributes a David Foster Wallace remembrance in this week’s Voice:

Suffering, in hindsight, was Wallace’s one true subject, his constant star. “There’s something particularly sad about [America],” Wallace told Salon’s Laura Miller in 1996, “something that doesn’t have very much to do with physical circumstances, or the economy, or any of the stuff that gets talked about in the news […] Whether it’s unique to our generation I really don’t know.”

I think he did. There isn’t a single page of his fiction or journalism that doesn’t make some awesome, brave stab at accessibility, relevance, and above all compassion. In “Up, Simba,” his epic Rolling Stone dispatch from John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign, Wallace explained why his generation—which means mine—feels so terribly, hopelessly apathetic. The “likeliest reason why so many of us care so little about politics,” Wallace wrote, “is that modern politicians make us sad, hurt us deep down in ways that are hard even to name, much less talk about. It’s way easier to roll your eyes and not give a shit.”

Read the rest here.

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