I was just going to comment on Reihan’s post, but I decided that David Foster Wallace warrants as many acknowledgments – on this site, for some reason, especially – as we can give him. His death is crushing news. I loved Infinite Jest, and the essays, and the other fiction was occasionally overwhelmingly brilliant, but the thing about DFW, if you compare him to other contemporary literary intellectuals, is how decent, big-hearted, and – despite his now-apparent struggles with depression – unself-pitying he was. Even in his hilarious comic essays, there’s no dehumanizing. He was genuinely interested in people of all types, and all political stripes. That his magnum opus, Infinite Jest, could be about fifty different kinds of literary experiment and also churn along with the naive enthusiasm of a teenage adventure story testifies, I think, to the singular sensibility he had. It might be the most big-hearted book I’ve ever read. Along with being a genius and a Pynchonian literary madman, he was also, quite improbably, a mensch. I’m going to cry now.
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