Anyone even a bit saddened by his death should read this week’s LA City Beat cover story. I’m a bit biased as to its charm and intellect (both the writer, Cornel Bonca, and the editor, Will Swaim, were colleagues of mine during my days at OC Weekly) and other stories are far more detailed and biographical, but this piece nicely captures that feelings of emptiness that gripped fans after they heard DFW had, like so many other creative, brilliant writers, ended his own life.
David Foster Wallace has long been one of my inspirations. A master of the English language, DFW could string together impossibly long sentences, replete with colorful descriptions, conservational prose and, every now and then, completely made up mathematical formulae. It made no difference what he was writing; Infinite Jest is a delightful monster of a novel; Consider the Lobster gathers some of the best journalism I’ve ever read. Even now, I find myself attempting–and miserably failing–to mimic his style.
His Sept. 12 suicide hit me, like many of his fans, like a baseball bat to the gut.