Just reading DFW

Been reading the late David Foster Wallace’s 1997 A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again (a collection of thought-provoking and hilarious essays and journalism from the first half of the 1990s). I had forgotten the extent to which reading Wallace requires the reader to sit within relatively close proximity to a dictionary, and as I made my way through stories of Wallace talking about playing tennis in a tornado, visiting the Illinois State Fair and taking a Caribbean cruise, I found myself referring to said dictionary more and more (I’d like to think it’s because Wallace possessed an Olympian vocabulary rather than simply that my vocabulary is under-nourished, but no matter…).

Anyway, I found a few words popping up more often than random chance should dictate. When strung out in a list, as I’m about to do, they provide a hairline crack of a glimpse into Wallace’s troubled genius:

• picayune
• banal
• peripatetic
• creepy
• poststructuralist
• bovine
• otiose
• irony
• Heidegger
• plangent
• vomity
That’s all.

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