Tonight came the heartbreaking news that writer David Foster Wallace apparently took his own life. Close readers of the Pages have heard at least a little of how much Wallace means to me as an influence and inspiration.
It would be easy to write up Wallace being the Great Underappreciated Artist, the agony-and-ecstasy archetype. Certainly that type has come and (too quickly) gone frequently enough to give the story as we know it tonight a familiar ring. But the trope gets more tired with each passing year. And Wallace got plenty of appreciation.
Which leaves whatever was going on inside. I can't understand how someone so gifted, so successful, so wise could be so apparently unhappy. What I know is that he was the best working writer of fiction and nonfiction I've read over the past ten years. I pray for his friends and family, mourn his passing and miss everything he leaves unwritten.
No, I didn't know him, but yes he was a man of infinite jest.