So like I’m not a huge reader. Not that I don’t read at all. Yes I read blogs. I suffer through Twitter. Engadget, Slashdot and Wired are pillars of my news feed. I’ll read labels and cryptic license plates and predictions of the Chinese zodiac, but I’m not a serious reader. It takes a lot to get me to read a full book so it’s some degree of a miracle that I read the full Infinite Jest.
It’s sad, David, that you had to go like that. I feel personally sad for you. I feel that I came through some sort of reverse engineering to have a certain feeling for who you were. Your styles seemed effortless. I even in some sort of apotheosizing fervor wrote a program to use a recursive grammar structure to create passages of text that would sound like your writing. I called it the Infinite Generator and when I put it on the web I guess it was some sort of call to get your attention. When I read that the number of the beast was derived mathematically (add up letters-turned-to-numbers) from the name I wrote a program to find if any given name could be that of the devils and I guess it was some sort of other attentionfromyou plea when I published that “david foster wallace” could be the true name of the devil. So does “DFW” by the way.
Now I wonder what could have made you so despondent. Was the Onion article which poked fun at your copious writing style not enough to keep you going? I guess that was a while ago… I read that you were married. That’s sad too. Sad for so many reasons. Like are you so selfish that you aren’t taking your wife’s feelings into this? Could she not help you through this? Are you willing to die letting her know that she in some way has failed you? You’re far too smart to think otherwise. So by the way how long was your suicide letter? Were there footnotes? Does everyone expect you to use footnotes and that’s why you did it? Did you soliloquize with a skull as you thought about the end just as your reputation would suggest that you would? Were you staring down the barrel of being fifty with all of your major accomplishments already solidly under your belt and looking at a road ahead of you paved by your 30yo self and you found that sight just too gardarm depressing? Aren’t there some drugs you could have taken? I mean how could you be any sort of depressive whey you were so off the charts kind of productive? What were you worried about at the very end? Were you like at all worried about how people would think of you? Were you worried that people would say well Thomas Pynchon can carry on and he’s first-generation so I don’t see what this kid’s problem is? Did you give a thought about your legacy and how this would add a tint of mystique to it? Or are you done with mystique altogether? Why are you such an asshole?
And I guess it will be a bunch of question marks at the end of your life and I suppose in some ways that is more romantic than one period.