Re-reading David Foster Wallace

I like it when somebody gets excited about something. – Holden, The Catcher in the Rye

When I was fifteen I borrowed Infinite Jest from my local library. I was attracted to mammoth sized books. The librarian suggested I borrow a Sweet Valley High book, it was the worst thing she could have said to a teenager. She questioned my maturity. Now I insisted on the David Foster Wallace book. The librarian held onto the book and my card; I could see her contemplating her next move. She studied my face; yes, I was the girl, who at eleven, insisted the head librarian order The Handmaid’s Tale. Although they forced my mother to check out the book for me, I won that battle. So she handed over Infinite Jest and I left the library.

For five months, there was nothing else. I read David Foster Wallace attentively even while exhausted. When it was over, I didn’t know what to feel, but I had acquired a deep appreciation for footnotes, without them it would have been impossible to understand the drugs described in his book. I knew what I read was special. Read the rest of this entry »