Showing posts with label david foster wallace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label david foster wallace. Show all posts

Friday, May 17, 2013

Roosh Can't Have My DFW!

One of my best friends is a former boyfriend I'll call "Max,"  if by "best" you mean the kind of friendship that doesn't require much maintenance.  In other words, Max and I will go for months without contact; then he'll suddenly swing through the front door unannounced, with a parcel of DVDs and CDs in his hand, demanding a drink and the next six hours of my time.

We're close enough friends that I served as the officiant at his wedding.   

Anyway, Max was a terrible boyfriend: a lazy, lying, mooching pothead (and I would say that to his face, and I often do).  He hasn't changed much, but somehow those qualities are more tolerable now that we are not romantically involved. 

Not that Max and I ever had a great romance, mind you, except insofar as I briefly wished it to be.  What Max and I shared was a common taste in music, and a mutual passion for one artist in particular.

Shortly after Max and I broke up, he learned I had played some songs by the same artist for another lover, and he was devastated by what he took to be the worst form of infidelity.  How could I squander something so intimate and significant on a roll in the hay?   Years later, he still brings it up: the betrayal of it.

You have to understand:  When Max turns you on to a singer or a band, to a movie or a book, he is giving you the very best part of himself.

I'm not as territorial as Max is, but I have the same tendency to guard what is precious aesthetically and emotionally.  That's why when Roosh twittered a reference to David Foster Wallace the other day, my hackles went up.  No!  No!  No!  You of all people cannot have my DFW!


11 May
Truly great speech Too bad he didn't listen to his own advice

It was with some relief, then, that I noticed that Matt Forney had posted a link to a review by Vox Day of Wallace's Infinite Jest, in which he suggests Wallace killed himself because he realized he (Wallace, that is, not Vox Day) was a terrible writer. 

Much has been written about why Wallace hanged himself.  He had valiantly struggled with severe depression throughout his life.  The sudden epiphany he was a "terrible" writer was almost certainly not one of the reasons.  As always with the manosphere, I suspect that there is a certain amount of projection going on here.

I'll concede that Wallace is not an easy read, and certainly not everyone's cuppa, and Infinite Jest is a bit intimidating, partly because of its length, but also because Wallace is not afraid to make demands of the reader.  You have to give Wallace the wheel, so to speak, and then just hang on to your seat.  I don't know if I would have been willing to put in the effort if he hadn't already won me over with his hilarious anthologies of essays and short stories.  I recommend starting with "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" (especially if you have ever been on a cruise).

Yes, Matt Forney et al., Wallace does use a lot of "big words."  Thank goodness for the dictionary in my nook.  Oddly enough, some of us wordsmiths actually relish the opportunity to expand our vocabularies.

It's so reassuring to see Matt Forney hates Jonathan Franzen too.