Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Threads of memory

I read something today that changed me. Now, one could argue the we are changed by everything we read. I suppose I can live with that banality as long as I am allowed to make a sophomoric distinction between changed and altered. Since learning of David Foster Wallace’s death over the weekend, I have been making periodic and random stabs at his novel Infinite Jest. Just because I am a person of faith, a Christian, does not mean that I renounce my right not only to point out life’s absurdities, but the absurdity of human life itself, just as Kierkegaard did not. God is a risk-taker, if an oblique one. I mean, look what he allowed to happen to his son! I don’t want to make any inflated claims to originality. So, I freely admit that another thing I read that altered me forever was Fear and Trembling, a long time ago.

I am sorry for the digression. The thing that I read that altered me, is from McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, which is an oasis of sanity in the virtual desert. It is by one Sam Paranofski and is part of a thread of memories of David Foster Wallace

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link! When you finish Infinite Jest, we have to talk! I remembered this anecdote when writing to a friend earlier this evening:

    I went to a reading he gave, and in person he was quite striking -- so fragile (shaking, dry-mouthed, easily startled, looking like a deer in the headlights) but then so sure of certain things; for example, one person from the audience asked, during the question time, "Who are your favorite authors writing today, and which writers, from among your peers, do you think are bad and won't last?" He responded that he couldn't really list favorite authors but would tell us what he'd been reading -- and proceeded to list several authors. Then he said, "And I'd never name writers I think are bad. That would just be mean."

    pax et bonum, my friend