21 September 2008

misery loves company

McSweeneys.com hosts DFW remembrances and thoughts.

It's a strange sort of grief I am wrestling with here. I never met David Foster Wallace nor can I claim that he ever read a word or note from me, nor can I claim that he somehow saved me from myself. But I do know that for most of the past 20 years his work had served as a sort of beacon, a light in the darkness which gave direction and showed that there is some order out there, some purpose and point to slogging forward -- somebody else made it through to the other side, therefore so might you.

The best line I can think of to describe how it feels to think of DFW right now actually comes from a movie:

"I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up DOES rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend. "
-- "Red," in THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION


Reading through those notes of and to Dave, I realize how I am not alone in hating the word "goodbye."
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6 comments:

marcoguarda said...

Well, Red found his friend Andy in the end.

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

Andy (V.O.), same.

Kirkland said...

Actually, both lines referenced [in your post and the comment] are from the Stephen King short story (from which the movie you quote is the source), "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption."

David Foster Wallace would've been disappointed you didn't know (or, perhaps, care) about literature and writing, for he deeply loved both.

Brett said...

Neat!

Vanilla Chunk said...

Very touching post...I remember reading his piece on the luxury cruise; I laughed so much I was asked to leave a hotel lobby.

On an other topic, Emily over at Bamboo killers told me that you could tell me about bar graphs, like the ones you use for 'current projects'. Where can I get them?

greebs said...

It's a damn shame. A damn, damn shame. I can't quite get over this.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

The death of somebody you didn't know personally, but knew intimately, can have a profound and perplexing effect on one's soul.