Writers, like any group of people that share a common craft, are oddly knotted together. They know the same people and have the same selfish, necessary thoughts. In 2008, king of complicated thought, David Foster Wallace, hanged himself. But back in February, 1996, Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky conducted a lengthy series of interviews with Wallace while on book tour. The piece was cancelled, but Lipsky couldn’t let the experience go. Sitting with Wallace and Lipsky in the car, driving to school, in class at ISU, in Wallace’s office, in his home, at a pizza place in Bloomington, IL; it’s enough to know both men. Lipsky points out that Wallace’s entire life was consumed by emotion: his senses were intensified. The only point of books is to combat loneliness. Loneliness is used a lot here. Lipsky subtly compares Wallace to Hemmingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. “Just knowing him could land you in some funny spots; make the world turn Wallace-ish: embarrassing, surprising, alive.” Wallace didn’t have many levels of intensity: he was just about always on high. He was smart—genius—and hugely funny. He was analytical and sympathetic. He was human—infinitely so.
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