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September 14, 2008


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I just saw this news about a half hour ago. I'm speechless. Glenn, I'm very sorry for your loss.


This is horrible news. He was one of my heroes. I don't know what else to say. Thank you for posting a lovely reminiscence.


This is so horrifying. Glenn, thank you for sharing your personal memories of him. It's surprising how much you can feel like you know a person after reading a 1,000+ plus page novel by that person, especially when it's written in such a humanely conversational style. This is a terrible loss not only for his family and friends but for his readers who surely felt as I do in considering that we too knew him on some remote level.

Also, a suggestion to those of you with copies of Infinite Jest on hand: if you're not too upset, you might want to flip over to page 696, last paragraph of the page. Assuming there was no note, it might be the closest we get to an explanation.

Keith Gow

I actually came to Wallace's writing through PREMIERE magazine - his essays on David Lynch and the AVN awards led me to read "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" and "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again". I haven't read "Consider the Lobster" or tried "Infinite Jest", but will pick one of them up soon - and read it in remembrance. He was a fine, fine writer.


Horrible news. I have nothing to add to the above. I'd never met him. All I can say is the way he wrote represented the way I think better than anything else and he wrote arguably my favorite novel. I can't express my grief without seeming adolescent or hero-worshiping. "Inconceivable" indeed, and condolences to those who actually knew him.


DFW was asked in an interview about his attending Mennonite services (in the Illinois town where he used to teach), and his answer has stuck with me: Those and A.A. meetings were two places where people talked about things important to them, stuff that mattered. The things that mattered to Wallace in his writing-- the boy whose question to John McCain in S.C. 2000 transformed a campaign-appearance, the elderly Illinois neighbor stunned by 9/11 events in a city she had never visited-- confirmed that, even more than a literary dervish, he was a born journalist, with resources of empathy that may have been overwhelming. Besides his family and friends, I am heartbroken for his students: Wallace was the rare literary star who loved the classes he taught. I looked forward to his writing more about this part of his work.


met him twice. both times with you. didn't know him. still, shattering news. fuck.

Jennifer Loeber Hillis

While I had been aware of Mr. Wallace's work, it was not until the Boy I married presented me with a collection of his short stories that I dove into his writings. During my own dark time a couple of years ago I frequently turned to his astute and hilarious observations to bury my own woes in- just thinking about the phrase "exfoliatingly hot" from "Shipping Out: On the (Nearly Lethal) Comforts of a Luxury Cruise" leaves me feeling as though I may lose control of my motor functions.
A terrible, terrible loss for both his family and admirers everywhere.


He was, is & will continue to be the best WRITER of his time. His fiction was as good as Pynchon's & his journalism was as groundbreaking and entertaining as Hunter Thompson, Didion & Wolfe's. This is the saddest day in American letters in my lifetime. I suppose we'll never know why he killed himself & it doesn't matter. DFW is gone & he will never be replaced & that's that.

Matt Miller

Like Keith, PREMIERE was my introduction to DFW. I still think that "David Lynch Keeps His Head" is the most concise statement of Lynch's strengths as a filmmaker ever written. I was in the middle of reading INFINITE JEST when "Neither Adult Nor Entertainment" was published, and, bowdlerized though it may be, it remains one of my favorite pieces ever published in the magazine.

So, Glenn, thanks for introducing me to the man who would become my absolute favorite writer. And my condolences to you and everyone who knew him.

Matt Miller

By the way, I know I've mentioned this in the comments here before, but this:


...marked the last time I ever took Lisa Schwarzbaum seriously.


I first discovered David Foster Wallace when I was working in a bookstore in the mid-90s. I had opened a box and found a massive orange-and-blue tome called Infinite Jest. I put aside a copy for myself (there were only three) and promptly fell in love with his writing. It's an incredible loss to the literary community, but more importantly to those who loved him. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Glenn, which was probably quite difficult. My sympathies go out to David Foster Wallace's family and friends.


Losing a friend is always hard. My condolences.

Matt Noller

I didn't know Mr. Wallace, but through his writing - so open and honest and sincere, even in its clever po-mo shadings, and just so fucking brilliant - I felt like I did.

This is a monumental loss.


I discovered Wallace's writing through Premiere as well. He was a superb writer and given the sensitivity and intelligence in his journalism, I am not surprised to hear he was a fine man and a good friend. I am very sad that we've lost such a talent, and I am so, so sorry for your loss, Glenn.

James Frey

It should've been me.

Dan Coyle

I only read The Broom of the System and his terrifying piece on John Ziegler for The Atlantic, but I found him to be a very entertaining writer. I picked up a copy of McCain's Promise today, just to see some more of it.

A real shame.

Dan Coyle

Also, here's the Ziegler profile:



My condolences on the loss of your friend, Glenn. He was a unique voice. So sad.


The 'Lynch' piece was one of the all-time highlights of Premiere. I'm going to take another look at it this evening.

Ryland Walker Knight

I read _Infite Jest_ during a particularly low period in my short life and I was unfair to it, wrote it off; I posed cooler than it. Now I know I was simply afraid of how good and smart it actually is -- and that I was a tool/acolyte devotee of James Joyce and his huge tome. Funny what some growth, and about 8 years, can do to a brain. I still have some gripes with some of DFW's work, but this news, read with a severe hangover at 8am Sunday morning (after little sleep), made me really sad. To lose any voice that daring is just, well, big. So I wish the world that knew him well; that hurt is, no doubt, inconcievable to me right now.

Oh, and, yeah: that Lynch piece is phenomenal, hilarious. I wish I could write something funny now and again. It's too easy to be sad. Let's laugh.

will bennett

i don't know anything about Dave Wallace. Perhaps that allows me space. i look at a photograph of him and a dog. y'know someone stood peacefully in front of him and the dog to take that photograph. it could not have been accomplished otherwise. so, there was a moment. someone stood peacefully in front of Dave Wallace and took a photograph. In this picture, Dave Wallace is alive.

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