- Jason Kottke
- "A Very Special Issue of People magazine about our favorite dead genius."
- 05/13/10 at 18:12
Bonjour! I am writing to you from inside the LHR ring at CERN. I am here in an unofficial capacity with my family and I am unsure what time I'm in. Or at. Or of. The sun is down, but it feels like early afternoon with a pinch of hangover. But I am here and representing.
In a 10 p.m./3 a.m. stupor on the plane last night, I finally read the afterward in the front of the book (where it belongs?) and got a little sad and worried that we're not supposed to be reading about all these little details we're sharing about an intensely private fellow—sharing that's only possible now that he is dead. I felt that way reading the rest of the book as well, but kind of ignored those details and focused on the bigger picture stuff, what Dave might have wanted us to take from his unusual experiences (i.e., the St. Dave stuff I guess...count me as a disciple). The whole thing makes me uncomfortable when I think about it, like Lipsky has provided us with a Very Special Issue of People magazine about our favorite dead genius (whatever the book's other merits, which I think we've agreed are many). I wish Wallace were here so that he could explain to me why I'm feeling this way because he'd probably have the perfect answer.
Sam asked about titles in the comments. How about "Real"? Okay, that's not a good idea, but I love the way that Wallace uses that word where others would just use "really"—as in "gonna have to make some real hard choices about..." It's almost like he's using it as an adverb and adjective simultaneously.
Also from the comments: "Jason, do you think DFW was just recognizing value in lowbrow cultural products, or actively campaigning for an end to various-brow categories?" I'd hope it was the latter, but I don't have an opinion either way based on what I've read. At the base level, I think Wallace was just a dude who liked stuff and found something interesting in just about everything whether he wanted to or not.