“I mean, I didn’t go through anyone’s garbage. People brought what they felt I needed to know to me. It was his friends and family trying to reconstruct a person who was gone. There were so many people in deep grief when I began and talking to me was in part a way to begin to deal with that grief. The book gains some of its energy from an exercise in communal remembering. Of course the memories are not always so wonderful and indeed I was often shocked by DFW’s behavior. Hell, sometimes people were shocked by the stories they told me, you know stories about behavior they had been a part of. I have no reason not to want you to be shocked in turn. Shock equals discovery, and if I narrated my past, you’d be pretty grossed out too, I bet—same as if you narrated yours. Aren’t we all composed of our past mistakes? Isn’t that part of emerging into an adult awareness of the world?”
- D.T. Max, author of the new David Foster Wallace biography, which I’m in the midst of currently, and liking/cringing/laughing/crying. What a mess of contradictions DFW was; how much he suffered and how deeply ashamed he felt about that, hiding it from most everybody; and oh, how beautiful the words, when he could find them.