Sunday, September 14, 2008

R.I.P. David Foster Wallace

At his little house one day after class, I confided in him that I saw myself as different from most people. In a mostly kind way, he responded that it was a weak thing to say. I have never forgotten the truth to which that spoke.


BlogFreeSpringfield said...

I'm a big fan of his work. I would have loved to have class with him. If you have any other stories about the experience, I'd enjoy hearing about them.

Tim said...

bfs - I became acquainted with David at Illinois State University about the time he was becoming interested in mathematics, specifically calculus, which would surface in his later writings. I'd been a math minor as an undergrad, so he asked me to teach him the fundamentals of calculus. He picked it right up (he was brilliant like that) and he insisted on paying me for my trouble (he was kind like that). He was one of my favorite teachers ever: informal, young, pop culture hip. Both students and faculty liked him.

It's such a shame. We lost him to mental illness.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

I had a friend who was similar in many ways to DFW. Brilliant, funny and a totally unique way of viewing the world. Unfortunately, my friend succumbed to the same illness, in the same manner. It's sad.

Tim said...

Wow, to count the number of geniuses lost to depression, both modern and past.

Those who are truly suffering right now are David's wife and family. I can't imagine what that's like.