All My Little Words

David Foster Wallace

Posted in Uncategorized by nickchristian on December 8, 2008

“I think being shy basically means being self-absorbed to the point that it makes it difficult to be around other people. For instance, if I’m hanging out with you, I can’t even tell whether I like you or not because I’m too worried about whether you like me.”

I confess that, until reading this extended epitaph in Rolling Stone I had not previously heard of the American author David Foster Wallace. It seems that David Lipsky’s view of him as “the greatest writer of his generation”, while not an isolated opinion, is not necessarily a consensus one either – at least it wasn’t prior to his death.

Nonetheless the above quote – one I agree with completely – piqued my interest enough to cause me to order Consider the Lobster from my local bookshop in East Dulwich. I will report back.

P.S. According to Amazon, 1% of people who view the page containing DFW’s novel, Consider the Lobster subsequently find themselves purchasing The Secret Life of Lobsters: How Fishermen and Scientists Are Unraveling the Mysteries of Our Favorite Crustacean. While I’m almost certain that stat is based on a single individual out of hundred it’s no less an amusing numeric morsel. The Secret Life of Lobsters has a better average rating too.

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