Tuesday, October 11, 2011

David Foster Wallace and Truth v. Illusion

All the hoopla over Jonathan Franzen outing David Foster Wallace for manufacturing some bits in his supposed nonfiction got me thinking about how little I care for the division between truth and illusion. A good story is a good story, period.

Okay, let me slow up—there’s an element of scumbaggery when a liar like James Frey makes a pile of cash off his bullshit drug addiction, though not because he wrote a book about it; it is because he preached to people about how they too can kick drugs that makes Frey a dick. Still David Foster Wallace’s essays do not lose steam simply because dialogue may have been, um, exaggerated.

But this led me back to his well known speech to the2005 graduates of Kenyon College. It remains my favorite piece of Wallace’s work, though that’s not saying much as I have not gotten through Infinite Jest.

I share with you, the (I’m guessing) indifferent.