Timothy McSweeney is devastated and lost
David Foster Wallace memories above
and below a postscript in the New Yorker.
Some Pomona friends have commented on the McSweeney's site. I don't remember him well. I tried to take a contemporary fiction class with him his first year at Pomona, my last, but it filled up. I went to his office hours to try to get in. He told me I could sit in the interrogation chair or the tippy chair. I sat in one. The class didn't have room. That was fair. I worked in the English department office, library, etc. I ran into Wallace at night in Crookshank Hall. He would be using the office, putting things in mailboxes, taking things from mailboxes. He often wore shorts.
But it's not him I remember (or don't) as well I as I remember the experience of his brain on the page. I remember the companionship, talkiness, the hallways, the drone. I read Infinite Jest throughout a semester abroad in Madrid. I read it after lunches, after napping after lunches in my tiny floral room, after staring at canvases, after staying out 'til morning and waking in the afternoon, after reading L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E.
I don't know what to say. I'm trying not to delete my recollections. Read the books? Read DeLillo.
I thought saw a scene from White Noise today on the highway. The kind of rubbernecking where your head bends down.
I'm also thinking of you, English department, and I hope you are alright.
- Claire Becker
- My full-length book, Where We Think It Should Go, can be yours via Octopus Books, Small Press Distribution, or Amazon. We better celebrate these hard copies while we can. When I'm not writing poetry, I teach amazing young people who are blind. I believe in a healthier future.