Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Apparently I write like David Foster Wallace. Who's he?

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I came across this site "I Write Like", and apparently I write like David Foster Wallace. Should I feel bad that I've never heard of him?

He looks like a cool guy in that long-haired, I'd-rather-be-at-the-beach-surfing way that some guys have. Looks like someone you wouldn't mind hangin' with by the campfire listening to his stories. Right? He'd be perfectly comfy in a polar fleece and jeans. Yeah, man, I'm all about that (except for the campfire smoke -- which, for some reason, always blows my way -- and then it really aggravates my allergies!

According to Wikipedia, he "was an American author of novels, essays, and short stories ... He was widely known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, which Time included in its All-Time 100 Greatest Novels list (covering the period 1923–2006). Los Angeles Times book editor David Ulin called Wallace "one of the most influential and innovative writers of the last 20 years ... Wallace's novels often combine various writing modes or voices, and incorporate jargon and vocabulary (sometimes invented) from a wide variety of fields. His writing featured self-generated abbreviations and acronyms, long multi-clause sentences, and a notable use of explanatory footnotes and endnotes—often nearly as expansive as the text proper."

If that means he was comfortable with comma-splicing in his writing, then I'm down with that (how's that for incorporating jargon, baby?). Too bad I didn't have the term "long multi-clause sentences" at my fingertips in high school when Mrs. VanAntwerp was all up in my face (again with the jargon) about such activities. I might have had some luck defending my writing a bit more in my College English class (just kidding, Mrs. V. -- you rocked!).

He was a professor... he became "the first Roy E. Disney Professor of Creative Writing and Professor of English at Pomona College." Have I mentioned that I LOVE Disney World. :)

Not bad ... and he was a dog lover too. His dog could be a Rottie or a Pitt -- and I have a Rottie sweetheart dog. Cool... but wait, there's more ...

I gotta confess, much of what was on Wiki was a bit over the top for me. In search of a simpler summation of his writing I hit upon They say "David Foster Wallace may have understood the modern American better than any writer of our time ... Wallace was a master at capturing the way we think, feel and live, and his books and essays conveyed an intimacy that made a lot of people feel like Wallace was a friend they'd never met."

They liken him to a literary rockstar. As my brother would say, "Cool beans." But wait, there's more ...

He suffered from depression, and he committed suicide.

So much angst. And he liked math too. (Totally not me. Yikes.)

Now I've got another author to add to the list of reading I need to do. I'm going to start with a book of his essays entitled "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again"

Will I like him?

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