New David Foster Wallace documentary remembers the late author, tugs at the heartstrings

David-Foster-WallaceImage Credit: Marion EttlingerThe BBC brings us “Endnotes,” the first big David Foster Wallace documentary since his suicide in September of 2008—and it’s a good one. Professor Geoff Ward does Wallace’s significant life and work justice in a tight 45 minutes, including interviews with peer Rick Moody and college roommate Mark Costello, as well as Don DeLillo, editors, and his sister. My favorite parts of the doc were the moments when people would rhapsodize about his writing. Professor Ward elevated his language when talking about Wallace’s, describing his singular style as “recursive loops and linguistic curlicues, all buttressed by his signature footnotes.”

I remember reading A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again—on a cruise ship, no less—and feeling awe and immense jealousy in equal parts. I think most everyone who reads Wallace feels that way on some level: He’s just so much smarter than you, yet he’s so fun and interesting to read. It’s fascinating hearing interviews with Wallace himself—he comes across as bright, intense, savvy—with the knowledge that, at least later in his life, he became seriously disturbed. His preoccupation with aloneness may have tormented his mind, but its influence on his work left a lasting legacy.

Listen to “Endnotes” below:

<p><a href=”″>Endnotes: David Foster Wallace</a> from <a href=”″>georgelazenby</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Comments (7 total) Add your comment
  • alex

    if you’re a DFW fan you should read ALthough of Course You End up Becoming Yourself.. it’s this kind of quirky long interview btw DFW and David Lipsky. It was like being in the room with him

    • Rustinnnnnn

      I sort of agree with you, it does provide some interesting information on David that you really can’t get anywhere else, but man did David Lipsky annoy the heck out of me throughout the whole book.

      And is anyone else leery of the Pale King? I’m excited to see how it turned out, but I would have love for DFW to have completely finished it himself.

      • Nini

        Totally… I kinda don’t want to read it mainly because I have this morally bad feeling about it.

        So tempting to go and buy it, but I think it might be a few years before I do.. just so I can get an idea of publicly reception and whatnot.

        (I never read a word of his before he died, sadly.)

    • Gabriel

      Did the flexibility Gymnastic WOD from Tuesday for warm-up. Yesterday’s CFE Strength & codintioning WOD. Push-Press 3,3,3,2,2,1 Reps. 115,130,135,145,155,165lbs. Got a new record outta that. Crossfit Mainsite WOD scaled. Deadlift- 285lbs./5sets/2reps. Grace 95lbs.- 7:35 minutes. Did a mix of roll-ups, flexibility, wall-walks to stretch me out. Great S&C WOD today.

  • Felix

    I read Infinite Jest for a college class…such a hard read, but the whole time, I knew I was reading one of the most brilliant novels ever conceived, brilliant because of how well it shattered every rule of fiction-writing. What a mind.

  • Lex

    I’ve only ever read his Kenyon College commencement speech, which was published as “This is Water.” It has profoundly changed my life and the way I view the world, especially since I’m in high school and I read it during finals… and it’s really made me appreciate education and awareness. He is an amazing writer and I want to read more of his work. This documentary sounds good… it’s just incredibly sad that the world lost a great creator and thinker.

    • Heather

      His “this is water” speecdh was incredible- I am a graduate of the Kenyon College class of 2005- he was our commencement speaker….was such a great speech- remember it quite vividly

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