The 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: