Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I wrote a comment

on Ernessa's new blog about David Foster Wallace, which made me want to add something here.

My friend Gia gave me a copy of A Supposedly Funny Thing I'll Never Do Again some 10 years ago now, when we were colleagues at Anderson Elementary in the HISD. Well, she either gave it to me or loaned it to me and I neglected to return it. I don't think I've ever done more than pick it up and either flip through a few pages or skim a bit. Every so often he'll come up in conversation or someone will mention something about him and I'll remember I have that book and think I should read it but I never do. When I heard of his death over the weekend I picked it up and read the David Lynch essay, which is right up my alley and of course delightful. However, the thing I love most about the book is how marked up it is. Lightly, with pencil, but still. I don't know if Gia did that or if she bought it used. I like to think it was her though. There is a list in pencil of vocabulary words, things like "otiose" and "solipsistic," and she marks all these interesting notes and passages. She even circles some typographical errors and things that must've grammatically; apparently she has or had a distaste for beginning a sentence with the word "But." It makes that tattered copy a special kind of artifact. Perhaps a double artifact. One of the many reasons to love our books.

I hope I'm as prepared for the rigor of DFW's thinking as Gia apparently was. I'm looking forward to finding out.

No comments: