Tuesday, August 22, 2006

David Foster Wallace is still a good writer

You may or may not be familiar with The New York Times' occasional sports magazine Play, so I wanted to be sure you read, or at least knew that you ought to read, Sunday's piece on Roger Federer by David Foster Wallace.

Every word, phrase, and parenthetical jab is to be savored like a steak perfectly paired with a cabernet savignon. You don't have to be a tennis fan, or even a sports fan, for that matter, to enjoy it.

It's classic Wallace, with seventeen footnotes1. If you skip the footnotes, you'll miss the piece's thoughtful conclusion, so read all of them, and don't succumb to the powerful temptation I felt when muddling through Infinite Jest2, where the ~100 pages of end notes require a second bookmark3.

1. And two sub-footnotes

2. Wallace's 1,100 page book that was about tennis

†. At least in part.

3. Reading them is worth the effort there, too.

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