I asked myself if I’d have felt differently about IJ had it been written by a South American, or a Spaniard, or translated from any other language. I went to the South American, Bolaño, and found mention of DFW as a topic of conversation with Rodrigo Fresán, summed up, in RB’s words, as, “David Lynch and the prolixity of David Foster Wallace.” I reread sections of How Fiction Works for Wood’s take on Wallace’s use of language. I reached for The Irresponsible Self to reread Wood’s essay “Hysterical Realism,” before deciding Screw it, I just want this all behind me. Now that it’s all said and done, I just want to reach for something I can be a little more confident of loving, maybe even something beautiful, maybe only anything else.
I know that this stuff probably doesn't sound fun and breezy or grandly inspirational. What it is, so far as I can see, is the truth with a whole lot of rhetorical bullshit pared away. Obviously, you can think of it whatever you wish. But please don't dismiss it as some finger-wagging Dr Laura sermon. None of this is about morality, or religion, or dogma, or big fancy questions of life after death. The capital-T Truth is about life before death. It is about making it to 30, or maybe 50, without wanting to shoot yourself in the head. It is about simple awareness - awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over: "This is water, this is water."