Sunday, September 14, 2008

RIP David Foster Wallace

It's shocking to see that David Foster Wallace has died (news item; Salon.com tribute).

I might be risking my street cred along certain streets by admitting so, but I have not read any of his novels, though the talk and buzz around them has always kept them high up the "should read that" list.

I can say that I've had a photocopy of his essay on grammar and usage, "Tense Present," on hand and ready to pass along since it first appeared in Harper's in 2001. I have kept it around not because it got every single thing right (it didn't), but because it gets the bigger and better parts right, and defends grammar and usage in a more entertaining fashion than anything I've seen before or since. That's no small thing.

Farewell to a fine SNOOT.

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