David Foster Wallace’s whole schtick was not sincerity like everyone seems to think, it was the AA thing, the Higher Power thing, and that it is absolutely possible to be wholly cynical and ironic and still be devoted to something greater than yourself, in fact it is inevitable
The whole God and 12 Steps thing is easier if you’re sincere, but your higher power can be anything so long as it isn’t drugs, and that includes money or success or a doorknob, so there’s actually a lot of room for cynicism and irony
Which is why aesthetically his work is full of puns and jokes and a fair amount of senseless violence and pain, and why anti-postmodernist sincerity comes off as a flaccid reproduction of Wallace’s schtick (see: Wes Anderson, who I like but not all that much)
The point of Wallace was to transcend THROUGH irony and cynicism, to use them as the jumping off point for the discovery of new ways of being, and it’s because he had a head full of AA and was trying to reconcile that with the black humorists he loved so much
And this of course is now reduced to “White Man Read Dangerous Book” which is just a real shame, because that reputation comes from Wallace’s unbearable whiteness and unintended but rampant racism, a real shame all things considered
IDK I guess I’m just saying all my faves are problematic and that includes DFW
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