Sometimes it's chilling but exciting to see people predict the future accurately.
I recently discovered a whole treasure trove of David Foster Wallace recordings through the The David Foster Wallace Audio Project including interviews and readings that I've been sucking down the last couple of days. While I've long been a huge fan of his work in the past I never really searched out background information on his writing or motivations since I preferred to try and decode the works based on their content alone. I was a fool to do so, and if you listen to even one or two of his Bookworm interviews you'll understand why. Wallace intelligence is delightfully presented in a gentle, thoughtful manner that ultimately acts to reinvigorate your own curiosity in unpacking the world around you. Even the bleakest observations are filled with an honest human warmth.
One interview included in this collection is one I had actually seen before, when Wallace appeared on Charlie Rose with Mark Leyner and Jonathan Franzen. The young authors were all at various points in their literary fame -- Wallace ascending, Leyner peaking, and Franzen still embryonic -- but their thoughts on the internet and the author's relationship with the reading public are prescient to say the least. There's something refreshing when you realize that these three minds were better at grasping the effects of the internet on reading behavior in 1996 than many publishers have today.
The original interview can be watched here, but if you don't have the time to sit in front of your computer and would rather listen to it on the go, the MP3 is below, courtesy The David Foster Wallace Audio Project.
MP3: Charlie Rose "A conversation with David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen, and Mark Leyner on Friday, May 17, 1996"