I am a big fan of David Foster Wallace’s style of writing and thinking. In part, I think this is because I’m prone to the same kind of qualification that he embraced without reservation (and mastered, perhaps), partly because I find his sincerity comforting.
I think it’s basically true that everyone wants to be understood, and I know it’s definitely true for me. And I tend to feel that it is only through rigorous self-examination that I can really understand myself, which I of course have to do in order to have any hope of being understood by others. I think that kind of rigorous self-examination was near the center of Wallace’s work. I often fear that my expression will be interpreted as a proclamation of What’s Right, which is to say, a proclamation of how I think others should think, or what conclusions I think they should draw. Please know that that is not often my goal, and when it is my goal, I will try to be explicit about it. Similarly, I think much of Wallace’s work was aimed not at convincing you to Feel This Way – its aim was to convince you to feel at all. His goal, I think, was to shine a light on the dark places in our minds (and his) so that we might all reckon with what’s hiding there, together. And as is often the case in intimate conversation, it is infinitely easier to acknowledge our shortcomings when we don’t have to go first.
That is my goal for this site. I do hope you enjoy.