So wrote David Foster Wallace.
Quartz has the late writer’s handwritten notes from an accounting class.
There’s more on the topic in this 2012 New Yorker story.
John Updike died yesterday at the age of 76.
Endowed with an art student’s pictorial imagination, a journalist’s sociological eye and a poet’s gift for metaphor, John Updike — who died on Tuesday at 76 — was arguably this country’s one true all-around man of letters. He moved fluently from fiction to criticism, from light verse to short stories to the long-distance form of the novel: a literary decathlete in our age of electronic distraction and willful specialization, Victorian in his industriousness and almost blogger-like in his determination to turn every scrap of knowledge and experience into words.
In Salon.com, Amy Standen writes about Truman Capote’s groundbreaking novel “In Cold Blood.” Though I disagree with the parallel Standen tries to draw between Capote and Perry Smith, one of the murderers he portrays in the book, this is an excellent look at Capote’s sizeable contributions to journalism and literature.
I’m reading a couple different books these days. John Kennedy Toole’s “A Confederacy of Dunces” is hilarious and richly imagined, and “Video Night in Kathmandu: And Other Reports from the Not-So-Far East,” by Pico Iyer, is a revealing portrait of contemporary Asia.