Sunday, September 19, 2010

Permission to Write: Thanks to DFW

The book from my summer reading that probably most affected me was David Lipsky's Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace. While Lipsky's voice is a bit irritating, and while the book feels like a sort of theft on Lipsky's part, the transcript of a 5-day of conversation with Wallace is riveting. I read this after working through a number of stories in Oblivion ("Good Old Neon" is incredible), as well as his non-fiction (A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again and Consider the Lobster) and I've now noticed this:

Reading DFW gives me a sense of permission to write in a way that sounds like the voice in my head.

I don't know if that's a good thing, objectively speaking. It won't make me any friends with James Wood & Co. But I have found this to be liberating, energizing, and just generally encouraging. I feel like Wallace has loosened my tongue in a way, and I'm grateful.