“Inspiration is contagious, and multiform”

This is what David Foster Wallace, the novelist who took his own life in 2008, has to say. He’s quoted in today’s NYTIMES, in company with other amazingly eloquent Wallace phrases too numerous to mention here. Wallace’s sentences read you; they make you feel like you know exactly what they are saying before you even finish them.

Michiko Kakutani tells us that when it comes to non-fiction prose, “He celebrated the qualities of ‘clarity, precision, plainness, lucidity and the sort of magical compression that enriches instead of vitiates.’” The elephant sitting on my writer’s desk in my room, however, is asking me: why is it that society couldn’t find a way to celebrate him — enough so that he’d feel its belief in his talent penetrate his soul beyond his skill.

Photo credit: Patricia Wall for the New York Times

We need to stop delighting in artists, and start supporting them. What that means, well, that’s up to you.