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Sample quote: "It is about simple awareness - awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over: "This is water, this is water."A lengthy and wonderfully written paen to the horrors of a week-long luxury cruise.
We have to actively fight against the biases that color who pays the price for their behavior and whose abuse is ignored. Yes, his accusers — many of them Latinx women — need to be heard. I loved , and I still find many interviews with him thought-provoking and transfixing.
But some of our certainty and fury must be directed at white abusers as well. But it’s been clear to me, for many years now, that DFW was not the contemplative, troubled-yet-altruistic soul that everyone who quotes I got into DFW’s work during a particularly dreary winter depression back in 2010.
In the piece, Díaz implies that his own history of abuse (and his repression of it) led, in part, to his inability to form respectful romantic and sexual bonds with women for many years.
For the most part, it seems, Díaz’s accusers are being taken seriously.
This is notably unlike how many people in the literary world responded to other, past accusations of abuse, including very well verified ones like those against David Foster Wallace.
That Díaz is a man of color and Wallace was a white, wealthy son of academics is obviously relevant.
In the #Me Too world, white, female singer Melanie Martinez can be accused of rape and get off scott-free, and white male harassers like Charlie Rose and Harvey Weinstein can disappear briefly, receive some therapy, then come back to opine about what they’ve learned.
Some readers, many of them white, will now discard the writing of Junot Díaz, but will continue to consume David Foster Wallace’s overwrought, garbled narratives of misogyny because he was a white dude and he seemed so goddamned The #Me Too movement might make a lot of us feel heard and protected, but we cannot rest easy. That has to end, now.— — — —I’m a recovered David Foster Wallace fan.
After learning all these things about DFW back in 2012 or so, I revisited a lot of his work and found it lacking in the genius and sensitivity that I had remembered.
Here are some things I noticed in particular (often with the help of discerning readers on the Wallace-L listerv):— — — —Learning and observing these things about Wallace radically changed my reading habits.