By Laura Hutelmyer
Intrigued by an article that appeared in the October 2008 Rolling Stone Magazine by David Lipsky about the life of the novelist David Foster Wallace, I decided to check out one of Wallace’s books. I was looking forward to having some extra reading time over the long Thanksgiving weekend, and Lipsky’s description of Wallace’s life, works and early death were enticing.
I was late leaving work that Tuesday night but made a quick trip to Falvey’s fourth floor to retrieve Wallace’s The Broom of the System (PS3573 .A425635 B7) and, on a whim, Girl with Curious Hair (PS3573 .A425635 G5). I was especially interested in reading The Broom of the System (named after a saying from Wallace’s grandmother about the benefits of eating an apple) because Wallace had written it in 1984 to fulfill a thesis requirement for graduation from Amherst College, and it was good enough to be published as a novel in 1987. I also knew Wallace had written this following a period of depression that had caused him to withdraw from school to be institutionalized for a while.
I took the books to the first floor circulation counter, hoping not to have to wait since I was already late for a scheduled appointment. There were seven people ahead of me, doing things like checking out laptops, requesting study rooms, asking for help with microfilm and even checking out books needed to complete assignments over the long holiday weekend. I almost put my books on the counter, prepared to leave empty handed, when I spotted the Self-Check machine. Wildcard in hand, I proceeded to the machine to see if I could save some time. (more…)