Question: This is the 13th anniversary of the death of David Foster Wallace, the acclaimed 46-year-old author whose visionary novel, “Infinite Jest,” was judged worldwide as one of the top novels of the late 20th century, even to become basis of a movie starring Jason Segal and Jesse Eisenberg (“The End of the Tour”). Where was Wallace at his happiest?
Answer: An Illinois State University English instructor in the 1990s (when he wrote “Infinite Jest” in his south Bloomington home), Wallace told Rolling Stone he found big cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago disruptive and stressful. Thus, of Bloomington-Normal as compared to a huge city, Wallace said he felt insulated from the rest of the world’s stresses. Or as he phrased it, “When I’m (in Bloomington), it’s more like, ‘What an interesting storm going on outside my window. I’m sure glad I’m inside.’” As for ISU, Wallace called it “academia at its nicest.”