IT WAS MY FIRST exposure to his brilliance and his many beautiful footnotes.
INCLUDING THE SHORTEST, MOST BEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTE of all time.
BEGIN quoted text:
But it turns out that, of these six guys [a group of skeet shooters DFW has encountered on a cruise ship].... the last has not only his own earmuffs, plus his own shotgun in a special crushed-velvet-lined case, but also his own skeetshooting ranger in his backyard (130) in North Carolina.
END quoted text.
IT WAS JUST A LITTLE PUNCTUATION JOKE, but in it I found so much to aspire to: the cynicism undone by fearless wonder, the formal playfulness, and the utter and inspiring freedom...
THESE ARE THE THINGS that make his work so challenging, and yet also so gracious. By reading him, we all got better.
I AM NOT ONE OF THE SAD ONES who have the privilege to miss him personally. But I do miss him.
NO ONE HAS EVER INVENTED PUNCTUATION MARK that can contain all the shock and sadness we felt when we learned the news,
AND NOW THAT HE IS GONE, I am afraid that no one ever will.
That is all.