David Foster Wallace, philosopher  DEC 15 2008

A short piece on David Foster Wallace's college philosophy thesis.

Even after he began writing fiction in college -- he simultaneously completed a second undergraduate thesis, in English, that ultimately became his 1987 novel, "The Broom of the System" -- it was still philosophy that defined him academically. "I knew him as a philosopher with a fiction hobby," Jay Garfield, an adviser on Wallace's thesis and now a professor at Smith College, told me recently. "I didn't realize he was one of the great fiction writers of his generation with a philosophy hobby."

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