David Foster Wallace was a writer who made other writers look plain lazy. The labyrinthine sentence construction for which he became known, and the sometimes unreasonable-seeming depths of his interrogations into just how the pieces fit together, were the hallmarks of a thinker whose horizons of interest were panoramic, and who felt and thought intensely about all aspects of his life and work.
Wallace was also a human being who made others of us seem small-hearted and incurious by comparison. The compassion in which all of his work (fiction & non-fiction) is rooted, and the thirst for understanding by which he was motivated, remain both sadly rare and powerfully inspirational.
To face the world as honestly as Wallace did, and to attempt explication of its boundless mysteries through the tireless employment of all the wattage of the human brain and the human heart combined, are aspirations with which we are left to wrestle. That he supplied some dispatches from that place—hand-drawn maps formed of beautiful, dizzying, acrobatic, or else origami-like sentences—remains our good fortune.