Gus Van Sant meets David Foster Wallace
Dazed & Confused, May 1998
GVS: Who are some of your favorite writers?
DFW: Cormac McCarthy, have you read “Blood Meridian”? It’s literally the western to end all westerns. Probably the most horrifying book of this century, at least fiction. But it is also, this guy, I can’t figure out he gets away with it, he basically writes King James English, I mean, he practically uses Old English thou’s and thine’s and it comes off absolutely beautifully and unmannered and ungratuitous. He’s got another one called “Suttree,” God that one, God that would make a fantastic movie.
GVS: (perks up) What’s it called?
DFW: It’s called “Suttree.”
GVS: How do you spell that?
DFW: S-u-t-t-r-e-e. It came out, oh golly, mid 70s. But it’s about a down and out college educated man named Cornelius Suttree who has kind of abandoned everything to live in a houseboat in Knoxville, Tennessee in the late 40s and early 50s and all of his friends in his entire world are derelicts and retards and twisted people. It’s about four hundred pages of the most dense lapidary prose you can imagine about characters who are at the level of functional idiots and are drinking rot-gut.
— badgerinternet.com, “Infinite Jest: Reviews, Articles, and Miscellany”