Wallace was correct in refering to Witt as ‘literature’, and I’m saying he meant that in the same sense as Melville or something. In Moby-Dick, Melville doesn’t say anything directly about metaphysical reality, or correct ethical behavior, or Art… but that’s all that’s there, in another sense. Or, at least, the best way we can categorize all that stuff… that’s not actually there (but in a stronger way, is).
Witt predicted that he would end up being another puzzle for wonks to wonk on about, and that all their wonkery would be missing the point. Wallace’s work, the same (and, even if he his own self thought Broom was just a technical exercise, it’s as connected to later work as Tractatus is to PI) OK, so Infinite Jest is structured around fractals, the Sierpinski Pyramid, a sort of echoing spiral mirror… Hooray, I know a little about that stuff, it’s interesting, but it doesn’t fucking matter, finally, and doesn’t actually mean anything, and really just gets in the way of feeling (listening) to Infinite Jest (Tractatus, PI)… by, for instance, trying to ‘decode’ it using this knowledge. It’s there, yes, but you’re not supposed to actually think about it, silly!
Heideggerian terms of interest: Gestell contrasted with Gelassenheit. Analogous to two ways of reading Wallace.
The technique in Wallace (Wittgenstein) was a blueprint needed to satisfy a certian type of mind’s need for footing (instead of [Witt term] slippery ground) on a journey towards something else entirely. What people take for ethos in Witt (and Wallace, a lot of the time) is actually mere technique.
Wittgenstein’s favorite writer was Kierkegaard. Probably the most ‘literary’ philosopher who ever lived, and some one that Witt “agreed completely with.” K’s methods, the champion of indirect communication, were not lost/disregarded by Witt. There’s a lot more being pointed to in the writings than are actually in the writings. Witt is in the religious-existential-mystical tradition and has more in common with them than Russell or Frege, though he’ll always be placed with them. Wallace is closer to Melville or Dostoevsky than Gass, Gaddis, Pynchon, whathaveyou. I just wouldn’t like to see him someday be relegated to that graveyard, geniuses though they are, they didn’t write immortal books. I think Wallace wrote an immortal novel and a few immortal stories and essays.