David Streitfeld, reporter for the New York Times and former book editor at the Boston Globe, quotes David Foster Wallace:

Fiction, [Wallace] once said, is “one of the few experiences where loneliness can be both confronted and relieved. Drugs, movies where stuff blows up, loud parties — all these chase away loneliness by making me forget my name’s Dave and I live in a one-by-one box of bone no other party can penetrate or know. Fiction, poetry, music, really deep serious sex, and, in various ways, religion — these are the places (for me) where loneliness is countenanced, stared down, transfigured, treated.”

I’ll let folks who’ve finished more than half of one of his books continue to memorialize him. But that quote hit me just hard enough to be worth repeating.