Your Favorite Authors’ Favorite Musicians

Here at Flavorwire of late, we’ve been looking at what some of our favorite creative types have appreciated in the work of their peers — our favorite actors’ favorite actors, etc. We do like a bit of genre cross-pollination, though, so we thought we’d extend the remit of the idea across genre lines, starting with some of our favorite authors discussing the work of the musicians who inspire, excite, or just generally impress them.

David Foster Wallace: R.E.M.

David Lipsky, who wrote the recent memoir Travels With David Foster Wallace, conducted a sort of pseudo-AMA with the Wallace-I mailing list on the book’s release. One of the questions dealt with Wallace’s tastes in music, which Lipsky described as follows: “[Wallace’s] music tastes were pretty eclectic. He loved the R.E.M. song ‘Strange Currencies’ (‘I mean, I will find one or two songs — I listened to ‘Strange Currencies’ over and over again all summer’). He knew the music he liked very well — the way Nabokov could track certain themes and lines across a centuries’ novels — so well he could hear where they were being picked up by other artists. On the other hand, he says, ‘I have the musical tastes of a thirteen year old girl.’ He listened to Nirvana while writing Infinite Jest; and also to ‘this woman named Enya, who’s Scottish.'” (Wallace did not, however, care for AC/DC.)