Before he won a MacArthur Fellowship, before he won the Aga Kha Prize for Fiction, before he was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, and before he became a literary legend and the reluctant voice of a generation, David Foster Wallace was just a novelist scraping by and writing occasional essays for Harper's Magazine. This essay, published only a month before his groundbreaking novel, Infinite Jest, made him famous, is classic Wallace, chockfull of never-ending, manic footnotes, crushing sadness, side-splitting insights, and, perhaps above all, beautiful, almost magical, sentences. Take these first lines, for example: "I have now seen sucrose beaches and water a very bright blue. I have seen an all-red leisure suit with flared lapels. I have smelled suntan lotion spread over 2,100 pounds of hot flesh. I have been addressed as 'Mon' in three different nations. I have seen 500 upscale Americans dance the Electric Slide. I have seen sunsets that looked computer enhanced. I have (very briefly) joined a conga line." For readers who are looking for a brief introduction to this prodigious talent, this essay will provide the entry they've been looking for.