"There is a weird ambient sameness to Wallace’s work. He was always asking essentially the same question. How do I recognize that other people are real, as I am? And the strange, quasi-mystical answer was always the same, too. You may have to give up your attachment to the ‘self.’ I don’t mean that Wallace ‘preached’ this moral in his work; when I think of a moralist I don’t think of a preacher. On the contrary, he was a writer who placed himself ‘in the hazard’ of his own terms, undergoing them as real problems, both in life and on the page. For this reason, I suspect he will remain a writer who appeals, above all, to the young. It’s young people who best understand his sense of urgency, and who tend to take abstract existential questions like these seriously, as interrogations that relate directly to themselves. The struggle with ego, the struggle with the self, the struggle to allow other people to exist in their genuine ‘otherness’-these were aspects of Wallace’s own struggle."
Zadie Smith in her excellent essay “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men: The Difficult Gifts of David Foster Wallace” from her excellent essay collection Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays
(basically DFW is the best HS reading and I wont have anyone saying otherwise)