I couldn't believe it, but I didn't see a David Foster Wallace piece. Something I would write had I the time to create that many footnotes.
Still, there are some great ones. Here's what a Patrick O'Brian might have written. Here's the intro:
Captain "Lucky Jack" Aragorn paced anxiously on the foredeck of the Ungainly. He paused to put the glass to his eye, and surveyed his modest fleet. All indicated from their pennants a readiness to make way: the trim little bark Unlikely, and abaft of her, the xebec Unfathomable, formerly the Lugburz before it was taken from the orcs in the Bay of Belfalas. A nice bit of prize taken that day, he thought enviously. Still, he counted himself fortunate to have cadged this command from the admiralty, given the low regard in which Adm. Celeborn held him.