What can YOU say in six sentences?
That, having grown weary of the formalism of plot devices and character shadings, he attempted to pioneer a new way of writing fiction that blurred the hard and fast lines between invention and history and criticism and personal essay.
The mind-boggling fact that he assembled these broad, ranging surveys pre-Internet, collating from index cards filled with at-first-glance random factoids about important but often forgotten figures in the studies of arts and philosophy and politics.
The idea that he started out as a genre writer, penning noir crime novels and Westerns before wading into experimental fiction, and that Wittgenstein's Mistress was rejected fifty-four times before being published.
And so he took all these real-world anecdotes and then he worked himself into the mesh as Author, Reader, Writer--although Compiler might've seemed like a more precise name for what he was doing, and maybe for what all of us are trying to do, limning the details of the people and the world we know and then arranging them so as to suggest aspects that are new or dangerous or wondrous about them (although some do their job better than others!) and to thereby illuminate the ways we choose to spend our lives while we yet have a say in the matter.
That his last novel was called The Last Novel.