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gailcalled's avatar

Are there other fans here of David Foster Wallace?

Asked by gailcalled (54522points) September 16th, 2008

I thought he was one of the most original young writers in the country. He apparently committed suicide on Sept. 12

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7 Answers

srtlhill's avatar

I’m sorry that someone so talented could not recieve the help he needed. Best wishes to his family.

kevbo's avatar

I read Infinite Jest and his essay on cruises but didn’t know much else about him other than liking the idea of him. It’s a shame, and it has me thinking about how strong the correlation is between writing talent and suicide.

I came across this commencement speech he delivered while I was reading different stories about his death, which I liked and believe speaks to his melancholy.

kevbo's avatar

… the speech I mean.

augustlan's avatar

Very interesting speech. Gave me some things to think about.

Poser's avatar

Never heard of him before. After reading his speech, I feel a surprising sense of loss to hear of his death.

Follow-up question: Do you feel that his suicide in any way invalidates what he spoke of in his speech?

Nimis's avatar

Poser: I’m not sure if it invalidates his work. Though it has definitely left a pallor.
Many of my friends who are fans of his work are going back and rereading it.
I’m kind of having the opposite reaction. I just want to leave it be…as I originally read it.

gailcalled's avatar

There was always some subtle undercurrent of moroseness in all of his hilarious and original writings. Check out this book of his early essays; one of his techniques was to use footnotes that were sometimes longer than the text.

“A Supposedly Fun Thing”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Supposedly_Fun_Thing_I’ll_Never_Do_Again

He was a writer’s writer the… new gonzo journalist after H. Thompson.This will lead to you too many links about him. You may want, instead, to read him.

He was to the generation of writers and readers now in their early 40s what J.D. Salinger was to mine.

It is true that he hanged himself. Other writers committed suicide; they still have readers: (Hemingway, Tolstoi (sort of) and Gogol for example).

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