Saturday, September 13, 2008

R.I.P. David Foster Wallace

From the AP Wire-

David Foster Wallace, R.I.P.

David Foster Wallace, the author of "Infinite Jest," was found dead in his home in Claremont on Friday night. The 46-year-old author apparently committed suicide.

In 1996, Wallace talked to the online magazine Stim about the recently published "Infinite Jest."

[My] secret pretension ... I mean, every writer wants his book to change the world, but I guess I would like to know if the book moved people. I assume that the future the book talks about, while it might be amusing, wouldn't be a fun future to live in. I think it would be nice if the book could maybe make people think about some of the choices we are making, about what we pay attention to and give power to, so maybe the future won't be quite that ... glittery. but cold....

Fiction used to be people's magic carpet to other places.... You know, ''Oh, a really boring formulaic story but it takes place in Tibet.'' But now you turn on PBS and watch someone milking a yak.... Which means that one of fiction's fundamental jobs has been supplanted. But it has another one now. TV's illusion of access to other cultures is, in fact, an illusion. TV itself cannot comment on that.

David Foster Wallace was a recipient of a MacArthur "genuis" grant in 1997. He was teaching creative writing at Pomona College. He will be missed.


Ana said...

This is so sad!

Candy Minx said...

That was a very good quote, Very interesting. I am very sad about this and think we have lost a great artist. I loved his book and work...and now I wish I had written him a fan letter.

Candy Minx said...

p.s.I also have a small post about his book at my blog...

Polar Bear said...

That's really sad. What a loss.

Hinsley Ford said...

This absolutely blew me away. What a weekend. When you think someone has it all....brilliance, great job, incredible writing talent, multiple publications -- all the things I covet and crave -- you realize it was not enough for that person. I'm wondering what could have saved him. What kind of pain was he in that took him from this world and from the incredible life he created for himself...merely through talent, incredible teaching, perserverance. I have been thinking of his students, too. They must be traumatized. Again, the pain he must have been in...his wife found him...his pain is now her pain.

People don't want to talk much about suicide. I have been reading articles around the web about his suicide and people are pointing fingers at him --- saying he's such a coward, a terribly selfish person, etc. As I always say, when you point a finger at someone, you're pointing 3 back at yourself and one to God.

Hopefully a lesson will come from this...and someone who has read Infinite Jest might be wowed enough by this news that suddenly their worry for a depressed friend suddenly becomes action. I worked a suicide hotline for 2 years before I switched to rape. With bipolar disorder, I haven't quite kicked suicidal ideation...but I have healed from the rape. We can all offer something to those who suffer.

What a weekend.

Anyhow thank you for honoring him with your post. I am putting up my blogroll and include you in it, of course. I renovated my site so have to reconstruct my blog roll and do some award nominating too.

Lots of love


Marissa Miller said...

I admire how you've really championed the cause of suicide prevention since it's also something that's near and dear to my heart.

susan said...

@Ana, thank you.

@Candy Minx- thank you. I wish I had written him a fan letter too.

@Polar Bear- glad to see you again, missed you while you were away!

@Hinsley- wow. I''ve been following your blog for a bit now, and I love it. I am so glad you found me!

Suicide is the proverbial elephant in the living room, but if people can talk about it, maybe lives can be saved. How ironic this occurred during National Suicide Prevention Week.

@ Marissa-Thank you. I really have learned a great deal from your blog. Thank you for stopping by!

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