As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/

David Foster Wallace dead

stiliststilist Registered User regular
edited November 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
David Foster Wallace, the novelist, essayist and humorist best known for his 1996 tome "Infinite Jest," was found dead last night at his home in Claremont, according to the Claremont Police Department. He was 46.

Jackie Morales, a records clerk at the Claremont Police Department, said Wallace's wife called police at 9:30 p.m. Friday saying she had returned home to find her husband had hanged himself.

Wallace won a cult following for his dark humor and ironic wit, which was on display in such books as "Girl with Curious Hair" and "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men." In 1997, he received a MacArthur "genius" grant.

Born in Ithaca, New York, Wallace was teaching writing at Pomona College.
I’ve only ever read an essay or two, but I know he’s pretty popular around here. Au revoir, sir.

I poop things on my site and twitter
stilist on

Posts

  • WerdnaWerdna Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I was just in Claremont today looking for Infinite Jest in a bookstore and catching a movie, then a friend texted that he was dead. The fucking bookstore didn't even know he was dead, couldn't imagine they didn't know who he was.

    Werdna on
  • setrajonassetrajonas Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Shiiiit. I'm in the middle of reading Infinite Jest for the first time right now. That's pretty awful.

    setrajonas on
  • thanimationsthanimations Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Holy shit. That's all I can think right now.

    thanimations on
  • deowolfdeowolf is allowed to do that. Traffic.Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    <insert "I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest" bit here>*




    *that's from Hamlet**



    ** Hamlet is a play1

    1 A play from a long time ago, written by a guy named Bill 2






    2 Bill's dead, too

    deowolf on
    [SIGPIC]acocoSig.jpg[/SIGPIC]
  • HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Dammit, Shepard!Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Hachface on
  • stiliststilist Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    stilist on
    I poop things on my site and twitter
  • HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Dammit, Shepard!Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I blame James Wood for this.

    Hachface on
  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    DFW is one of the few famous people I ever hoped to talked to. His work changed my life, how I view the world, and just how important art is to the contemporary world. I can honestly say that his death has greatly saddened me.

    It is terrible that it is a suicide, because so many people on replies to the articles on his death have said that DFW convinced them to stop drinking or to leave an abusive spouse. I can only pray that his wife is ok, and that the world does not martyrize him for an untimely death, but can evaluate his work for how truly great it is.

    Podly on
    follow my music twitter soundcloud tumblr
    9pr1GIh.jpg?1
  • NaviNavi Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    This is Sami.

    Came back to say D:D:D:D:D:

    Found out last night, got drunk with cel and commiserated. Fuck.

    Navi on
  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Newsweek's obituary is very good.

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/158935

    Podly on
    follow my music twitter soundcloud tumblr
    9pr1GIh.jpg?1
  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    46? What the hell?

    How is this even remotely fair, world?

    EDIT: Oh shit, I didn't see that it was a suicide. Fuck, that makes it even worse.

    DarkCrawler on
  • Fatty McBeardoFatty McBeardo Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    It's unfortunate the same characteristic that gives people like DFW or Hemingway their literary genius happens to be the same characteristic that leads to things like this.

    Fatty McBeardo on
  • thanimationsthanimations Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    It's unfortunate the same characteristic that gives people like DFW or Hemingway their literary genius happens to be the same characteristic that leads to things like this.

    I don't know enough about Wallace's life to say with any degree of truth, but I have a hard time comparing the two beyond that they both committed suicide.

    That being said, one of the saddest parts of this is that I'll mention it at work and pull some of his books to display, and no one will probably care.

    thanimations on
  • The Raging PlatypusThe Raging Platypus Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    :|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|:|

    Why?! WHY?! God damn it, DFW, I am exceedingly irked with you right now!





    ......................:cry:

    The Raging Platypus on
    Quid wrote: »
    YOU'RE A GOD DAMN PLATYPUS.
    PSN Name: MusingPlatypus
  • Fatty McBeardoFatty McBeardo Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    It's unfortunate the same characteristic that gives people like DFW or Hemingway their literary genius happens to be the same characteristic that leads to things like this.

    I don't know enough about Wallace's life to say with any degree of truth, but I have a hard time comparing the two beyond that they both committed suicide.

    That being said, one of the saddest parts of this is that I'll mention it at work and pull some of his books to display, and no one will probably care.

    People who are that introspective are often very tortured souls.

    Fatty McBeardo on
  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    This is a sad thing. I wonder if he just broke under his depression or if there was some other factor--love affair, illness, etc.--that led to this. If there was one thing DFW was good at, it was describing the feeling of being trapped inside one's own consciousness and making it seem scary and claustrophobic.

    themightypuck on
    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius

    Path of Exile: themightypuck
  • DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    This is a sad thing. I wonder if he just broke under his depression or if there was some other factor--love affair, illness, etc.--that led to this. If there was one thing DFW was good at, it was describing the feeling of being trapped inside one's own consciousness and making it seem scary and claustrophobic.

    In the NYT article, his father said DFW had been suffering from and medicated for depression for 20 years, and he went off the meds last year after suffering side effects. He went back on but they didn't seem to be working and he was hospitalized a couple of times this summer and underwent electro-convulsive therapy, which is to my understanding is done only in the most extreme cases. I think he may have just been in a downward spiral of depression. It has a tendency to feed on itself, especially in heavy case like his, if the what I took away from the article is accurate.

    Dalboz on
  • JamesJames Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Well, this fucking sucks.

    James on
  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    That being said, one of the saddest parts of this is that I'll mention it at work and pull some of his books to display, and no one will probably care.
    Are you saying that they should care because he's dead? I'm not really following.

    Bama on
  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    A few months later, Dave was the first person we asked to contribute to McSweeney's, thinking we could not start the journal without him. Thankfully, he sent a piece immediately, and then we knew we could begin. We honestly needed his endorsement, his go-ahead, because we were seeking, at the start at least, to focus on experimental fiction, and he was so far ahead of everyone else in that arena that without him the enterprise would seem ridiculous.

    Along with his first piece, he also sent a check, for $250. That was the craziest thing: he sent a donation with his contribution. Thus he was the first donor to the journal, though he insisted that his donation remain anonymous in that first issue.

    God damn it. The more I think about it, the worse it gets.

    Podly on
    follow my music twitter soundcloud tumblr
    9pr1GIh.jpg?1
  • thanimationsthanimations Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Bama wrote: »
    That being said, one of the saddest parts of this is that I'll mention it at work and pull some of his books to display, and no one will probably care.
    Are you saying that they should care because he's dead? I'm not really following.

    I guess I mean, no one's going to come in looking for his books. Sometimes when a famous person dies, there's a rush to buy books by that person (like Tim Russert), but sometimes not. We haven't sold any Wallace books in the past few days, but I did notice he's a top search so maybe it's not my particular store.

    thanimations on
  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    So would it be gauche to ask for DFW recommendations in this thread as opposed to the general "Hey, books!" thread?

    Lawndart on
  • DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Sadly, there actually isn't that much to go through to recommend. Meaning the book selections by DFW aren't that vast. Of course, he's most well known for Infinite Jest. I enjoy his nonfiction quite a bit.

    Anyway, the reason I came back to this thread is that there a new, relatively lengthy article on DFW on the NYT website, for those interested.

    Dalboz on
  • Christ PuncherChrist Puncher Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I have the audiobook of "Consider the Lobster" if anyone would like it. I am not sure of the rules here concerning the recently deceased and uploading stuff. Hopefully the rules can be bent in this case as it is more of a tribute for people interested in knowing his work than anything else. If I am not allowed to post it here, just PM me and I will gladly throw you a link.

    Christ Puncher on
    Wii friend code: 7549 1748 0857 1681

    XBL: Slimebucato
  • The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Dalboz wrote: »
    Sadly, there actually isn't that much to go through to recommend. Meaning the book selections by DFW aren't that vast. Of course, he's most well known for Infinite Jest. I enjoy his nonfiction quite a bit.
    What? Well, okay, yeah -- his novel-length fiction is pretty sparse, but that does nothing to take away from his writing. What was published by him in his various collections is still the most exciting, entertaining, and enlightening fiction I've ever read.

    Brief Interviews With Hideous Men and Oblivion are some of the best fiction I've read in my entire life. Some of the stories in there gave me more than like ten selected novels I've read combined. To say there is nothing to read by DFW is absolutely misleading, and his non-fiction ALSO stands as a major contribution to modern letters by itself. The man could really do ANYTHING.

    I would recommend everything he ever wrote, ever, but if you ask the question, "Where to start?" invites the question, "What do you like?" because, really, he did everything.

    The Green Eyed Monster on
  • The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Podly wrote: »
    A few months later, Dave was the first person we asked to contribute to McSweeney's, thinking we could not start the journal without him. Thankfully, he sent a piece immediately, and then we knew we could begin. We honestly needed his endorsement, his go-ahead, because we were seeking, at the start at least, to focus on experimental fiction, and he was so far ahead of everyone else in that arena that without him the enterprise would seem ridiculous.

    Along with his first piece, he also sent a check, for $250. That was the craziest thing: he sent a donation with his contribution. Thus he was the first donor to the journal, though he insisted that his donation remain anonymous in that first issue.

    God damn it. The more I think about it, the worse it gets.
    Where'd you find that Dave Eggers writing?

    And yeah, I'm way more than heartbroken about it.

    The Green Eyed Monster on
  • HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Dammit, Shepard!Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I actually think that his journalism is more accomplished than his fiction, and also more accessible. I always tell people to start with Consider the Lobster, move on to A Supposedly Fun Thing..., and then if they still want on the ride to pick up Girl With Curious Hair.

    Hachface on
  • The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Hachface wrote: »
    I actually think that his journalism is more accomplished than his fiction, and also more accessible. I always tell people to start with Consider the Lobster, move on to A Supposedly Fun Thing..., and then if they still want on the ride to pick up Girl With Curious Hair.
    A Supposedly Fun Thing always seems more instantly accessible to me, and is what I would recommend. Consider the Lobster is good, obviously, but it seems pedestrian compared to what he achieves in A Supposedly Fun Thing. I mean, okay, writing about a porn convention -- yes that's gripping -- and of course basing it around Max Hardcore, absolutely one of the big fixations and constant mysteries from the time that I worked at the porn shop, but I guess maybe that's what makes me angry about that essay.

    I've spent a lot, I mean a lot, of time trying to wrap my head around the mystery of Max Hardcore and what he represents. I've seen his movies, his covers, his advertising, his face locked in that constant state of rage as he inserts a blazing, photoshopped penis (I mean literally photoshopped to be on fire) into a comically exaggerated "schoolgirl" of American porno, and DFW's reportage about him was interesting in that (1) Max Hardcore was the person he was also fascinated with at the convention and (2) because of the small insights he gave us into the man, but at the end it's one of the few essays by DFW where I felt it was very surface level. It didn't really do a very good job of exploring or justifying exactly why it was being written, except to say that it was an essay about the AVNs, which is a fertile topic which will draw an easy readership. Max Hardcore is a much deeper mystery than all that, and his essay about the AVNs is actually one of my least favorites, although to tell people to read the porn essay is one of the easiest ways to get into his work ... anyway ...

    The Green Eyed Monster on
  • HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Dammit, Shepard!Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I will concede that "Big Red Son" is far and away the weakest essay in Consider the Lobster and a poor choice for first essay in the book. But his coverage of McCain's 2000 campaign is absorbing, "Authority and American Usage" is stunningly brilliant, and the things he said about Kafka, Dostoevsky, and John Updike changed my life, and I haven't even read Updike or Dostoevsky.

    Hachface on
  • The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Hachface wrote: »
    I will concede that "Big Red Son" is far and away the weakest essay in Consider the Lobster and a poor choice for first essay in the book. But his coverage of McCain's 2000 campaign is absorbing, "Authority and American Usage" is stunningly brilliant, and the things he said about Kafka, Dostoevsky, and John Updike changed my life, and I haven't even read Updike or Dostoevsky.
    "Authority and American Usage" is clearly the centerpiece of that collection, and clearly one of the most important things he ever wrote. It is a modern justification for linguistics, and my fucking word is that ever necessary. Not only that, but it does a very good job of opening up why an understanding of linguistics is so absolutely necessary to be able to navigate the modern philosophical, rhetorical, and emphatically political landscape. If you read that essay and you don't understand what he's talking about, you simply need to understand what he's talking about. I mean, my fucking word, he has a footnote which basically tackles, in the very small print space of two pages (yes, it's a two page footnote) the entire topic of sign / signifier and why words and what they represent is a very important topic. And he sneaks in a joke about stoners and Doritos in their bellybuttons amidst it all. It's stunning.

    But besides that -- his other writing there is obviously fairly profound, but it still falls short of what is collected in A Supposedly Fun Thing. I would say that the titular essay is the best thing he wrote about present-day America, if it weren't for his story "Mr. Squishy" at the front of Oblivion (which, said story, could have easily been published as a stand-alone, short novel, and been perfectly well received). The story about the Illinois State Fair is easily overlooked, if only because it is followed by the gut-wrenching thrill ride that is "A Supposedly Fun Thing," and of course "E Plurubus Unum" (I hope I'm not fucking the Latin up) feels, to me at least, like one of the most important things written within our generation. I pity the people who haven't read it and felt its insight.

    Yes -- when you read some of that stuff, you have to put it down every fourth or fifth page and simply think a little while, but such is life when reading things which are simply brilliant.

    The Green Eyed Monster on
  • Flippy_DFlippy_D Digital Conquistador LondonRegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I don't really know much about him, but as this is still near the top:

    00000188.gif

    Flippy_D on
    p8fnsZD.png
  • The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    The fact that he might be remembered primarily for his footnotes drives me insane, by the by. Is that all people can really bring themselves to say about the best author of our generation?

    The Green Eyed Monster on
  • DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Dalboz wrote: »
    Sadly, there actually isn't that much to go through to recommend. Meaning the book selections by DFW aren't that vast. Of course, he's most well known for Infinite Jest. I enjoy his nonfiction quite a bit.
    What? Well, okay, yeah -- his novel-length fiction is pretty sparse, but that does nothing to take away from his writing. What was published by him in his various collections is still the most exciting, entertaining, and enlightening fiction I've ever read.

    Brief Interviews With Hideous Men and Oblivion are some of the best fiction I've read in my entire life. Some of the stories in there gave me more than like ten selected novels I've read combined. To say there is nothing to read by DFW is absolutely misleading, and his non-fiction ALSO stands as a major contribution to modern letters by itself. The man could really do ANYTHING.

    I would recommend everything he ever wrote, ever, but if you ask the question, "Where to start?" invites the question, "What do you like?" because, really, he did everything.

    I think you may have misunderstood what I meant. I wasn't belittling the impact of his work at all. What I meant was that there haven't been a vast number of books published by him, total, having nothing to do with the content or impact. So it's fairly easy to just grab something off the shelf by him and find it worthwhile because there isn't a huge selection to begin with.

    Dalboz on
  • DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    On another note, The Onion has a tribute of sorts to DFW:
    NASCAR Cancels Remainder Of Season Following David Foster Wallace's Death

    Dalboz on
  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Just picked up the new Rolling Stone for the DFW article. It's amazing. Learned lots of stuff from it. Damn. Just damn.

    You can read an excerpt here

    Podly on
    follow my music twitter soundcloud tumblr
    9pr1GIh.jpg?1
  • Christ PuncherChrist Puncher Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Big Red Son is awesome

    Christ Puncher on
    Wii friend code: 7549 1748 0857 1681

    XBL: Slimebucato
  • PodlyPodly you unzipped me! it's all coming back! i don't like it!Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Podly on
    follow my music twitter soundcloud tumblr
    9pr1GIh.jpg?1
Sign In or Register to comment.