Taking a Moment: David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace hanged himself:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/14/books/14wallace.html

The article does not mention he also played competitive tennis in his teens.  My one impression of him from a Charlie Rose interview was of affable intensity and a desire to reveal a genuine thinking indecisiveness in his responses.  I don’t know if anything can be gleaned from that observation.

I think it’s important for our survival as Lichtenbergians that we not be so quick to slip this one under the rug.  America’s youngest monumentalist (I may have just coined that one) author is dead by his own hand.  One can only wonder at this point.  The peak looming in the background of our insignia is looking a bit more shadowy at present.  A darkness we may need to feel our way through for a while.

9 Thoughts on “Taking a Moment: David Foster Wallace

  1. I’m feeling the darkness, too … but not from the Wallace death so much as the impending systemic breakdown of the American economic system. But I must admit, there’s also something — dare I use the word? — EXCITING about it. Hm.

  2. I refer you to the end of Heartbreak House.

  3. Fresh Air replayed a bit of a 1997 interview with Wallace in which he characterized his (and my–we’re both 46) generation as inordinately sad and messed up, in spite of so many advantages and privileges.

    I know. Yadda. Yadda. Narcissus cleans his mirror with Windex. Yes, by all means, let’s look to the impending economic collapse.

    Refer away. I thought this was an issue for us since in part this may have been Wallace’s response to a long bout with writer’s block.

  4. Sorry. Must be that unbearable lightness of being thing.

    I need to visit more web sites. Refer me.

  5. I was just referencing Jeff’s dread cum thrill to our impending economic doom: at the end of Heartbreak House, the whole Shotover gang is standing in the garden, listening to the zeppelin blowing up the munitions dump on the grounds, and disappointed that they’ve been passed by. “I hope they’ll come again tomorrow night,” sighs Mrs. Hushabye. “Oh, I hope so,” murmurs Ellie.

    This grotesque fatalism seems to occur at the beginnings of centuries and precedes some cataclysmic event or other: Napoleonic Wars, the Great War, and now it’s our turn. Whether the collapse of the U.S. financial system is a result of this fatalism or a cause remains to be seen.

    Here’s the text if you don’t have it handy.

  6. We’ll wait by the fire.

  7. Intervention:

    The anticipation of Apocalypse is a ripe encounter with Jouissance.

  8. Phrase for the day (entertain your friends):

    Is it just me or was that masturbatory?

  9. Memories of DFW from students and friends and readers, etc:

    http://www.mcsweeneys.net/

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