I use my site to think/write out jokes/ideas on news, etc., but occasionally will make mention of something serious. Unfortunately, that has happened this evening, with the report that David Foster Wallace has died, apparently by suicide.
I admit I have not read everything of his, but did recently read the collection of essays in Consider the Lobster, which were excellent.
He’ s probably best known for his large novel Infinite Jest – which I own but have yet to read yet. It’s just one of those books – you want to read, you hear it’s good, you buy it, but it’s so damn heavy. As someone who earned a MFA, has written very little, and who loves a good essay or novel, I appreciate very much what he did, and the fact that he was teaching English and writing in Southern California.
I don’t know enough about David Foster Wallace to even speculate the reasons for his passing. It’s unfortunate.
At Wikipedia, you can read a bibliography.
UPDATE: A colleague of David’s writes about him here at Huffington Post.
And here’s an interview of David on the Charlie Rose Show from 1997. Even if you’ve never read anything by David, watch it – they cover dozens of topics – film, writing, etc.
Another appearance here on Charlie Rose, with writers Mark Leyner and Jonathan Franzen, having a great discussion on books, reading, and the impact of culture on their writing.
ADDED 9/14/08: I just want to note how embarrassing it is, although not unexpected, that there is no mention of DFW’s passing on television. At least, I haven’t seen one mention of it on any of the major cable news shows – yet I’ve seen the stupid SNL clip from last night a thousand times in 3 hours. This is why people rely on the internet for news.
FINALLY, I want to add this, in light of this news – the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s website, which has useful information for anyone who needs help or knows someone who does, including the phone #1-800-273-TALK. Is it a guarantee they can help? No, it isn’t, but humor me and call if it you think you should.