9.15.2008

holy crap, how did I miss this?

DAVID FOSTER WALLACE KILLED HIMSELF?

Are you serious?

From the MSNBC article:
  • Time Magazine named "Infinite Jest" in its issue of the "100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005."
  • Wallace received a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation in 1997.
  • Wallace's short fiction was published in Esquire, GQ, Harper's, The New Yorker and the Paris Review.
Incredible.
I've never had such a knee-jerk reaction of impatient disgust with a suicide before - WHICH I AM QUELLING, don't worry, I am now feeling just horrible for this poor idiot, who had the accolades, skill, and success that a thousand writers would kill for. Just ...not themselves.

3 comments:

Ryan said...

Yeah, he's a real jackass. Battling depression for 20 years and giving up. What a jerkwad.

Lacy said...

YOWCH.
Dude, Ryan, I am not calling him either of these things. My intention was to contrast how incredibly successful someone can seem with how miserable they can feel. The guy was a genius and had it all, and yet apparently had nothing. Dubious freaking success.

And yeah, as someone who would LOOOVE to have that kind of artistic success, it was initially hard for me to understand how he could be so unhappy, given how rich his life seems from the outside in. That was my admittedly knee-jerk reaction. I attempted to convey that i knew that reaction was unfair and unfeeling, and end with just pity and bafflement.

Also, I was really happy to see a comment from you. I thought you had quit reading and I was sad about it.

Ryan said...

People who battle depression often fight a lifelong battle. No matter what successes might come there way, doesn't really affect them in the long term. The dude took meds for 20 years and they stopped working for him. He'd been in and out of hospitals for months this year. I think he even had shock therapy at the end of it. He fought a long time against and finally was unable to find a way to continue.

I know most people don't understand how someone can do that, but they usually don't understand how depression affects people either through personal experience or through loved ones.