Brilliant novelist/headband enthusiast David Foster Wallace was found hanged to death in his home on Friday at age 46. People with three goddamn names piss me off, but Wallace broke through my barrier of pettiness* with his larger-than-life book, Infinite Jest. At a hearty 1100+ pages, Infinite Jest is still too short; in lieu of empirical evidence, I'll just cite the crushing depression that sets in around page 850 as my proof. In a way, it's the book world's Pulp Fiction -- there's this hither-to unforeseen world, and everything's scary and funny. Wallace followed with an exhausting short-story volume, a tasty collection of his magazine features, and Oblivion, a brill-fucking-ant stories collection that hinted that the author was again ready to rock a novel after the atom bomb that was Infinite Jest. Guess not. Not to get all Bette Midler, but Wallace kinda saved my life with that hilarious, riveting book. Wish I could've saved his.
But then again, my relationship with suicide is complicated and I'm can't help but feel a tad jealous and proud of Wallace; hey, the world is an open sewer. And in all likelihood, people like me contributed to his suicide with our selfish demands for more classics. (By this logic, shouldn't those assholes in Metallica have killed themselves by now? Ahem.) Ugh. Ya go through life drowning in fuckwits, comforted by the rare dudes who rock like you do, and then they're gone. This one's for you, DFW.
* Paving the way for American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis, also genius