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View Full Version : Writer David Foster Wallace found dead at home



miles
09-14-2008, 06:39 AM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080914/ap_en_ot/obit_wallace

Apparent suicide.

ChaosTitan
09-14-2008, 06:46 AM
:(

Donkey
09-14-2008, 06:55 AM
Forty six is too damned young to give up on life. How sad for his wife. Pity.

Bast
09-14-2008, 10:02 AM
Really tragic. I loved A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again.

kuwisdelu
09-14-2008, 10:14 AM
A tragedy. My girlfriend was hysterical. She was looking forward to his next book, too. One of our favorite writers. He'll be missed. :(

kct webber
09-14-2008, 10:14 AM
That sucks. :(

Priene
09-14-2008, 10:46 AM
Just awful.

Bartholomew
09-14-2008, 10:55 AM
I'm having a hard time believing it was suicide. From what I know of him, he wasn't exactly struggling.

Bo Sullivan
09-14-2008, 12:50 PM
That's terrible.

AmusingMuse
09-14-2008, 04:29 PM
So very sad.:cry:

Vincent
09-14-2008, 04:52 PM
I'm having a hard time believing it was suicide. From what I know of him, he wasn't exactly struggling.

How much did you know of him? Suicidal thoughts are a pretty personal thing.

Claudia Gray
09-14-2008, 05:44 PM
It's a reminder that no matter how many books you publish or how well-received they may be, it won't solve all your problems or necessarily make you happy. I feel terrible for the guy and wish he'd been able to get some help -- it is a tragic loss of life and talent.

Danger Jane
09-14-2008, 08:15 PM
Exactly, Beezle. An alarming rate of suicides are outwardly happy people.


Too true. And :(

Marian Perera
09-14-2008, 08:30 PM
Exactly, Beezle. An alarming rate of suicides are outwardly happy people.

Richard Cory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Cory_(poem)).

kuwisdelu
09-14-2008, 09:52 PM
Here's a great elegy to him. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/books/15kaku.html?no_interstitial)

Darzian
09-14-2008, 10:02 PM
It must be really sad to be in so terrible a situation that the only option you can see is death.

A.C.
09-14-2008, 10:10 PM
It doesn't mean that he was in a "terrible" situation. We have no way of knowing his state of mind.

Some people kill themselves because they feel their lives are over anyway, not because of "despair" or whatnot.

Darzian
09-14-2008, 10:23 PM
It doesn't mean that he was in a "terrible" situation. We have no way of knowing his state of mind.

Some people kill themselves because they feel their lives are over anyway, not because of "despair" or whatnot.

People actually do that? I was under the assumption that the only reason for suicide is
1) mentally unstable condition
2) You're so low in life in various ways that you see no way out.

Claudia Gray
09-14-2008, 11:11 PM
Some people kill themselves because they feel their lives are over anyway, not because of "despair" or whatnot.


How else would despair be defined?

This does not appear to be a case in which a person was (a) suffering from some debilitating and/or fatal disease, (b) in the grip of immediate bereavement or (c) in severe financial or professional distress. I don't think it's unfair to guess that, in the absence of those factors, DFW must have been terribly depressed.

A.C.
09-14-2008, 11:20 PM
Here's an example:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanda_Cross

Here's an article about rational suicide:

http://biopsychiatry.com/misc/suicide.html

Claudia Gray
09-15-2008, 01:58 AM
Here's an example:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanda_Cross

Here's an article about rational suicide:

http://biopsychiatry.com/misc/suicide.html

Both articles are about the suicide of a single individual (the same one) who was nearly 80. This guy was 46.

If you want to seek a zebra in the corral, go ahead, but don't wonder why the rest of us think we see a horse.

JohnDavidPaxton
09-15-2008, 07:19 AM
I hope this isn't too far out of the scope of the thread for anyone, I just didn't think it would fit well under politics and current events.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/13/david-foster-wallace-dies_n_126238.html

He will be missed.

KC Sunshine
09-15-2008, 07:33 AM
Very, very sad.

Birol
09-15-2008, 07:40 AM
There's a thread in Roundtable on this topic, so I'm going to merge the two.

IceCreamEmpress
09-15-2008, 09:08 PM
It doesn't mean that he was in a "terrible" situation.

But he was, according to his father and his friends.
(http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/books/15wallace.html)

Phaeal
09-16-2008, 02:24 AM
Given the revelations in the articles ICE cites, the suicide is no surprise. Surprise or not, his long unhappiness and death are very, very sad. NPR replayed an interview with him today, in which he mused about the conundrum of why he and many of his friends had always lived privileged and comfortable lives and yet were deeply sad. Add to that privileged and comfortable life huge literary success, but his depression still did not yield, it seems.

In the interview, Wallace also discussed his fear of writing in a trite fashion if he veered away from fashionable cynicism. Yet a trite truism speaks to me from his tragedy:

Happiness comes from within, not without.

That's potentially a very scary thought, because what's within, including the possible chemical causes and contributors to depression, is so hard to change.

A.C.
09-16-2008, 07:08 AM
Both articles are about the suicide of a single individual (the same one) who was nearly 80. This guy was 46.

If you want to seek a zebra in the corral, go ahead, but don't wonder why the rest of us think we see a horse.

I did not say anything about his personal situation...I was talking about suicide in general. (I think that was pretty clear from my first post.)

I only wanted to showcase that suicide is not a black and white issue like you seem to think it is. Just because someone commits suicide, does not mean that they are terribly depressed.

While the example I provided does not happen very often, it does happen, so it cannot be ignored. If you want more examples of articles or studies on rational suicide, search "rational suicide" on Google or Amazon.com.

Conclusion: There is a small percentage of suicides that do not come out of despair.

That was the only point I was making.

Phaeal
09-16-2008, 04:25 PM
I don't really think this particular thread is the place for argument for argument's sake. It's about David Foster Wallace, not suicide in general.