david foster wallace

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Sara K. Smith was Wonkette's morning editor from 2008 to 2010, and now contributes a weekly (?!) column to Wonkette, to prove she still loves you all!

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  • Enturbulator

    Truly sad news. His description of the Bush Presidency as “…an unmitigated horror show of rapacity, hubris, incompetence, mendacity, corruption, cynicism and contempt for the electorate…” is one I am posting at my workspace and will share with friends. It seems to me an excellent description of the truth of our times written by someone who left far too soon.

  • Texan Bulldoggette

    He was probably horrified at the John McCain of 2008 vs. John McCain 2000.

  • grendel

    This part was excellent:

    “McCain himself has obviously changed; his flipperoos and weaselings on Roe v. Wade, campaign finance, the toxicity of lobbyists, Iraq timetables, etc. are just some of what make him a less interesting, more depressing political figure now”

    Really a shame.

  • columnv

    Suicide is not funny.

    Never heard of him, but that doesn’t mean anything. Looks like we lost a good one.

  • AxmxZ

    John McCain: driving great novelists to suicide with his fail.

    Yeah, it’s not very funny.

  • Strictly for the Tardcore

    Ugh… a Saturday mostly without snark, and now a Sunday that begins with this.


    [re=95771]columnv[/re]: That really kind of says it all.

  • DoctorCulturae

    Very sad news… a brilliant fellow with a razor sharp eye and sense of himself. He seemed to overcome irony by using it, and not letting it use him.

    Ugh…what oh what happened to him? Sleep well Jest man.

  • regisgoat

    I blame Palin.

  • Special Agent Jack Mehoff

    Too bad he left early. Travel well, you selfish man, I’m sure we’ll be fine.

  • catchdis

    jeebus . . . i wish he could have waited to see the election results . . .

  • Cronopio

    Can we keep the snark to a minimum on this one? Some of us admired him greatly; he deserves more than being a punchline to McCain/Palin jokes.

  • fuzznuts

    Snark on hold awaiting the next Palin show of brilliance.

  • HollowBrain

    I still have yet to finish Infinite Jest.

    Yet I am sad.

  • sanantonerose

    Perhaps we can all collaborate to produce a follow up memorial essay entitled “True Tales of the Snowbilly Queen and Her Loyal Subjects.”

  • Hutch

    Wasn’t he the person who said, “Listen, Jesus was a community organizer. Pontius Pilate was an experienced politician.” Maybe not.

    Foster was indeed a brilliant writer. This is very sad news.

  • Johnny Zhivago
  • UnreliableNarrator

    “This is water. This is water.”

  • travellabyrinth

    Suicide, or attempt by the McCain campaign to get a cheap poll “bump”?

  • Terry

    God bless him and may he find peace.

  • josereyes.theroof

    His voice, not just in fiction, will be missed. My introduction to his words came late, March ’05, in an Atlantic cover story about conserv*o*bot talk-radio. Very elucidating read.

  • Neilist

    I don’t know Foster’s work.

    But there is a line from Hemingway to the effect that Life tends to kills the best of us sooner than the rest.

    Take it as read.

  • Neilist

    [re=95807]Neilist[/re]: Come to think of it, the same thought perhaps explains why I have survived this long.

    Perhaps I’ll go to something Meaningful to end on a high note.

    Would ripping off Gallo’s head and pissing down his neck, before dying in a hail of gunfire while screaming “Top of the world, Ma!,” count?

  • njdon

    my guess is that his actions had nothing to do w/mccain but it is discouraging to see intrade betting today slightly favors mccain.

  • irisheyes

    Always sad to lose a bright light.

  • travellabyrinth

    [re=95809]njdon[/re]: intrade, hmm, the measure of how perceptions are being influenced by media. among people with disposable income no less, so it’s even worse, it’s measuring the effect of the meta- meta- media narrative on the perceptions of these folks.

  • travellabyrinth

    Maybe he wrote something just pre-mortem that will destroy the McCain campain. And then killed himself to increase the weight and importance of the message.

  • AngryBlakGuy

    …the Palin interview wasn’t that bad was it?! Now that I got the snark out of the way, its always sad when someone takes their own life. Unless of course it is Karl Rove, in which case I am all for assisted suicide.

  • NotLaughing

    We’re all sad huh?

  • HemlockEcho1

    Wow. My jaw just hit the floor. Infinite Jest is one of my favorite books.

  • InsidiousTuna

    That’s unfortunate.

  • justshocking

    Sigh. Infinite Jest is one of my favorites. The crocodiles remind me of my dad. No irony here.

  • Tawmn

    Men like these are why we truly fight for freedom each day, they are why we care. America is a tiny bit less free and less brave today… but only a tiny bit.

    The art that is the soul of this country is why we fight.

    Not oil… not terrorism… freedom.

  • magic titty

    Very sad indeed.
    Haven’t read Infinite Jest yet, but it was on the to-do list.

  • mattbolt

    From the Amazon site for this McCain book:

    [3/5 star rating] i didn’t read the book
    September 14, 2008
    By Lorraine (New Jersey)
    but author david foster wallace committed suicide two days ago. not sure what that says about the current state of presidential politics, if anything. rest in peace, david. a huge loss.

    I’m not sure how Lorraine decided that such a retarded, meaningless comment meant that the book was deserving of a precise 3-star review.

  • SuperRounder

    We have been robbed.

  • weisenheimer

    This is tragic. I have nothing witty to say.

  • Rebel Countess

    Never heard of the guy nor his book.

    I’m sorry he took his own life, but why like THAT?

    I’ve often thought of killing myself. In fact, I smoke like a chimney and drink like a fish to that sole end.


    This guy hangs himself knowing full well his wife is going to come home and see his body hanging?

    Hunter Thomson, also a “writer” shot himself while on the phone to his wife?

    Bye bye.

    NO LOSS.

    More room for my kids.


  • DoktorZoom

    Well, shit. What a hell of a writer; we needed all the smart ones we could get, and the world’s going to be a little less interesting without Wallace. What that man could do with a footnote!


  • contentsunderpressure

    I’ve read all his stuff more than once, and what few interviews he has done as well. Infinite Jest kept me intrigued and amused for weeks and that’s saying a lot. HST was another loss that hit home, but as far as I know Wallace at 46…well, I got nothing.

  • Kaclon

    [re=95852]Rebel Countess[/re]: Hey, you know what? Your issues are yours. Maybe own them and don’t attempt to dump them all over this particular tragedy. Regardless of what you think of the way he died, this was a loss, especially to those of us who gave a shit about the guy and the work he did.

  • njdon

    [re=95814]travellabyrinth[/re]: okey, dokey. it’s a horse race.

  • njdon

    [re=95773]Strictly for the Tardcore[/re]: mourning is officially over. ok, i’ll start off a fresh new week.
    spent an interesting afternoon switching between watching the jets crash and burn against the bradyless pats, the leni riefenstahl version of sarah palin’s life on cnn, and anguishing over slate’s obsession with the stepford, neocon, peapod menace.

  • TGY

    [re=95852]Rebel Countess[/re]: I understand your anger.

  • kneejerk

    I was also bummed by this news. I wish someone could have reached him before things got so bad (who knows, maybe they tried). I hope he’s at peace (and trolls find other patches to play in).

  • raider12

    If anyone bothered to read the NYT obit they would know he suffered from massive depression & had been hospitalized many times including undergoing electro-convulsive therapy (ouch!). What is truly amazing is the number of commentators who not only never read his work (okay, I found Infinite Jest to be ponderous at times but at least I read it) but never even heard of the guy. This aint much of a country of readers anymore (if it ever was).

  • Eclectablog

    I have a quote from Infinite Jest at the top of my blog: “He’s one of these people who doesn’t need much, much less much more.” Although it took me three tries, I finally finished Infinite Jest last spring it was truly one of the most insightful pieces of satire, wit, and social commentary that I have ever read. It makes me truly sad to think that he was tortured by demons to the point that he felt he had to end his life. This is an untold loss to the world and I am grieving, for sure.

  • brown_recluse

    And yet Rumsfeld lives.


  • DoktorZoom

    This morning’s Fresh Air had an excerpt from a 1997 interview with Wallace. Appropriately enough, considering the tone of a lot of the comments here, it’s a discussion of the problem of irony–on the one hand, a constant diet of snark isn’t very nourishing, but in trying to get away from excessive irony, one runs the risk of sounding like The Bridges of Madison County.

  • crh86

    Depression is an illness that warps the mind and keeps a person from thinking clearly. I don’t believe it is a selfish act as much as a desperate need to end chronic mental pain that feels unbearable. I highly doubt it had anything to do with politics.