have already noted
, David Foster Wallace committed suicide a couple of days ago. I was just stunned when I heard the news, which saddened me at several levels.
I remember first hearing of him (and hearing him) when he was on Fresh Aire soon after the publication of Infinite Jest, the book that really rocketed him into the "mainstream". The things he was talking about with Terry Gross, and the ways he was talking about them, deeply intrigued me, and I decided I needed to check this book out. It was several months, and three false starts, before I finished what became one of my very favorite novels ever. The way DFW played with time - jumping around in a chronology you didn't even have a fucking REFERENT for (all the chapters begin with brand-ified dates like "The Year of Glad" or "The Year of the Perdue Superchicken") until page 223, when he lists them out - was maddening and exhilarating. I actually used three bookmarks for some of it, because the end notes themselves had end notes at times. But the crazed, intellectually demanding trust-fall of a journey that was that book ended up being well worth it. I remember typing in a whole passage (about the hilarious emotional reasons that videophones failed to catch on in his world) and emailing it to a bunch of friends, and really, in Adam's words, just "raving" about the book. I loved a bunch of his other stuff too, but Infinite Jest was far and away my favorite.
Clearly he had a deep grasp of the ways in which our psyches can turn in on themselves and trap us in loops and extremely dark places. Some of his later work brought this even more to the fore, and I guess at some point those same kinds of patterns might have been too much for him to pull back from. I certainly have no idea what was going on with him personally, and I'm very sad that he felt this was the only way he could move on. I hope he left some kind of explanation for those closest to him, even if not for the public. And I hope whatever of him might now exist in whatever way is at peace.
I've been meaning to read IJ again, and I think I'll drop it on the queue right now.