Monday, 15 September 2008

R.I.P. D.F.W.

One of my favourite writers died at the weekend. The news shocked me more than any other news I can think of.

David Foster Wallace was only 46. His short stories and essays are all very personal so, although I never met him, I felt like I knew him.

More shocking is that it looks as though it was a suicide. This is especially upsetting given that he was not only extremely talented but that suicide, depression, isolation, alienation, loneliness, were all themes in his work; I always assumed that his ability to riff on these difficult topics and make them personal and funny and moving was merely another facet of his genius, not that he was writing from personal thoughts and experiences.

I haven't even mentioned the effect he has had on contemporary fiction and literature. His writing inspired many to reassess literature's purpose in a world increasingly filled with distractions. His death no doubt will lead to further reassessments. Hopefully, it won't overshadow his work.

Anyway, there are a lot of tributes and memoirs being posted on the web - among which, the following:

@ The New York Times
@ The Times Online

and, more personal than the above:

McSweeney's Internet Tendency

BACK-POSTED: 27/06/2009

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