Wallace's life became a nightmarish carnival of intoxication and angst. He almost choked to death on his own vomit after drinking too much at the auspicious writer's retreat Yaddo: 'Aesthete's aspirations aspirated! Beneath this black humour there lies a spectral figure, a spooked recluse nightly drinking and drugging himself into unconsciousness, watching an obscene amount of TV and writing almost nothing.
His season in hell lasted nearly three years and left him, as one lover recalls and there are plenty — Wallace had a chronic case of satyriasis, too , 'a shocking wreck'. More than once, he is likened to Dostoyevsky's Underground Man, similarly manic, paranoid and hopelessly poor. Stories were written quickly in secret binges where he was completely intoxicated by the pleasures of his invention. And it was the torture of writing, rather than any other intoxicant, which would lead to his death. Slowly, painfully, the great writer appears on the page.
Disenchanted with the perceived knowingness and nihilism of postmodern fiction, he started tracing out a different kind of work.
Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace, by D. T. Max
The cerebral mischief and corrosive irony he'd supplied before needed to be replaced: they were simply two more kinds of newly forbidden narcotic. The delirious texture of his prose survived, traumatised, coupled with that unmistakable note of sadness. Depression and addiction are part of the weather. When the book was released, Wallace was thrown back into the kind of temptation he had fought to resist. He called upon Don DeLillo as a sort of Virgil to guide him through the Inferno of writerly fame and doubt. The generous volume of quotations from their correspondence is one of the major treasures here — one letter finds Wallace describing all the 'fuss' around his novel, unfurling a sentence that could come straight from his fiction.
Things slowed down. Wallace's vertiginous terror about being alive wore off and his demons weren't exactly exorcised but calmed. Ordinarily, a biography settles into cosy torpor after this, a gentle rhythm of success, writing, further success, and decline.
Two more collections of stories were published, Brief Interviews With Hideous Men and Oblivion , more severe than his past work, he married and reached something close to stability. Love Story is not a literary biography.
Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace - Daniel T. Max - Google книги
This is unfortunate because it is in the books the we encounter Saint Dave. The personal and voyeuristic information we possess about Wallace--that he was depressed, addicted, an asshole, a womanizer, got angry, was generally fucked up--will be from here to eternity used to object to our attributing sainthood to Dave.
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- Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story – A Life of David Foster Wallace » Pile of Books.
A saint is one who refuses to succumb to the seduction of the merely human morass and endeavors to extract himself therefrom and return thereto. We insist upon retaining our notion of Saint Dave because his major effort was to make being human respectable again, and the drudging up of moral failures will not sully those efforts.
This book should clearly not be read by those for whom it was written, those unwashed masses and curiosity seekers, those grubbers and titillation seekers. View all comments.
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Apr 12, Moira Russell rated it did not like it Shelves: new-books-challenge. Yeah, this was just. I don't even really have any smartassed thing left to say here after the inchoate spew of status updates - it was just sort of depressing to read the last anemic thirty pages or so.
It's a little heartbreaking how very terrible this was. His participation in the Lipsky round table was great. I was really looking forward to this book. I was disappointed by the excerpt but thought, maybe that wa Yeah, this was just. No, it wasn't. I wasn't expecting anything like Ellmann's Joyce or Middlebrook's Sexton.
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- D.T. Max: Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story: A Life Of David Foster Wallace.
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Maybe something a little more like Turnbull's Fitzgerald. This just isn't even really a book - it's a mess. I d'know what happened, if it got edited to pieces or the hundred monkeys in the marketing department rewrote it or what. Stunningly bad.
Probably the worst book I'll read all year - it's so shallow and disappointing and confused, even at a sentence-by-sentence level. Why did it have to be so awful? Or, as someone once wrote View all 33 comments. Aug 31, switterbug Betsey rated it really liked it. All my adult reading life, I waited for a young contemporary writer to transport me to the prose-rich playgrounds of Nabokov and Pynchon. I remember the exact moment when I heard that Wallace took hi All my adult reading life, I waited for a young contemporary writer to transport me to the prose-rich playgrounds of Nabokov and Pynchon.
I remember the exact moment when I heard that Wallace took his life as I suspect did everyone who is reading this book, who read DFW before his death.
It was like a brother or best friend had died. He wasn't yesterday's insurgent Kurt Cobain, he was today's voice--the insurrectionist of the insurrection, the anti-ironist and seeker of exigent summits. Max evinces respect, compassion, and objectivity toward this now lionized author he has never met, in his biography assembled from the contributions of friends, family, lovers, AA comrades, colleagues, fellow writers, and epistolary confidants.
David was a depressed, addicted, chaotic genius, a man who felt that he never lived up to his lofty ambitions as a writer or a person. He was both fascinated and repulsed by the TV culture and how media hijacks and propagandizes public and private minds--his constant themes in his essays, short stories, and of course, IJ.
Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace by DT Max: review
As many know, he was hospitalized several times for breakdowns and overdoses, and struggled with pervasive suicidal ideation. Max does a virtuous job of giving the reader a candid view of the complex nature of DFW; the generously endowed writer was often a captious, violent, and tormented soul. He was also a passionate, outstanding teacher, and a patron to his companions in AA. Moreover, he was an enthusiastic dog lover, especially drawn to dogs with an abusive past. Max captures the line between author and material with authenticity and revelation. It is almost surreal, as Max brought me back to the narrative of IJ while manifesting Wallace's actual art and pain of writing it.
I don't want to spoil it for readers by dropping tidbits of information--reading about it is thrilling and gripping, the most page-turning part of the book. He was self-conscious, and self-conscious about being self-conscious, and communicated that in his letters. I think I'm very honest and candid, but I'm also proud of how honest and candid I am--so where does that put me. It is hard to compare them, as Lipsky's is an echo and interpretation of his actual time with DFW, and this book is compiled from sources outside of the biographer.
Both have poignant insight into the ephemeral but perennial figure of Wallace. I award four stars, rather than five, although the quality of writing and extensive research is first-rate despite being almost devoid of familial testimony, and despite errors that I think are typesetting errors, not copy-editing, errors. It's personal. Something is missing, some essence that cannot be filled by a biographer, or hasn't yet-- the unnameable, soulful reflectiveness that I ache for.
The closest way to that is through the Harry Ransom Center, which is fortunately only a few miles from my home, which houses David Foster Wallace's entire archive at hand. You can feel the pages while you read what he wrote, with just a slip of a glove separating you from his words. There is something about Wallace fans--it is as if we are all in the same karass, isn't it? But Wallace wanted to relate to us on a cosmic scale, not like an exclusive club, yet he appeals to only select not elite, but select readers.
If you become a lover of Wallace's work, you feel almost mystically connected to all other lovers of his oeuvre, and however fantastical a presumption, we also feel connected to Wallace, the person. It is apparent that D.