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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

David Foster Wallace

posted by on October 1 at 11:09 AM

In 1984, at the age of 21, David Foster Wallace wrote an account of his mental condition a fictional story that seems to borrow liberally from his own experiences, as an essay published in the Amherst Review. It turns out he had a lot to say about his own depression, hallucinations, and an early suicide attempt. Just reading it hurts.

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1

Do you mean it hurts because it's such a lousy pdf? Yeah, then, it hurts me too. So I didn't read it.

Posted by whatevernevermind | October 1, 2008 11:20 AM
2

god, it does hurt.

and the child is the father to the man.

Posted by rtm | October 1, 2008 11:38 AM
3

pdf;dr

Posted by T | October 1, 2008 11:39 AM
4

@1,

god you know, you are right. i'm just going to abstain from connecting to other experiences is they are in an inconvenient format. fuck, how much can i really learn from something that isn't in a nice flash video?

Posted by rtm | October 1, 2008 11:47 AM
5

this broke my heart.

Posted by kerri harrop | October 1, 2008 11:48 AM
6

What an incredible article. What an amazingly lucid and rational account of an experience/life that is anything but lucid and rational. It hurts to read it, indeed. It makes you grateful that he had a couple more decades of living to do, given the extraordinary effort it took to remain alive day after day and month after month.

Posted by Sceptica | October 1, 2008 11:52 AM
7

oof. having known someone who took their own life, that was pretty powerful stuff, but revealing. I could barely get through it.

Posted by mnm | October 1, 2008 12:00 PM
8

weird; I made a suicide attempt of my own a year later and was living and going to college in Amherst three years after that

unlike Mr. Wallace, I never amounted to anything, so my own pathetic attempt was hardly as poignant -- it turns out twenty three years later that I probably had a good idea at the time

Posted by small world | October 1, 2008 12:12 PM
9

Why is this PDF missing the last fucking page?

Posted by city_kitty | October 1, 2008 12:13 PM
10

I think the PDF is OK. There's supposed to be a picture on page 34. The last sentence works if you put a period on the end.

Posted by dwight moody | October 1, 2008 1:25 PM
11

small world: none of us ever amounts to more than a pile of dust, so don't think that you ever made the wrong choice in living while you can. days bleat on and on, but take heart in knowing that you are not alone and there is happiness to be had in the minutiae of the everyday. and if you need them, pharmaceutical drugs can help a great deal!

Posted by Kristin Bell | October 1, 2008 1:31 PM
12

this is a creative-writing short story, not a personal account, by the way

Posted by englishmajor | October 1, 2008 1:32 PM
13

Small world @9: It sounds like you are really struggling and that you have been for a long time. I hope that you reach out for help (or continue to reach out, if you are already doing that).

Although, I probably do not know you, you are in my heart. Please make a phone call to a friend, family member or hotline. As Kristin mentioned, medication can be really helpful. If you are not on medication, please consider taking some. If you are on medication, there may be another one suited for you or it may take a while (sometimes months or years) for deep changes to take place. Please be patient and avail yourself of miracles.

Posted by Papayas | October 1, 2008 11:07 PM

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