David Foster Wallace, RIP

September 26, 2008 at 12:42 pm 4 comments

Beloved essayist David Foster Wallace died September 12, 2008 of a suicide. Writer, journalist, and member of the Dave Eggers/Hyper-conscious writing style krew, David Foster Wallace will be missed by all. Wallace, though a writer for quite some time, got his start when he was commissioned to write a piece on the Maine Lobster Festival. What was supposed to be a short jaunt into the world of lobster eating became a full-fledged novel, “Consider the Lobster”,  dealing with the ethics of boiling lobsters alive. Gourmet magazine wasn’t prepared for this million word treatise, and the book took animal rights by storm.

“The more important point here, though, is that the whole animal-cruelty-and-eating issue is not just complex, it’s also uncomfortable. It is, at any rate, uncomfortable for me, and for just about everyone I know who enjoys a variety of foods and yet does not want to see herself as cruel or unfeeling. As far as I can tell, my own main way of dealing with this conflict has been to avoid thinking about the whole unpleasant thing. I should add that it appears to me unlikely that many readers of gourmet wish to think hard about it, either, or to be queried about the morality of their eating habits in the pages of a culinary monthly. Since, however, the assigned subject of this article is what it was like to attend the 2003 MLF [Maine Lobster Festival], and thus to spend several days in the midst of a great mass of Americans all eating lobster, and thus to be more or less impelled to think hard about lobster and the experience of buying and eating lobster, it turns out that there is no honest way to avoid certain moral questions”

Ugh. Not only was David Foster Wallace articulate, cynical, hilarious, and an all around good guy, he’s actually pretty cute in a 90s hocker player kind of way. It’s just so, so sad that he had to cut his life so short. Here’s to you David: may your skeetitude continue to shine and educate generations of future Americans forever.


Entry filed under: Olivia, Skeet Skeet.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. neekaps  |  September 26, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    how did he do it?

  • 2. parkrangerolivia  |  September 26, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    he hung himself. apparently he stopped taking his antidepressants. 😦

  • 3. Taylor  |  September 26, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Got his start when commissioned to write a piece on the MLF? Became a full-fledged novel? Wrong and wrong. “Consider the Lobster” was published over a decade after some of his early published essays. And the book of the same title is not a novel.

    And he hanged himself. Pictures get hung.

  • 4. parkrangerolivia  |  September 26, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Hmm…maybe you need to re-read what I wrote. I said he was already a writer before the MLF piece. And ok, by novel I meant collection of articles, so that’s a mistake. But crap, I just checked my sources, and a lot of this is wrong. How disrespectful. But Consider the Lobster IS a good article (as is my favorite work by him, Girl With Curious Hair).

    However, lay off on my conjugation. Death is the worst kind of grammar, and I don’t aim to be its expert.


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