David Foster Wallace, 46, author of Infinite Jest, was found dead Friday at his home in Claremont, Calif. Seems he killed himself, which happens from time with the creative set. I have had bouts of depression myself over the years and more than once thought about committing suicide. I have come to realize that I will die soon enough at any rate, so what is the hurry?
There is always something oddly compelling about a successful person committing suicide while so many of us who struggle just to get by keep hanging on. Being a Genius is a tough act to live, and success doesn’t matter to the manic depressive. I know nothing about David Foster Wallace, so I don’t know if he was sad, or if he was researching a hanging scene for a book and slipped. Sad to say that I had never heard of David Foster Wallace until his death.
I like books and find authors interesting, but there are too many writers for me to keep up with them all now. Thankfully not all authors commit suicide like David Foster Wallace. But the ones that have killed themselves-well, Earnest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf were larger than life anyway. Depression closes all the doors and leaves only one way out, or at least, that’s the way it seems. As will all suicides there will always be questions of why and in the end the questions don’t matter. What is done is done. At least the work remains.