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I confess that Wallace was not on my radar screen until his suicide, when he was hailed as one of the best authors of his generation. He apparently had suffered from depression for most of his adult life, which I think gives a special poignancy to his thoughtfulness.


Karen--I was thinking the same thing myself as I was reading. He was so sincerely concerned about what he wrote in his essay--not exactly emotionally but intellectually. I hadn't really considered reading him either until I heard about his death and then read so many reviews of Infinite Jest last year. I'd really like to read more of his work. It's a shame there is so little of it and now there won't be any more.


Infinite Jest was a mixed success for me, but when reading it, I became convinced the DFW was a brilliant essayist. There were sections of Infinite Jest that were a little like essays, and I loved them. I do want to read Consider the Lobster one day.


Teresa--I think I'd like to try Infinite Jest at some point, but I think for now I will stick to his essays. Infinite Jest's structure does sound interesting--I can't think of another novel that has something like essays interspersed!


This review made me Google David Foster Wallace. What I found was an adaptation (Wall Street Journal)of a commencement speech On Life and Work given by DFW at the 2005 graduating class at Kenyon College. So good I want to read his essys too now.


I've always vaguely wanted to read DFW and in the last year or so have really wanted to read him because of Dorothy and others, and now here you go ramping up my desire still more! It appears my university has almost everything he has written so now I have the conundrum of deciding which book of essays or stories I'd like to try first!


I took a book of his essays (on CD) on vacation with me one year, listening to them on the ride out West. Consider the Lobster was the title essay, and I for the most part enjoyed it though I thought it went on a bit too long.

I agree, his writing was occasionally brilliant. His death was such a loss. Why do so many geniuses commit suicide? That's a question we could bandy around for ages and never come to a consensus, but my view is they've suffered in some way and that's resulted in either anger or empathy. Either can fuel passion, passion is behind art, but at some point the anger/pain becomes too much. Thus many can't go on. A shame.

Dorothy W.

I'm SO glad you liked this essay and that you are going to get the book. Yay! He really is an amazing essayist, and I'm hoping to pick up another collection of his soon. He's really not a difficult writer, and even Infinite Jest isn't that hard -- it's more that it requires an ability to go with the flow and deal with something not like a typical novel. I really loved the lobster essay -- I was totally convinced by his argument.


Catharina--I'm glad you found something of his online. I think some of his other essays may be out there. I've ordered the essay collection this is found in and am really looking forward to it. If you have a chance, the audio link of an interview with him is also really interesting to listen to.
Stefanie--My library only has three of his books--his novel, a book of essays and something totally different that I'm not really sure what it is. I really hadn't thought of reading him until last year when I started to hear more and more about him. I'm glad I finally got a taste--and plan on reading more!
Bluestalking--I saw the audio version of this book and thought it would be interesting to listen to. I wonder if DFW reads the essays? Consider the Lobster is a bit on the long side, but I thought it was well done. I'm not sure I've ever had an interest in reading about lobsters before!! And it is really interesting thinking about people who are like this--verging on genius--I think you're right they do feel things deeper than others or have a great sense of empathy. It would be interesting to read about.
Dorothy--I've already ordered the book and it is on the way as I type! I think I am going to start reading it right away. He is a great writer and I like how he thinks and constructs his arguments. I agree that his argument is very convincing--and what was so interesting is that he himself eats meat and lobster, but he was trying to eat and enjoy the food yet in an ethical way. I may have to try Infinite Jest someday--it's so long, though. I am looking forward to reading more essays first, though.


Hurray! I'm really glad you enjoyed it, and hope that the experience calmed some of your anxieties. You can read anything, really you can. Of course not everything will speak to you the same way - but that's okay, just the average reading experience. I really want to read DFW and have yet to - I agree with Stefanie, I've been falling for Dorothy's posts and now this! I really must get hold of one of his books.


I'm so glad to find out that this is in the 2005 collection! I have it at home, barely cracked open, so I will definitely check this out.


Litlove--I don't know why I let myself get anxious over reading certain books or authors--it's really pretty silly, but there you go. I do know I'm looking forward to reading more DFW now! Dorothy knows how to make authors sound really tempting!
Andi--This is the first essay from that collection I've read, but I hope to read a few more during the course of the year. I really like these annual collections.

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