The writer who famously considered the lobster, not to mention tennis, David Lynch, rehab, rappers, cruise ships, state fairs, John McCain and much more, is gone.
David Foster Wallace apparently took his own life last Friday. (The subject of suicide crops up at the end of this 1997 Charlie Rose interview, but back then the writer said he wasn't looking to do it.)
Considered one of the best pieces of fiction in recent decades, Wallace's 1,079-page 1996 novel Infinite Jest was a massive slab of dark humor fully worth the addictive investment of the time, concentration and physical strength it took to tote the massive thing around. Not coincidentally, the plot concerns a film so entertaining it saps the viewer's desire to do anything else.
But Wallace's short pieces, especially his wry examinations on topics such as life on a cruise ship and the Illinois State Fair, were hilarious, deadpan explorations of the often unexamined experience. His short book about Sen. John McCain's bid for the White House in 2000, McCain's Promise, recently was released in stores.
All of this makes us hopeful for John Krasinski's film version of Wallace's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. Long in production, this adaptation may be the last best shot to introduce the author to a wider audience, a goal Krasinski has given for making the film.