Home > Books > Notable Book: Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace

Notable Book: Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace

I first encountered David Foster Wallace with his novel, Infinite Jest. Clocking in at over 1,000 pages, the novel is a masterpiece, and I became an instant Wallace fan.  I located his first novel and short-story collection (The Broom of the System and Girl With Curious Hair), which enthralled me as well.  Then came his first collection of non-fiction essays, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, which cemented (in my mind) his genius as a writer.  I made sure to read everything he published after that, and never did he disappoint.

A very private person, Wallace kept his battle with depression secret, except among family and close friends.  For the public at large, many were shocked as well as saddened when Wallace took his own life in September 2008.  David Lipsky detailed the last year of Wallace’s ongoing struggle in a gut-wrenching article for Rolling Stone.

As part of the publicity for Infinite Jest, Rolling Stone had sent David Lipsky to spend a few days with Wallace in 1996.  With the tape running while they travelled by car, waited in airports, ate, attended readings, played with Wallace’s dogs, Lipsky spoke with Wallace on a wide-range of subjects from Wallace’s own personal history (although he’s honest about his depression, he keeps the prescription for Nardil to himself), his demons, literary theory, movies, actors, other authors, culture, and so much more.  The conversations between the two are fascinating, especially as they allow us into the mind of Wallace in 1996.  We see the way he wanted to work (with the success of Infinite Jest he didn’t want to take an advance for the next novel since he thought the pressure would be too great) and how he purposefully tried to order his world.

Who knows what the actual article would’ve been since Rolling Stone decided not to run it, and instead sent Lipsky off on another assignment.  What we have is 5 days of conversation with David Foster Wallace talking about his life, and it is brilliant.

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Categories: Books
  1. May 31, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I really like your blog. It’s insightful and profound. I’m going to read some of your suggestions.

  2. Taylor
    May 31, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    I’ve tried to read the book but it makes me too sad.

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