Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace

Jenny Turner writes:

David Foster Wallace killed himself on Friday 12 September 2008, the weekend Lehman Brothers collapsed. He had, his family told the papers, been trying to wean himself off Nardil, an old-school MAOI anti-depressant, which he had been taking for 20 years. Doctors had advised him to switch to something newer and he had tried to, but his mood had slipped and crashed. He was 46 when he died, and living with his wife and beloved dogs in Claremont, California, where he worked – the first Roy Edward Disney Professor of Creative Writing – at Pomona College. Before that, he’d worked at Illinois State University, living with two other dogs in Bloomington, which is where he was when Infinite Jest was published and when David Lipsky conducted a book-length five-day interview with him for Rolling Stone, now published as Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself. He didn’t want the pressure, he said, of depending on publishers for advances: ‘I fear that pain more than I want the money.’ He found publicity ‘toxic’ and mistrusted the incestuousness of New York literary circles: ‘great white sharks fighting over a bathtub, you know?’

(LRB 14 April 2011)