Saturday, September 12, 2009

IN MEMORIAM: David Foster Wallace (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008)

One year ago today, he broke my heart,
Though it was not the first time he did that.
In 1996, he tore apart
My brain. His tale of a filmed samizdat,
Addiction, tennis, school and Boston gave
Me dizzy spells e'en ere the weirdness hit.
It pains me that his humor could not save
Himself, but there are limits to what wit
Can do, footnoted or not. Greedy, I
Will most miss his non-fiction pieces, which
Could make the world a bit more strange. I'll cry
Again today for him. He made me rich
In stored enjoyment, and I thank him for
What he could give us. Wish there were some more.


  1. Foster's great tragedy was that he had found an antidepressant that worked, and stopped taking it because he didn't like the side effects. When he resumed, unable to find a substitute that did the job for him, it was no longer effective.

    That is often the case with antidepressant meds. Even on a doctor's orders, it can be dangerous to switch from an effective one to another, because of the Tom Wolfe effect.

  2. I can't say I didn't see his action coming; there are clues strewn throughout his works. I hadn't known until the obituaries came out just how severe his depression-and-pharmaceutical-cycle had been, though. I felt the loss very keenly and still do. I probably identified with him more closely than any other contemporary writer.


Again, sorry about the Captcha, but the spam comments are getting out of hand.