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

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

  • Publish Date: 2010-04-13
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: David Lipsky
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Broadway Books
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SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, STARRING JASON SEGAL AND JESSE EISENBERG, DIRECTED BY JAMES PONSOLDT

An indelible portrait of David Foster Wallace, by turns funny and inspiring, based on a five-day trip with award-winning writer David Lipsky during Wallaces Infinite Jest tour


In David Lipskys view, David Foster Wallace was the best young writer in America. Wallaces pieces for Harpers magazine in the 90s were, according to Lipsky, like hearing for the first time the brain voice of everybody I knew: Here was how we all talked, experienced, thought. It was like smelling the damp in the air, seeing the first flash from a storm a mile away. You knew something gigantic was coming.

Then Rolling Stone sent Lipsky to join Wallace on the last leg of his book tour for Infinite Jest, the novel that made him internationally famous. They lose to each other at chess. They get iced-in at an airport. They dash to Chicago to catch a make-up flight. They endure a terrible readers escort in Minneapolis. Wallace does a reading, a signing, an NPR appearance. Wallace gives in and imbibes titanic amounts of hotel television (what he calls an orgy of spectation). They fly back to Illinois, drive home, walk Wallaces dogs. Amid these everyday events, Wallace tells Lipsky remarkable thingseverything he can about his life, how he feels, what he thinks, what terrifies and fascinates and confounds himin the writing voice Lipsky had come to love. Lipsky took notes, stopped envying him, and came to feel about himthat grateful, awake feelingthe same way he felt about Infinite Jest. Then Lipsky heads to the airport, and Wallace goes to a dance at a Baptist church.

A biography in five days, Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself is David Foster Wallace as few experienced this great American writer. Told in his own words, here is Wallaces own story, and his astonishing, humane, alert way of looking at the world; here are stories of being a young writerof being young generallytrying to knit together your ideas of who you should be and who other people expect you to be, and of being young in March of 1996. And of what it was like to be with andas he tells itwhat it was like to become David Foster Wallace.

"If you can think of times in your life that youve treated people with extraordinary decency and love, and pure uninterested concern, just because they were valuable as human beings. The ability to do that with ourselves. To treat ourselves the way we would treat a really good, precious friend. Or a tiny child of ours that we absolutely loved more than life itself. And I think its probably possible to achieve that. I think part of the job were here for is to learn how to do it. I know that sounds a little pious."
David Foster Wallace

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