Tennis, Unrequited Love, and MURDER!

When I read this Rolling Stone article a few years ago, I remember thinking, wow, who knew that DFW was a sweaty, murderous ladies’ man?

When I revisited it today, I realized that it was based on the biography by D.T. Max, whom Prof. Fest cited as a pretty lousy historian. As you can see in the Rolling Stone article’s comments section, many DFW fans agree.

This article is another series of facts from Max’s biography, albeit much less sensational. These facts seem much more plausible, but that may just be because they aren’t really important (i.e. DFW loved hot dogs).

It’s clear that people continue to be fascinated by Wallace’s life. With his depression, addictions, and razor-sharp wit, writers and readers alike want to label him a pill-popping megalomaniac. But anyone who watches his interviews and examines the details of his life can see that he was remarkably kind and pensive, which makes for a much more complex (and I think compelling) story.

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One Response to Tennis, Unrequited Love, and MURDER!

  1. Ah, you’ve quickly stumbled upon the juicy murder stuff. . . . I’m intrigued to see where this thread might go. Thanks for the post. If you’re at all interested in a primer on Wallace’s bio, see D. T. Max’s “The Unfinished,” which he published in The New Yorker, and was one of the first major biographical pieces to appear on Wallace. The success and popularity of this article also spurred Max toward writing the book-length biography. (And, for the record, I certainly have some criticisms of Max and his biography that I would be delighted to get into in detail about, but I hope I did not say he was a “lousy historian,” as that would not be wholly accurate.)


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