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noname223

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Aug 18, 2020
2,750
Who is DFW? He was an American author. Struggled from depression and suicidal thoughts several decades before he committed suicide 2008. I don't like him because he committed suicide but I can relate to most of the things he wrote so fucking much. He tried to avoid suicide just as me but I think he also felt like there was no escape for him. His literature makes me feel less lonely when I read them. His literature could comfort me a lot.
So here is my list of his best pieces. I like his short stories a lot. He worte two very long books. Inter alia his opus magnum Infinite Jest. Though I don't have enough attention span to go through wih this book. I read 3/4 and some passages are pure magic. I am aware probably noone will care about this thread. Lol.

I abbreviate the titles a little bit if necessary

1. The Planet Trillaphon as it stands relation to the bad thing (my first story of him. About depression and suicide. I was in a horrible place when I listened to it the first time. It could comfort so much. This turned me in an instant into a fanboy. His descriptions of suicidality and depression are so accurate. I could relate to a lot.)

2. Good Old Neon (He wrote this story 3 years before he comitted suicide. I could relate to so much. The inescapable fate he describes. He tried so much to recover and everything failed. I think I am in a similar position. I think when he worte the story he was self-aware he will kill himself eventually. I think I reached this stage too. Though one has to be careful with self-fullfiling prophecies.)

3. A Supposedly fun thing I will never do again. (Hilarious story about a neurotic guy on a cruiseship. His most funny story by far. Extremely savvy written. I recommended some of my friends this story. It is also comapred to other DFW stories way easier accessible. If onw wants to read DFW this is a good point to start.)

3.5. Not sure whether to include this. Probably it does not fit due to the fact it is no text. The interview with the German channel ZDF was great. Can be found on youtube. Also comforted me a lot. Though I watched it so often that it damaged my sanity. I was very unstable to that time and did not take any medication. Probably humans need a minimum of real life interactions to stay sane. I have gotten better since then gladly.

4. Consider the lobster. Great text about the ethics whether to kill animals in order to eat them. It is not hyermoralistic as one might think.

5. E Unibus pluram. Entertaiment culture and postmodern irony. I tried to make a thread about it here in this forum. The title was something about comedy shows. Though I think in order to fully understand it studying literature might be benefical.

6. TIcket to the fair. If you liked the piece about the cruiseship you will also like this one. Report of a US- Midwestern fair. Also quite funny.

7. Laughing with Kafka. It very well described severe desperation and the feeling of an inescapable catastrophe. Summarized my life up quite well. Loved it.

8. This is water. Great commencement speech. Can be found on youtube. About paying attention and the dread of being a responsible citizen/adult.

9. Up, Simba! A portray of McCains attempt to get the nominee of the GOP as candidate for presidency

10. Not sure how it is called in English. Moderator. About a right-wing radiomoderator. And if you think it is one-sided pro leftwingers DFW was a conservative.

This is my top ten. Here some other great pieces. The depressed person. Many people say it is his best story. I could not relate to some things in this text. But it is also about depression.

Certainly the End of Something or Other, One Would Sort of Have to Think. Very funny piece about sex-obsession and misogyny. Ironically DFW was accused later of misogyny.

He also wrote texts about Roger Federer, math, hideous men etc. Have not read everything but I try at least the short stories.

I know noone will care about this post. Usually I don't read much due to the fact I ruminate a lot while doing it. Though I love his literature so much that he turns me into a reader.
 
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rationaltake

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Sep 28, 2021
2,142
Interesting post. I can't read now but really wish I could read his books.
 
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noname223

Visionary
Aug 18, 2020
2,750
Interesting post. I can't read now but really wish I could read his books.
I like to listen to them when someone reads them aloud. There are some stories read this way in my native language. Though on youtube there are many narrations read out loud on English. This can save some money. However he often uses technical terms which makes them hard to understand if English is not your native language. But it is one way to listen to them without spending money like an introduction to his work.

Thanks for your feedback.
 
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WhiteRabbit

WhiteRabbit

I'm late, i'm late. For a very important date.
Feb 12, 2019
783
I've read cruise ship one (my fave), the lobster one, the one where he went to fair, and this is water. I like them all.

From what I've read about him, he didn't seem like the best person IRL.
 
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