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Although Of Course You End Up Becoming…
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Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David… (edição 2010)

por David Lipsky (Auteur)

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8093221,017 (3.73)28
Shares the author's travels with the late David Foster Wallace based on interviews from the 1996 "Infinite Jest" book tour, covering such topics as Wallace's literary process, struggles with fame, and battle with mental illness.
Membro:felipethecat
Título:Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace.
Autores:David Lipsky (Auteur)
Informação:Crown (2010), Edition: 1, 352 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself por David Lipsky

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Objectivity is something that rarely rears its head when I’m dealing with much of anything concerning David Foster Wallace, as I’m a literary DFW groupie through-and-through. Many would see this book as something redundant, as I’ve already seen (several times) the film on the same events, The End of the Tour, starring Jesse Eisenberg as the interviewing author David Lipsky, and Jason Segel playing Wallace. Lipsky was on assignment for Rolling Stone magazine to try and capture the excitement of the author who seemed to own the publishing scene, and his fans who were walking on air as they met him during the last five days of the book tour for his monumental book, Infinite Jest. Lipsky was another adoring fan as well, seeing Wallace’s fame as something he lusted for himself, while it was something that DFW was not that comfortable with at all.

Wallace was also quite nervous that in the interviews he would come across as too much of … frankly, so many things. On the page, Wallace was used to constantly rewriting, editing, and perfecting his words, but he worried that a casual, off-the-cuff remark could make him look like an ass, a fool, ignorant, or countless other things. As a reader, I found myself fascinated by how this raw, first draft of a conversation allowed me to see just how his mind works on the fly. Sure, I heard him say the same things in the movie, but the printed word is my thing. Makes me think of how many years it took me to become comfortable reading fiction off a monitor, and not needing to print it out on paper to enjoy it.

No one should think that these interviews/conservations are going to always be deep and meaningful, with everything being so profound. Lipsky ends up sleeping in an extra bedroom at Wallace’s house when they’re in town, so he catalogs the books and the décor of the house, down to his Alanis Morissette poster and the Barney the Dinosaur towel covering a window. They do it all together: drive, eat, play with his two big dogs, and talk constantly about writing, fame, women, insanity, and what the two men want in their lives.

This is not a road trip/buddy movie, but there’s a lot of common ground, even if the two men are coming at things from very distinctively different positions. There are times when Lipsky asks a probing question about Wallace’s mental state, drug use (especially rumors about his heroin addiction), being institutionalized, ego, his friendships (Jonathan Franzen and more) and his opinions of other writers—and Wallace will show his discomfort, but most times he will put a response together in his head, and print out, give an answer. The way the two men relate is fascinating.

A quote from Lev Grossman in Time magazine was spot-on to me. “Lipsky’s transcript of their brilliant conversation reads like a two-man Tom Stoppard play or a four-handed duet scored for typewriter.”

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even with (or maybe because of) all of its familiarity. These two authors speaking intelligently about writing and their lives is golden to readers like me. The book is also a treat to just pick up and read random sections of. It’s a book that works for some, and not at all for others [I’m thinking of Vicky here], but those that appreciate it are as happy as David Foster Wallace’s dogs were to get outside to play. ( )
  jphamilton | May 10, 2021 |
I have complicated feelings towards David Foster Wallace's writings. Wallace is the kind of writer that you have to work at to appreciate, and not everyone will get there, myself included in that statement. I first picked up "The Pale King" at a library not long after its' release, and was confusedly entranced as I waded through the pages upon pages about tax law and the sheer boredom of corporate life, yet fell in love with the gems of prose that I stumbled into along the way. "This is Water" is one of the best things I have ever read; I flailed through "Infinite Jest" and was confounded by "The Broom of the System." In this book, the very format (a transcript of a five day trip with a Rolling Stone reporter) makes for a rather rough, broken reading, but just as you start to wonder if it's worth continuing, a ridiculously profound paragraph will wander into the book, forcing you to go back and reread a few pages to see what exactly led up to it. As you read this one though, keep in mind what Wallace himself said, regarding the format of dialogue and transcription and quotes, "Writing down something that somebody says out loud is not a matter of transcribing. Because written stuff said out loud on the page doesn't look said out loud. It just looks crazy" (164).
( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
This is not an easy read. Even for a die-hard David Foster Wallace fan like myself, it was frustrating. Lipsky has basically transcribed, word for word, "um" for "um," the conversations that he had with Wallace over the course of a few days that the journalist spent profiling Wallace toward the end of the Infinite Jest promotional book tour. Perhaps this is an homage to Wallace's instantly recognizable conversational style, but it's quite hard to follow at times. Especially since Lipsky has decided to condense his own questions down to key words, and not to label his versus Wallace's remarks. He may have done this to minimize his own verbiage and shine the light on Wallace's, but it just makes the exchanges that much harder to comb through. Yet comb through I did, for the pearls of Wallace wisdom contained therein. If you are new to Wallace, this really won't make sense until you've read Infinite Jest. Good luck. ( )
  stephkaye | Dec 14, 2020 |
There's little to this book besides the pleasure of David Foster Wallace's conversation, which is still secondary to David Foster Wallace's fiction. ( )
  uncleflannery | May 16, 2020 |
I’ve also been surprised to find the towel of Barney, the purple dinosaur and befriender of children, subbing as a curtain in his bedroom, and the big poster of complaint singer Alanis Morissette on his wall.

If you were putting us in a comic book panel, you’d draw motion lines coming off my body. And there’d be black scrunches over David’s head. He’s been touring for two weeks, reading, signing, promoting. He’s walking toward me over the clumps and vines of unsorted travel memories, signaling from behind the hurricane fence of someone who’s become bewilderingly famous.

David Lipsky, writer for Rolling Stone Magazine, has been posted to hang around David Foster Wallace during a leg of his reading tour of "Infinite Jest", his 1079-page monster.

This proved to be quite a workout for me as a reader, especially when one delves into the conversation; Wallace talks with and without pretentions, always with something to say and a rich vocabulary. Still, Wallace doesn't seem like somebody who tried to impress people.

(David is a Cosmopolitan subscriber; he says reading “I’ve Cheated—Should I Tell?” a bunch of times a year is “fundamentally soothing to the nervous system.”)

This book was finished after Wallace committed suicide. This is beautifully written about

No medications had worked. In June, David tried to kill himself. Then he was back in the hospital. Doctors administered twelve courses of electroconvulsive therapy, a treatment that had always terrified David.

“Twelve,” his mother repeated. “Such brutal treatments,” his father said. “And after this year of absolute hell for David,” his mother said, “they decided to go back to the Nardil.”

Franzen, worried, flew to spend a week with David in July. David had dropped seventy pounds in a year.

“He was thinner than I’d ever seen him. There was a look in his eyes: terrified, terribly sad, and far away. Still, he was fun to be with, even at ten percent strength.” David could now make skinny jokes: he’d never before noticed, he said, “how hard certain chairs in the house were.”

Franzen would sit with David in the living room, play with his dogs, the two would step outside while David lit a cigarette. “We argued about stuff. He was doing his usual line about, ‘A dog’s mouth is practically a disinfectant, it’s so clean. Not like human saliva, dog saliva is marvelously germ-resistant.’” When he left, David thanked him for coming. “I felt grateful he allowed me to be there,” Franzen told me.

Six weeks later, David asked his parents to fly west. The Nardil wasn’t working; the great risk with taking time off an antidepressant. A patient departs, returns, and the medication has boarded its doors. David couldn’t sleep. He was afraid to leave the house. He asked, “What if I meet one of my students?” His father said, “He didn’t want anyone to see him the way he was. It was just awful to see. If a student saw him, they would have put their arms around him and hugged him, I’m sure.”

The Wallaces stayed ten days. David and his parents would get up at six in the morning and walk the dogs. They watched DVDs, talked. Sally cooked David’s favorite dishes, heavy comfort foods—pot pies, casseroles, strawberries in cream. “We kept telling him we were so glad he was alive,” his mother said. “But my feeling is that, even then, he was leaving the planet. He just couldn’t take it.”

One afternoon before they left, David was very upset. His mother sat on the floor beside him. “I just rubbed his arm. He said he was glad I was his mom. I told him it was an honor.”

In the middle of September, Karen left David alone with the dogs for a few hours. When she came home that night, he had hanged himself.

“I can’t get that image out of my mind,” his sister told me—and said another smart, kind, impossible thing. “David and his dogs, and it’s dark. I’m sure he kissed them on the mouth, and told them he was sorry.”

That is covered early in the book. It goes on with the book tour, and with describing how Wallace met Jonathan Franzen and made friends:

David met Jon Franzen in the most natural way for a writer; as a reader, as a fan. He mailed Franzen a nice letter about his first book, Franzen replied, they arranged a meet. And no David. This was right in the middle of the bleak period, when simple calendar stuff turned challenging.

“He just flaked,” Jon recalled. “He didn’t show up. That was a fairly substance-filled period in his life.” By the middle part of the ’90s, Franzen found an easy valuation for David’s company: “I would always use any opportunity to hang out with Dave.”

In 1995, banging together a big piece on the reasons for writing and reading, Franzen boarded a train for Connecticut and David. “We met in a parking lot and we hung out for about three hours, just sitting on the edge of the parking lot. I kept saying, ‘I need quotes for the piece, I need quotes for the piece!’” It’s nice to imagine them there, these two writers who would someday write famous books, talking for hours among the fast-asleep cars and concrete dividers. What they decided—David proposed it—was that the point of books was to combat loneliness.

Then there are a lot of good one-line stuffs from Lipsky's and Wallace's conversations:

My tastes in reading lately have been way more realistic, because most experimental stuff is hellaciously unfun to read.

I enjoy reading, but it doesn’t feel true at all. I read it as a relief from what’s true. I read it as a relief from the fact that, I received five hundred thousand discrete bits of information today, of which maybe twenty-five are important. And how am I going to sort those out, you know?

Never put on antidepressants? Um, I was early on, I was for about two months in college. It was for something else—oh no, I had terrible insomnia. And I didn’t want to take Dalmane because I was drinking so much. So I told this long story, and they put me on something, they put me on a tricyclic. Which, I don’t know how antidepressants are supposed to work, but this had the opposite effect for me. It made me feel like I was stoned and in hell. So, no, that was never an option.

[Why he prefers crazy women; and feels he’s ended up with lots of crazy ones …] Psychotics, say what you want about them, tend to make the first move. That’s a great, great line. [To tape] It’s about the women he’s dated. Because he’s shy. [Break]

It’s very icy in the car. We’re smoking out the sides, windows cracked, cold air leaking in. David calls it “our hypothermia smoking tour of the Midwest.”]

More about his alcoholism:

Before we go into that, you do keep going back and forth on whether or not your drinking was something you couldn’t control, or something that got out of control at a certain point. [Nods to machine: wants to sound out his answer first] OK. [Break]

With your drinking …

I would say yeah. Because, basically because I wasn’t gettin’ any work done. And it wasn’t helping me work. And it also—I was sick all the time. And so if by “out of control” you mean wanting to stop … or realizing that once I started, I would always get to the point where I would get sick—and not being able to help that? Yes. If you mean, was I somebody walking, I was not somebody walking around with like a flask. It was not like The Lost Weekend. It was not the—nor was it like any of the romantic writer-as-alcoholic-type thing.

It was just unpleasant?

It was unpleasant and wasteful. And I began to see more and more that I was doing it, that I wasn’t doing it the way grown-ups do. There’s this guy named Schacht in the book who’s sort of—he’s kind of sketchy, because I didn’t understand his mentality very well. But he’s supposed to be sort of the way a normal grown-up is. I mean, he uses stuff occasionally, to make a fundamentally OK life even better. You know? And that’s like, for instance, how my parents are. My dad will have one gin and tonic before dinner. And he likes it. It makes him feel mildly good, loosens him up, helps him relax. I don’t know about you, I was never like that. You know? I would drink … I don’t know that I ever had just one shot of Wild Turkey. Or one beer. I would have, like, twelve. You know? And then I would always feel shitty, and always pound my head and wonder why I did it. And then like a week later, I’d do it again. Now, how long did that last? That period? Probably about a year and a half, or two years. Here’s where it got scary to me. And I don’t mind telling you about this. The scary thing to me was that … I mean I was going through a lot of confusions about sort of writing, and art, and all this kind of stuff at the time. And I thought quitting drinking would help. It made things worse. I was more unhappy, more scared, more paralyzed when I quit drinking. And that scared me. And I think the period that I really consider a kind of dark— WAITER: You guys still doing all right …? The period that I think you know about, where I went in on suicide watch, was months after I had stopped drinking.

On working as a security guard for a bunch of months:

And I’d just walk under these fluorescent lights, twirling my baton, thinking about as little as possible. Did you think you were done then? Yeah. I was pretty sure life was over. This is after suicide watch is over? [Bonnie told me when she came to visit McLean and saw him, the first thing she did was find a scissors so she could cut his hair, it looked so awful to her.] Mm-hmm. That was actually a fairly grim—I think I was in McLean’s for a total of eight days. And then, I was really there just mostly ’cause I was scared I would do something stupid. And I’d actually had a friend from high school, who tried to kill himself by sitting in a garage with the car runnin’. And what it turned out was, he didn’t die, but it really, it fucked up his brain, sort of. It fucked up the affective part. So that he was in terrible pain apparently all the time. But like I was just—and I knew, that if anybody was fated to fuck up a suicide attempt, it was me.

Jack Palance scares me. I don’t see anything with Jack Palance. You saw Shane? Yeah, that’s why he scares me. Just those cheekbones, you know?

On proof-reading "Infinite Jest", the last bit says something about the length of the thing:

And then you had your sister copyedit the final part, the proofs. She is—my mother is the best proofreader in the world, Amy’s second, and I’m third, as far as I’ve seen. And um, paid Amy a dollar a page, and it was worth it. She bought a car.

[On NPR, George Burns dead today.] I wonder what George Burns died of: Maybe someone just dispatched him with a club, figuring that was the only way.

It’s more like, if you can think of times in your life that you’ve 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 it’s probably possible to achieve that. I think part of the job we’re here for is to learn how to do it. [Spits with mouthful voice into cup.] I know that sounds a little pious.

I remember hearing in New York, I forget who it was who was tellin’ this joke: What does a writer say after sex? Was it as good for me as it was for you?

All in all, the book is a collection of conversations. At times, far too heady and uninteresting for me, and at other times, wonderfully entertaining. Looking forward to the film that this is becoming in 2014. ( )
  pivic | Mar 20, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 32 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Lipsky mostly steps out of the way, and lets Wallace talk for himself, but the rapport that he and Wallace built during the course of the road trip is both endearing and fascinating. At the end, it feels like you've listened to two good friends talk about life, about literature, about all of their mutual loves. And while they were both young men in 1996, they seem wise beyond their years, yet still filled with a contagious, youthful enthusiasm.
adicionada por zhejw | editarNPR, Michael Schaub (May 4, 2010)
 
Wallace’s aliveness is the most compelling part of this book. His humor, his pathos, his brilliant delivery – his tendency to explore the experience of living even as he’s living it – make this book sing.
 
"Although of Course" offers much more than just the quotidian charm of a famous man's private life. Lipsky had the good fortune to win Wallace's trust when, suddenly famous, he was forced to confront deep misgivings about commercial success and the specter of depression and suicide that had long lingered over him. Lipsky proves an adept interlocutor, and at their best these conversations give Wallace the chance to think out loud and personalize his great themes: addiction and celebrity and the isolation both could bring.
adicionada por zhejw | editarLos Angeles Times, Scott Esposito (Apr 11, 2010)
 
The overall effect of Lipsky’s constant interruptions of Wallace’s routinely thoughtful replies is not to give the reader useful information but to show how little Lipsky seems to understand Wallace—both the man who preferred to avoid doing journalism of the variety that Lipsky has produced and the artist whose method Lipsky claims he was attempting to ape: “the deluxe internal surveys [Wallace] specialized in—the unedited camera, the feed.”
 
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Shares the author's travels with the late David Foster Wallace based on interviews from the 1996 "Infinite Jest" book tour, covering such topics as Wallace's literary process, struggles with fame, and battle with mental illness.

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