A Supposedly Fun Thing Essay


     You are to write A Supposedly Fun Thing I Will Never Do Again essay by David Foster Wallace? Wow, this is really something. Congratulations! Well, do not waste your time and go for it. Going for it, start now!

     If to read a biography of David Foster Wallace, one may be surprised finding notes about suicide in the end. Indeed, if to read the biography, one may jump to a conclusion that this writer, novelist and author is truly successful, the luckiest writer of XX century. 

     His Broom of the System and Girl with Curious Hair made him famous bringing up a popularity at the age of 25! A supposedly Fun Thing was called a masterpiece before it even appeared in the mass media. He was called genius, which, by the way, made him rather angry. “What if I am not a genius?” he asked. “What if a book would be rubbish?”

     The book consists of 1079 pages with 388 footnotes. That is a lot. That is even too much. And the font is too tiny. Far from everybody is brave enough to read all that. During an interview, Wallace asked a journalist whether he read the book. The journalist said he did not as of yet due to lack of time but he said their reviewer just finished it. Wallace responded that he took off his hat to this person and recommended an eyestrain remedy.

     Wallace and his books have found many followers. Many people were coming over for a public reading. There were huge queues in order to hear him. Those were not readers but fans. He was good not in writing only but also at playing tennis. So, he was not just some nerd wearing glasses with a bunch of books but a rock star in the area of literature. His youth, appearance and communication style favored it in many ways.

     The readers called him every day in order to discuss the novel, which made it to where he had to change his phone number loads of times. The fire of interest to the book keeps going. It keeps on being published. Dissertations are written basing on it. Guides across the novel come out. Against his will, Wallace has become a media person.

     There were rumors that he was working under another genius piece and then, all of a sudden, society hears the news of his suicide. He hung himself on the patio of his own in 2008. He was suffering from bipolar disorder and was trying to commit suicide long before this happened and that the first attempt to commit suicide has become some sort of a starting point on the way to writing A Supposedly Fun Thing…

     Wallace went through a course of treatment from depression. The pills did not work and then, one night he simply ate a pack of sleeping draught. He survived going through a few sessions of shock therapy. A Supposedly Fun Thing is an oxymoron. It was supposed to have another title but it might not be publish under it. The book itself is a chaotically mounted compilation of scenes, dialogues and descriptions. One has difficulties with understanding this sloppy mess. One should wander around in order to find the main characters on the first 200-300 pages instead of them to be put in order. There is much of talkie-talkie going on in the novel. It is a manifest though, an attempt to find a guide.

     “We are what we love”, says Wallace, “what we are ready to die for”. He also speaks of two kinds of laughter. There is a laughter, which makes us happy and a laughter, which hurts. He stands for the second kind of laughter as long as for him, laughter is not a way to escape from reality but a way to accept it and to describe it more in details.    

       Reading is not just an observation over the characters but also an exercise. It is an exercise with diligence. It is a training of attention. It is especially important especially in the era when people consume loads of information with tiny portions, not less than 140 symbols per time. Otherwise, they will choke. In this context complicated and unreadable novels are of a special importance. They teach us to not only consume information but also search for it, make efforts, focus.