October 18, 2008

A David Foster Wallace Quote from Rolling Stone Magazine

This is a quote from David Foster Wallace, regarding his experience with triclyclic ant-anxiety medication that he was on at one point for two months, which made him feel "stoned and in hell":

"You are the sickness yourself.... You realize all this...when you look at the black hole and it's wearing your face. That's when the Bad Thing just absolutely eats you up, or rather when you just eat yourself up. When you kill yourself. All this business about people committing suicide when they're "severely depressed;" we say, "Holy cow, we must do something to stop them from killing themselves!" That's wrong. Because all these people have, you see, by this time already killed themselves, where it really counts.... When they "commit suicide," they're just being orderly."

On a very clinical note, this makes me think of the point that most suicides don't happen in the deep part of depression, but when people are on the upswing, and have the energy and mental strength, to be, as DFW says, "orderly".

And this all makes me think of this Philip Lopate quote, found on Sean Lovelac'es blog: Lopate says; “One of the things that literature does…is it allows us to be more understanding about human frailty, about error, tragic flaws, and therefore, makes us more forgiving, and more self-forgiving.”

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