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Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace Paperback – Deckle Edge, April 13, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
- Publisher : Crown; 1st edition (April 13, 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 030759243X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0307592439
- Item Weight : 1.11 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.33 x 1.06 x 9.15 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #189,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Back in 1996, writer David Lipsky is sent by Rolling Stone to join David Foster Wallace on the final leg of his INFINITE JEST book tour, to get to know the man who has just become internationally famous for his acclaimed 1,000-plus page novel. ALTHOUGH OF COURSE YOU END UP BECOMING YOURSELF is the transcription of the tapes from those days on the road with DFW.
I supposed you’d have to be something of a DFW admirer to enjoy this book -- I mean, to really enjoy it, and since a lot of it entails discussions about INFINITE JEST, and what DFW was trying to say in that novel, having read INFINITE JEST would also be a prerequisite for full enjoyment of Lipsky’s book. What DFW makes clear in his conversations with Lipsky is that INFINITE JEST is about entertainment, about how entertainment is on a continuum of addictions which we, as Americans, seem peculiarly susceptible, TV, in particular. DFW envisions in IJ a near future where a video exists which is so entertaining that it holds the viewer in a reverie so powerful that he dies from starvation and sleep deprivation -- the viewer literally cannot stop watching. This is all told, of course, in Wallace’s unique prose style -- it’s comedy, science fiction, a foretelling.
I loved BECOMING YOURSELF because I loved DFW’s writing, and reading his words -- the words from DFW the writer and the man, not a character in one of his novels -- is about as close to a conversation with him as I’ll ever get. This book, for that reason alone, is a treasure.
This book has been made into a film, just not the one you're thinking of.
Read this book and then immediately watch "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" and you will be stunned by the similarities of the two main characters in both the movie and this book. Although here, the main character's death takes place long after the hero-worshipper/wannabe has left the premises.
In the numerous biographies that are sure to come on Wallace,, this book (and the actual movie it produced) will be mocked to the point of sadness. This book proves Salinger's position on post-literary silence.
Take note, future authors, take serious note.
For me, Road Trip bogged down at times due to Lipskys repetitive questions about Wallace's ambivalence about success. It was obvious that Lipsky didn't believe the fourth and fifth interations of Wallace's explanation, so Lipsky had to ask AGAIN and AGAIN. Miniscule insight was gathered with each repetitive ask, and yet other interesting topics were skimmed or diverted by Lipskys interview style. Even with those criticisms, Road Trip is a superb way to understand a bit of Wallace the person, how he perceived his world, how that world-view informed his writing, and how he eventually arrived at the solution of suicide. Ten years before his death, it's clear that Wallace's nerve endings were close to the surface, and he was certainly trying to hold on, even then. Even as I knew the ending, throughout Road Trip I kept hoping that Wallace's thoughtful approach and analysis would lead him to conquer his fears of success, failure, and future. Sad for those of us who thrive on Wallace's vision.
Top reviews from other countries
Dazu kommen Anmerkungen des Autors, die unter anderem die Erlebnisse von damals im Hinblick auf Wallace's Suizid 2008 kommentieren.
Wallace's menschenoffene Attitüde und Lipsky's ehrliches Interesse bauen direkt einen Draht zwischen den beiden auf.
Es werden viele Themen, mal sehr humorvoll, mal bedächtig, diskutiert, u. A. Popkultur, Familie, Literatur & die amerikanische Autoren-Szene, bis hin zu sehr gedankenvollen Gesprächen über das Selbst, Einsamkeit, Selbstzweifel, Depressionen, usw., womit Wallace sehr ehrliche und tiefe Einblicke in sein Privatleben gibt.
Intim, lustig, nachdenklich, berührend. Ein wirklich lesenswertes Buch, für jeden Wallace-Sympathisanten ohnehin ein Must-Read.