Monday, February 15, 2016

Quoted: David Foster Wallace on living on the planet Trillaphon

Everything is sick and grotesque. And since your only acquaintance with the whole world is through parts of you – like your sense-organs and your mind, etc. – and since these parts are sick as hell, the whole world as you perceive it and know it and are in it comes at you through this filter of bad sickness and becomes bad. As everything becomes bad in you, all good goes out of the world like air out of a big broken balloon. There’s nothing in the world you know but horrible rotten smells, sad and grotesque and lurid pastel sights, raucous or deadly-sad sounds, intolerable open-ended situations lined on a continuum with just no end at all… Incredibly stupid, hopeless ideas. And just the way when you’re sick to your stomach you’re kind of scared that it might maybe never go away, The Bad Thing scares you the same way only worse, because the fear itself is filtered through the disease and becomes bigger and worse and hungrier than it started out. It tears you open and gets in there and squirms around. -- David Foster Wallace from The Planet Trillaphon
He was pretty young when he wrote this. The full story is in the anthology that was published after his death, or you can read it here. The genesis for the dark humor present in Infinite Jest is evident, and I’ve long said David Foster Wallace is one of most brilliant writers when it comes to articulating depression in all its grotesqueness and absurdity.