Watch vid "Consider the Lobster" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOaEk-kPH9k
David F Wallace "Consider the Lobster"
"Is it all right to boil a sentient creature alive just for our gustatory pleasure?" This was the question posed by the renowned late author David Foster Wallace in "Consider the Lobster," his August 2004 feature on the Maine Lobster Festival for Gourmet magazine. Wallace, who was hailed by critics as a literary genius, wrote this article "to work out and articulate some of the troubling questions that arise amid all the laughter and saltation and community pride of the Maine Lobster Festival." Gourmet editors may have gotten more than they bargained for, but Wallace's words echoed the concerns of thinking people everywhere.
For Wallace, the Maine Lobster Festival inspired an unflinching inquiry into the ethics of boiling an animal alive. His article highlighted two specific coping mechanisms that people adopt when confronted with the reality of animal suffering--avoidance and denial. Wallace admitted that his "own main way of dealing with this conflict has been to avoid thinking about the whole unpleasant thing." However, upon arrival at the Maine Lobster Festival, he found that "there is no honest way to avoid certain moral questions."
Wallace's article explored the excruciating pain that lobsters feel when they are boiled alive, taking both scientific evidence and his own observations into account. He expands his analysis to consider the question of eating meat in general, as well as the deeper question of how humans relate to other animals. Read the full article here.
CLAREMONT, California (AP) -- David Foster Wallace, the author best known for his 1996 novel "Infinite Jest," was found dead in his home, according to police. He was 46.
David Foster Wallace earned a MacArthur "genius grant" in 1997.
Wallace's wife found her husband had hanged himself when she returned home about 9:30 p.m. Friday, said Jackie Morales, a records clerk with the Claremont Police Department.
Wallace taught creative writing and English at nearby Pomona College.
"He cared deeply for his students and transformed the lives of many young people," said Dean Gary Kates. "It's a great loss to our teaching faculty."
Colleagues were stunned.
"He was the best of our generation, and his death is a loss beyond describing," Richard Powers, winner of the National Book Award in 2006 for the novel "The Echo Maker," told The Press on Sunday. Blog: A tribute to David Foster Wallace
"I am so sad -- stunned -- it reminds us all of how fragile we are, and how close at hand the darkness is," said fellow author A.M. Homes, whose books include the novel "The End of Alice" and "The Mistress's Daughter," a memoir. "He was a wonderful writer, a generous friend, and a singular talent."
Wallace's first novel, "The Broom of the System," gained national attention in 1987 for its ambition and offbeat humor. The New York Times said the 24-year-old author "attempts to give us a portrait, through a combination of Joycean word games, literary parody and zany picaresque adventure, of a contemporary America run amok."
TIME.com: An appreciation of David Foster Wallace
EW.com: Remembering David Foster Wallace
Published in 1996, "Infinite Jest" cemented Wallace's reputation as a major American literary figure. The 1,000-plus-page tome, praised for its complexity and dark wit, topped many best-of lists. Time Magazine named "Infinite Jest" in its issue of the "100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005."
Wallace received a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation in 1997.
In 2002, Wallace was hired to teach at Pomona in a tenured English Department position endowed by Roy E. Disney. Kates said when the school began searching for the ideal candidate, Wallace was the first person considered.
"The committee said, 'we need a person like David Foster Wallace.' They said that in the abstract," Kates said. "When he was approached and accepted, they were heads over heels. He was really the ideal person for the position."
Wallace's short fiction was published in Esquire, GQ, Harper's, The New Yorker and the Paris Review. Collections of his short stories were published as "Girl With Curious Hair" and "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men."
He wrote nonfiction for several publications, including an essay on the U.S. Open for Tennis magazine and a profile of the director David Lynch for Premiere.
Born in Ithaca, New York, Wallace attended Amherst College and the University of Arizona.
Wallace was often compared to Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo as an avatar of the Information Age, a visionary and eclectic as hip to ancient Greece and British poetry as he was to computers and television and popular culture. He also wrote often about addiction, depression and suicide, a post-1960s dystopia in which "irony, irreverence, and rebellion come to be not liberating but enfeebling."
Wallace was far better known to his peers than to the general public, but news of his death led to a quick jump in sales for his books. As of Sunday night, "Infinite Jest" was in the top 20 on Amazon.com and "Consider the Lobster" was in the top 75. Several of his books were out of stock.
His longtime editor, Michael Pietsch, said Sunday that his last contact with Wallace had been a "wonderful exchange of letters" around a month ago. He declined to say what they had written about or offer any comment on the author's private life.
Pietsch, publisher of Little, Brown and Company, told The Press that from the start he found Wallace's talent "jaw dropping" and shining with "unexpected hilariousness."
"From the first paragraph you read of him, you realize he's biting off more than anybody, taking on gigantic subjects in unexpected ways and delivering undreamed of pleasures and insights, at the largest levels and the most microscopic levels."
Asked what Wallace had been working on at the time of his death, Pietsch offered no specifics, but said: "He was always writing something. He was always doing something ambitious."