Sequoia M's Reviews > Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace

Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story by D.T. Max
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's review
Nov 15, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: memoir-biography
Recommended for: DFW obsessives
Read in November, 2012

This is an excellent biography, unpacking the self-made myths of DFW while taking the reader through his development as a writer, through each work he creates - his initial excitement, frustrations, dismissal while plucking at the threads of reality that he wove into his fiction and the tales slipped into his nonfiction. Max manages to create a complex portrait of a real human being, gifts and flaws, while placing DFW in the broader context of contemporary society, modern writing, and the grand pantheon of theory. Max has been given access to unprecedented to materials but he doesn't shy away from calling DFW on some of his bullshit. Parsing the truth of who a person is or was is an impossible task - for us as people inside our skulls, let alone an outsider with no first-hand experience in our lives, but Max does his best to humanize the literary giant while also cementing his mythic status. This is a DFW biography but it is also a slice of a certain time in America, it is the sad picture of the process of creation and obsessive self-refection, it is about the inescapable dread of existence.
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