I am reading this right now, and it’s making me very nervous. I wouldn’t say it’s lowering my opinion of him, per se. I do think D.T. Max does an admirable job of not making it a glowing hagiography, but rather a fair biography of someone who had a lot of really serious mental health issues underpinning his undeniable genius. I mean, given that fact that DFW was a writer, I should not be shocked to learn that he was a huge narcissist who has intense problems with addiction and managing human relationships. I knew the broad picture already, but exploring the details is really disturbing to me.
Winter break is practically here, and I am freaking out re: having unstructured time. This problem has characterized my entire life. I kind of let it play out for a whole year post-grad to see what would happen until I decided I should just go to Columbia to get medical insurance, so I can have a therapist ask me, “What’s going to happen to you when you have a month of unstructured time?”
I think next week I will just rip out this page from the Max book and hand it to her. This is pretty much a summary of my mental processes at all times:
"as though the entire, every axiom of your life turned out to be false, and there was actually nothing, and you were nothing, and it was all a delusion. and that you were better than everyone else because you saw that it was a delusion, and yet you were worse because you couldn’t function.”