The End of the Tour : Who is David Foster Wallace?

Who is David Foster Wallace?

Never heard of him. Seems risky to make a major (?) Hollywood movie about someone so utterly unknown. Then again, if it's a good movie, regardless, or if it were a movie about a fictional character named "David Foster Wallace" (which it just might be!), I guess it'd be worth making, and worth seeing.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

This is an extraordinarily inane post that deserves just this response and nothing else.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

Back at ya.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

And yet you responded to it. Congratulations.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

Is your mom proud of you?

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

No, but yours is. I had a good time with her last night.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

You know, when someone uses "never heard of him" (or her/them) as a criticism of a movie, book, article, whatever, it reflects pretty poorly on the one who is speaking. The better response to realizing one's own ignorance would be, "Maybe I should look into that author." (Or musician, or whatever, as the case may be.)

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

"Never heard of him" is not a criticism of the movie. It is a criticism--no, questioning-- of the wisdom of doing a bio pic of someone scarcely known.

Maybe you should read the posts more carefully before replying. You wouldn't want to be reflected upon poorly.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

What has made you decide that Wallace is "scarcely known"? Can you substantiate this claim? A lot of people obviously know who he is, or he wouldn't be the subject of a biographical film. Previous posters are correct in their statements that this reflects on you, not on the filmmakers' choice.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

There was no carelessness in my initial reading of your post. I understood it just fine.

I hate to be the guy who brings your you-centric view of the world crashing down, but CincyDude never having heard of a particular author does not make that author "scarcely known."

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

I never heard of him, either.

But then, I don't fall for Rolling Stone hype anymore.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

Ask 50 random people who he is and I would be shocked if more than one was familiar with him. Ditto for another writer, John Kennedy Toole, who posthumously won the Pulitzer (I was surprised nobody ever made a movie or play about him).

So, no, Wallace is not particularly well known, but he is famous in certain circles and he is an interesting character, so that's enough for a movie in my book. Not many people know Truman Capote or Christopher McCandless or Oskar Schindler, either, but that doesn't make them poor subjects.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

There are a lot of relatively unknown people who 'get movies'. Of course, unknown is subjective. I dind't know of John Nash until I saw A Beautiful Mind. I vaguely knew of Alan Turing before I watched The Imitation Game. I understand your post, don't get me wrong, but sometimes a story is more interesting than the real life person who features in it.

Also, The End of the Tour is hardly a biopic - it is sort of a road movie inspired by a real life event between two people. Heck, I can even imagine people seeing it (maybe only because Eisenberg and Segel are in it) and actually thinking this is ficion, that Dave Wallace is a made up character, a mixture of The Dude and Grady Tripp from Wonder Boys.

And now I lost track of what I wanted to say...



Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

i think you meant Beautiful Mind rather than American Beauty.

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This message has been deleted.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

Ugh, yeah, thanks for pointing that out. I often say AB when I mean BM. I don't know what it is. I just DON'T KNOW!

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?


It is a criticism--no, questioning-- of the wisdom of doing a bio pic of someone scarcely known.

What kind of criticism/questioning is that? Shouldn't a film like this shed light on someone largely overlooked and unknown to many people? If this film prompted you to ask who this guy was, then the film was a success. Now, go use Google to fulfill your own inquiry.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

he used to teach with my mother at illinois state university he was a literary genius

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

See, I don't know what literary genius even means when the guy kills himself?
Admittedly, I know nothing about him myself, and did not even know he was a
real character. Jason Segal looked nothing like him, that's for sure.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

Ernest Hemingway also killed himself. Literary genius and suicide are not mutually exclusive.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

Hemingway was over-rated. I am not saying he was bad, just that he was a product
of his time, which his macho view of the world, hunting, women, etc. From what I've
read about it Hemingway was also physically unhealthy and in constant pain. He could
not do what he wanted to do in life.

I really wonder about what was going on with DFW. It's hard to know what might have
gone on with him from the movie. The depression could have been caused by a total
junk food diet. I'm just saying, who was this guy as a person and what were his real
problems?

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

Polite suggestion- Go back to Adam Sandler movies and leave literary criticism to educated adults...Mmmm-kay?

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

Please--Tell us who your "literary genius" is that makes Wallace and Hemingway look overrated.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

Are you serious? Good writers don't commit suicide? This is just weird. What about Hemmingway? Romain Gary? Lord Chatterton? Virginia Woolf? Jacques Rigaut? Primo Levi? Gherasim Luca? Jersy Kosinski? Gerard Nerval?


- A point in every direction is the same as no point at all.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

Obviously a joke post intended to incite a riot. And it worked. The original poster ought to get a new hobby though.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

From the movie it sounds as if his book was based on Americans? So maybe people in other countries just was not that interested in American life and there for passed on his book and forgot he existed. I had not heard of him until watching the movie i am from the UK.

Then again i am not much of a book person except for Terry Pratchett which maybe people have never heard of him because they are not in to fantasy.

---------------------
"It's game over man, it's game over!!!"

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

You don't have to be American to be familiar with David Foster Wallace anymore than you need to be British (or into fantasy) to be familiar with Terry Pratchett.
You just have to be aware of the world around you.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?


Who is David Foster Wallace?
Never heard of him.

Just because you have never heard of him doesn't mean he's "utterly unknown." You and your scope of knowledge are not the sole arbiters of who is or is not famous.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

And we await your grace, 'o noble sage....

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?



Jason Segel deserves a nomination for best actor. I have never read, and don't intend to read, an author generational in his appeal, generational that is at least in regard to idolators. I came here because I got the movie for free on Black Friday, and I wanted to see what all the aging fanboys and fangirls at sites like Slate went so wild over, before the writer killed himself. Whoever he was, Jason Segel succeeded in making him seem troubled only by fame and possibly a suicide specifically because of it.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

What is google? Never heard of it.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

Who is CincyDude and why is he posting here? I never heard of him.

all work and no play make jack a dull boy.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

If you didn't know before, I don't think you'll know after watching this film.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

lol some of the best (in my opinion) artists/writers/musicians..etc are pretty much unknown.. 'underground' or independent.. Most the well known artists/writers are (in my opinion) a buncha hacks who never try doing anything new and stick to formula and create art that is designed to appeal to the largest amount of people as possible..Soulless, Factory made, candy coated crap basically. I'm an admitted 'hipster' though.. I don't like anything that is trendy/mainstream.

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

John Kennedy Toole committed suicide while unpublished. His mother pushed his book Confederacy of Dunces to be published. It became a breakout best seller after winning the Pulitzer Prize. They then published another book The Neon Bible.

Neon Bible was made into a movie which I saw years ago. It as a wholesome look at a small town and family in Georgia during the 1930's and WWII.

It just wasn't gritty enough for some people.

I don't know everything. Neither does anyone else

Re: Who is David Foster Wallace?

Who is anyone really? We're all human beings. He was a fiction writer. His style of writing put the novel back on the map. He had so much talent. People think writing a book is one person sitting down and writing a book. But, most writers need to read and research and borrow to complete a novel. These days interns just copy and paste and rearrange words and call it work. Apparently, everything he wrote was purely original from his own mind.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVrzwXDdyuRnG6VMfoT2nyS0TdznlSDc
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