David Foster Wallace was born on February 21st 1962 and studied English and Philosophy in college following the proffessions of his parents. Wallace became highly concerned with televesion’s “pretty hand [that] has my generation by the throat” and began disecting this problem through irony and ridicule. He had spent his last 20 years of his life living with chronic depression. he was quite compelled with how much society defines the meaning of life and how much work is required to stay awake to the world.
“Think of the old cliche about the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master. This like many cliches, so lame and unesciting on the surface actually expresses a great and terrible truth. It is not the least bit coincidential that adults who commite suicide almost always shoot themselves in the head; they shoot the terrible master.”
He then says in an interview 15 years prior to his death:”You dont’ have to think very hard to realize that our dread of both relationships and loneliness, both of which are sub-dreads about our dread of being trapped inside a self has to do with angst about death. I’m not sure I could give you a very steeple-fingered theoretical justification, but I strongly suspect a big part of real-art fiction’s job is to aggragate this sense… Of dread in people.”
I think Wallace is trying to tackle the true meaning of happiness and how to bend and supress the media to best guarantee such tragic mentalities never occur. Unfortunately this is far too large for one lone man to attack and can only happen at the rate that society reforms and changes it’s zeitgeist.
However I am not sure what it is that he is implying that makes us so depressed and miserable, it may not even be an outside source, maybe, just maybe, it is purely the human evolution process that instigates this eternal loneliness in any circumstance.