Today is World Mental Health Day, and it appears that myself (and other bloggers) couldn’t let it pass without mentioning the late, great, David Foster Wallace.
His short piece, Suicide as a sort of Present is poignant, (today, more so than any other day).
The title seems a little odd at first, but becomes a phrase that haunts the reader long after they have closed the pages of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.
Wallace’s sort not only highlights mental health (thus offering us a platform to talk about it), it offers an insight, into, possibly, his own darkness – given his death by suicide in 2008.
Suicide as a sort of Present is that rare fiction piece, which seems to say so little on the surface, but offers so many questions once the reading is finished.
Who exactly dies at the end?
Does Wallace try to justify their demise?
And attempts at literary critique inevitably cross over into mental health – why did that character kill him/herself …? These are the type of questions people actually ask, after suicides occur.
In short, Suicide as a sort of Present is the discussion we should all be having on World Mental Health Day.