David Foster Wallace
I just found a link to this funny thing called "The Writing Analyzer" on the blog
"Direct Address" http://timbauer.wordpress.com/
You paste a piece of your writing into it, and it tells you what famous author your scribblings most resemble.
Some previous responses to various users had been HP Lovecraft, Kurt Vonnegut and "DaVinci Code" author Dan Brown, so it's a pretty wide playing field, evidently.
Curious, I put "The Salt Girl" into the contraption and was told that I wrote most like David Foster Wallace.
(Though I'm not sure if that's because of the writing, or the subject matter.)
Still, I couldn't be more flattered, (I thought I would get Danielle Steele, at best!) though, honestly, I now can't get Wallace's tragic end out of my mind, the poor thing.
I think I would rather write like him than BE him, necessarily.
He was clearly dealing with some really heavy shit.
But sometimes I worry that being a brilliant mind/writer and being happy might be mutually exclusive.
Hemingway was, clearly, not all that cheery.
Or James Joyce.
F. Scott was fun, but what a handful!
Same with Dorothy Parker. You REALLY don't want to be cleaning up after THOSE two...
Poe was a freaking nut.
According to a new biography, even William Golding of your eighth-grade required-reading "The Lord of the Flies" fame was pretty miserable, and he wasn't even THAT brilliant. I mean, don't get me wrong, he was certainly more brilliant then, say, Jacqueline Suzanne (who died of cancer pretty young, btw), but not next to Proust.
Jack "Call of the Wild" London was a total asshole, from what I hear.
Beckett was no fun to be around. Not a surprise.
Tolstoy died in a subway station.
Truman Capote was a mess.
Chekhov was sickly (see Proust).
Genet spent most of his life in jail.
Virginia Woolf: say no more.
Two words for E.M. Forester: Rough. Trade.
It's like Edward Albee: I LOVE his plays, but I don't know if I'd want to go scuba diving with him.
But maybe that's not a solid rule.
I hear Rossini was hilarious.
But he was a composer, so that's different, I guess.
Still, I heard he wrote "The Thieving Magpie" for his dog.
So he must have been fun at dinner parties.
And then, of course, there was Oscar Wilde, who was probably VERY fun and witty and happy.
So, of course, we threw him in jail!
Anyway, I have a feeling that if I were to put in a different play, I might get a completely different response.
Still, it's kind of fun.
Try it! You just click on the link above.