In response to a question about what being an American was like for him at the end of the 20th century, he told the online magazine Salon in 1996 that there was something sad about it, but not as a reaction to the news or current events.
“It’s more like a stomach-level sadness,” he said. “I see it in myself and my friends in different ways. It manifests itself as a kind of lostness.”
Wallace may have foreshadowed his own death in a 2005 speech to students at Kenyon College that spoke of the struggle with the mind.
“Think of the old cliché about quote the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master. This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth,” he said.
“It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in: the head. They shoot the terrible master. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger.