Heartbreak Hell: Searching for sanity in Boston through a week of tragedy and terror

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They never got a chance to dance, though, as Breitbart died from heart failure the next day. In the weeks that followed, the army of assholes who worship his unique brand of right-wing baloney attacked Faraone ferociously, dragging him into the toxic underbelly grumbling beneath American politics.

In the 8,word title chapter, the critically applauded polemicist casts asses like Breitbart and Sean Hannity into history's trash can alongside slave owners and Klansmen. Following those tales about Team Breitbart, Faraone has included an expanded version of his viral feature, "The Trials of Nadia Naffe," part of which first appeared in the now-defunct Boston Phoenix. In The Right, he hangs with hardcore libertarians, militiamen, Glenn Beck fanatics, and rapture warriors. For The Left, he blends updates of previously published work with new original gems from post-encampment Occupy actions, a number of which involve police brutally arresting a number of journalists including Faraone himself.

A robust and descriptive portrait of America's most loathsome creeps and ideologues, I Killed Breitbart balances real concern for the state of national sanity with a less-than-subtle mockery of everything from pop culture to religion. In the works for more than a year, the book also packs exclusive pics from the front lines of Faraone's travels, plus previously unreleased road dispatches including a Republican counterpart to his hallucinatory adventures at the last Democratic National Convention.

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  • Answered: 90 Skipped: NOTE: Other outlets to which freelancers have contributed:. Among our many efforts to represent all corners of Greater Boston, particularly those that are under-served and underrepresented in the mainstream media, we have teamed up with our nonprofit sponsor, Press Pass TV , and are currently participating in a civic journalism program with middle school students from BPS.

    There are many other groups, organizations, and outfits looking for solutions in this area, as there are reporters asking serious and often uncomfortable questions. He studied I. He assembled hundreds of pages of research on boredom, trying to understand it at an almost neurological level. A severe critic of his own work, he rarely reported to his friends that anything he was working on was going well.

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    But his complaints about this book struck them as particularly intense. In , he began dating Karen Green, a visual artist. Only with real human contact can she improve. Green wanted to rewrite Wallace, so that in her last panel the depressed person would be cured. Wallace gave her permission. When he saw what she had done, he was happy. He told her that it was now a story that people would want to read. They fell in love. In , Wallace and Green were married in Urbana, in front of his parents.

    Wallace had by then accepted a new teaching appointment, at Pomona College, in Claremont, California. Green chose a ranch-style house for them in Claremont. Wallace took his large collection of lamps and books on accounting into the garage, and started writing. He did not always stay in his workplace. Green had a son, a teen-ager named Stirling, from a previous marriage, and he sometimes visited.

    Wallace, who never felt that he was cut out to be a father, bonded with the boy. They played chess together, with Stirling usually winning. Wallace was growing tired of teaching, but he continued to enjoy the contact with students. Wallace was thrilled that his personal life was in order: he took it as evidence that he had matured.

    He teased Green about what a good husband he was. Did you see that? He could be needy. At night, he would beg her not to get sick or die. He also wrote essays, published his book on infinity, and went to Wimbledon to write about Roger Federer for the Times. It would show people a way to insulate themselves from the toxic freneticism of American life. It had to be emotionally engaged and morally sound, and to narrate boredom while obeying the physics of reading.

    And it had to put over the point that the kind of personality that conferred grace was exactly the kind that Wallace did not have. Wallace made a considerable start, though. He found a style that was amusing and engaging, that captured mindfulness without solemnity. Perhaps someone else reading the novel—Wallace would show it to no one—might have been satisfied. But his own past brilliance stalked him. He polished the sentences over and over.

    A few sections achieved what he was aiming for, or came close. In , he published in this magazine a small part of the novel, which dealt with Lane Dean, Jr. A picture of the infant on his desk comforts Dean when he considers suicide. Another scene, in which an I.

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    My own plan for the coming fourteen months is to knock on doors and stuff envelopes. Maybe even to wear a button. To try to accrete with others into a demographically significant mass. To try extra hard to exercise patience, politeness, and imagination on those with whom I disagree. Also to floss more. Wallace and Green discussed his quitting writing. The Federer piece had brought him joy. Wallace tried to keep things in perspective. I sit in the garage with the AC blasting and work very poorly and haltingly and with some days great reluctance and ambivalence and pain.

    I am tired of myself, it seems: tired of my thoughts, associations, syntax, various verbal habits that have gone from discovery to technique to tic. Maybe the answer is simply that to do what I want to do would take more effort than I am willing to put in. In his final major interview, given to Le Nouvel Observateur in August, , he talked about various writers he admired—St. There were plenty of equally finished pages—among them the story of the levitating Drinion—which, for whatever reason, he did not include.

    heartbreak hell searching for sanity in boston through a week of tragedy and terror Manual

    There were other important reasons to get off Nardil. The drug could create problems with his blood pressure, an increasing worry as he moved into middle age.

    Wallace saw an opportunity. He told Green that he wanted to try a different antidepressant. She knew that the decision was hard for him. Soon after, he stopped the drug. At first, he felt that the process was going well. Given his psychiatric history, Green was worried.

    When he came out, doctors prescribed other antidepressants. But, according to Green, he was now too panicked to give them time to work. He took over the job of keeping himself sane, second-guessing doctors and their prescriptions. If he tried a new drug, he would read that a possible side effect was anxiety, and that alone would make him too anxious to stay on the drug. He was in a hall of mirrors of fear. He continued to write in a notebook, but he rarely returned to his massive manuscript. Not every day was bad.

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    He taught. He e-mailed friends. He and Green tried to maintain their lives. During the spring of , a new combination of antidepressants seemed to stabilize him. When GQ asked him to write an essay on Obama and rhetoric, he felt almost well enough to do it. The magazine reserved a hotel room for him in Denver. But he cancelled. Pietsch was amazed at how thin Wallace was. About ten days after the dinner, Wallace checked in to a motel about ten miles from his home and took an overdose of pills.

    When he woke up, he called Green, who had been searching for him all night. When she met him at the hospital, he told her that he was glad to be alive. He switched doctors and agreed to try electroconvulsive therapy again. He was terrified at the prospect—in Urbana, it had temporarily taken away his short-term memory—but he underwent twelve sessions. They did not help.

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    Caring for Wallace was exhausting. For one nine-day period, Green never left their house. In August, her son suffered an athletic injury, and she wanted to be with him. They went with him to an appointment with his psychiatrist; when the doctor suggested a new drug combination, Wallace rolled his eyes. Eventually, Wallace asked to go back on Nardil. But Nardil can take weeks to stabilize a patient, and Green says that he was too agitated to give it time to work.

    Still, in early September, Nadell spoke with him and thought that he sounded a bit better. Green believes that she knows when Wallace decided to try again to kill himself. Monday and Tuesday were not so good. He started lying to me that Wednesday. In the early evening on Friday, September 12th, Green went to prepare for an opening at her gallery, Beautiful Crap, in the center of Claremont, about ten minutes from their home. After she left, Wallace went into the garage and turned on the lights.

    He wrote her a two-page note. Then he crossed through the house to the patio, where he climbed onto a chair and hanged himself. Green returned home at nine-thirty, and found her husband. In the garage, bathed in light from his many lamps, sat a pile of nearly two hundred pages. He had made some changes in the months since he considered sending them to Little, Brown.


    In his final hours, he had tidied up the manuscript so that his wife could find it. Below it, around it, inside his two computers, on old floppy disks in his drawers were hundreds of other pages—drafts, character sketches, notes to himself, fragments that had evaded his attempt to integrate them into the novel. This was not an ending anyone would have wanted for him, but it was the ending he chose. Recommended Stories. Sign in.