Good Old Neon

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Back to David Foster Wallace or Oblivion: Stories.


Think for a second – what if all the infinitely dense and shifting worlds of stuff inside you every moment of your life turned out now to be somehow fully open and expressible afterward, after what you think of as you has died, because what if afterward now each moment itself is an infinite sea or span or passage of time in which to express it or convey it, and you don’t even need any organized English, you can as they say open the door and be in anyone else’s room in all your own multiform forms and ideas and facets?


  • Neal, narrator
  • David Wallace, Class of '81
  • Dr. Gustafson, therapist
  • Fern, sister



Good Old Neon is written in the first person, narrated by a Neal who has recently committed suicide. The story revolves around Neal explaining the events which have lead to his suicide as well as his thoughts after the event has occurred. In an unusual device, David Foster Wallace inserts a character presumably based on himself at the end of the story to share his thoughts on the aftermath of Neal's suicide.