What does Veeky Forums consider to be some of the biggest tragedies in literary...

Stupidasole
Stupidasole

What does Veeky Forums consider to be some of the biggest tragedies in literary history? Authors that died, or squandered their potential, or some other thing that kept great or potentially great works of literature from becoming available to the public.
I’m only about 80 pages into pic related and I’m already ready to declare Richard Fariña’s death as one of the greatest tragedies in 20th century American literature. Take a look at the opening lines of pic related and tell me if I’m delusional for thinking there’s something special about him:
To Athene then.
Young Gnossos Pappadopoulis, furry Pooh Bear, keeper of the flame, voyaged back from the asphalt seas of the great wasted land: oh highways U.S. 40 and unyielding 66, I am home to the glacier-gnawed gorges, the fingers of the lakes, the golden girls of Westchester and Shaker Heights. See me loud with lies, big boots stomping, mind awash with schemes.
On the one hand this may be a young author (Fariña began the novel when he was only 21 and finished it at the age of 26) just trying to imitate great writers and dazzle his reader with prose; but something about it just seems “epic” to me, almost like if Melville were to write about a road trip.
In fact, Fariña so far has reminded me of several different authors. He seems like the fifth member of the Beat generation, but way more talented than Kerouac. The protagonist has all the recklessness the characters in On the Road, and feels a very similar kind of disillusionment as them, except Fariña isn’t an uninspired and lazy writer like Kerouac. There’s so much unrestrained energy and youth in the book, like a motorcyclist going 90 in 30 mile per hour speed zone, which, by the way, is how Fariña died according to Thomas Pynchon.
Speaking of whom, there are some episodes in this book which are very Pynchon-esque. There’s an episode where the protagonist is in a hostile fraternity house that he then must escape from that is almost like an embryonic form of any one of the Slothrop escape scenes in part 3 of GR. (Pynchon, incidentally, described Fariña's novel as "coming on like the Hallelujah Chorus done by 200 kazoo players with perfect pitch... hilarious, chilling, sexy, profound, maniacal, beautiful, and outrageous all at the same time.”)
Anyways, Fariña writes with a kind of excitement that I don’t come across very often, and it’s too bad that he died so young.

Nude_Bikergirl
Nude_Bikergirl

@Stupidasole
Tolstoy and Dostoevsky not being immortal, dissolution of the USSR

Booteefool
Booteefool

Oh goddammit. I meant to put "Authors who died before reaching their power level" in the subject line. Can you guys just pretend it's there?

Flameblow
Flameblow

@Nude_Bikergirl
Tell us what you really think

GoogleCat
GoogleCat

@Booteefool
Rene Radiguet

whereismyname
whereismyname

@GoogleCat
*Raymond Radiguet

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

@Stupidasole
Yeah, I’d agree with this.
Been Down So Long is legitimately great.

Bidwell
Bidwell

@Stupidasole
I read Fariña's novel two years ago. I remember liking it, and I though some parts were hilarious. Still, I thought he was a diluted Pynchon of sorts, but perhaps I was too hasty in my appraisal of his work. Pynchon and Fariña were similar, but Pynchon is certainly the more cerebral writer, while Fariña was more "down to earth". In fact, he was so down it looked like up to him.

What does Veeky Forums consider to be some of the biggest tragedies in literary history?

That the Epic of Gilgamesh will probably remain incomplete.

kizzmybutt
kizzmybutt

@Stupidasole
mervyn peake getting Parkinson's

hairygrape
hairygrape

@whereismyname
Hm, never heard of him. Do you think his work would be good in translation?
@Stark_Naked
@Stark_Naked
Definitely so far. One other work that Been Down So Long reminds me of is Invisible Man, especially the prologue and first chapter of that book. The protagonist of Invisible Man in the prologue almost seems like a Pappadopoulis whose grown old, tired, and lost the fire in his belly. Please don't ask me to support that statement

Emberburn
Emberburn

@Stupidasole
dfw dfwing himself

FastChef
FastChef

@Bidwell
Pynchon and Fariña were similar, but Pynchon is certainly the more cerebral writer, while Fariña was more "down to earth".
I completely agree, Satan. Seems like Fariña is more interested in "human condition" type stuff than Pynchon, or at least more relatively basic aspects of the human condition. I wonder what an older and more mature down-to-Earth Pynchon would've written about.
Also agree with the part about Fariña being more diluted than Pynchon, but, to be fair, Pynchon's work is so saturated it's hard to imagine anyone not being diluted by comparison.

Illusionz
Illusionz

@Emberburn
I kinda wonder if maybe he'd already peaked by the time he got too tfw not sincere enough and kate gomperted himself.

Flameblow
Flameblow

@Illusionz
Maybe but the guy was clearly a head case. In most other times in history he would have been committed. He peaked though you’re right. Or not. Who knows maybe he fucked up in killing himself.

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

@Stupidasole
Cardenio being lost comes to mind.
To see what Shakespeare would have thought of Cervantes we'll never know.

StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

@Flameblow
What a retarded post.

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

Two that come to mind from their terrible irony are what happened to Terry Pratchett and Terry Jones of Monty Python,both from strange versions of Alzheimer's disease. Terry Pratchett, a writer, lost the ability to read. And Terry Jones,a writer and comedian, is losing the ability to communicate entirely.

Like Mr. Rogers succumbing to stomach cancer,a wickedly painful way to go,happening to one of the most kind helpful and harmless guys on earth. Cruel poetry.

Skullbone
Skullbone

George Prwell dying in 1950 at the peak of his powers just before he could get the penicillin that would have saved him.

RumChicken
RumChicken

@Stupidasole
Roberto Bolaño not getting his liver donation in time.
Fuck man... Imagine what would he write about at the age of 80

StonedTime
StonedTime

@Stupidasole
Richard Farina and Thomas Pynchon are the same person. One is an invention of the other, but such time has passed no one remembers who was the original.

cum2soon
cum2soon

@Stupidasole
Probably that Joyce stopped giving a shit after he realized no one understood what he was trying to do so he basically gave everyone the middle finger that is FW and died.

Also probably that Wallace never had an editor with the balls to tell him no.

Also probably that Pynchon didn't realize until it was too late that he would regret being so Pynchonian and wish he'd have done it all different.

Also probably if Fitzgerald had never met Zelda Yoko Ono, what he might have written.

Also probably if Twain never got fame, or at least not as much as he did, how much better he could have been.

lostmypassword
lostmypassword

@StonedTime
bugs... easy on the Pynchon-esque conspiracies

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

@Poker_Star
I mean, alzheimer's is sad but they're 66 and 75.

Techpill
Techpill

@Stupidasole
Straight white men dominating the canon is unironically one the biggest tragedies of the western civilization.

Firespawn
Firespawn

@Techpill
How so? What difference does it make if Hemingway or some fat tranny with blue hair wrote For Whom The Bell Tolls?

TechHater
TechHater

@Stupidasole
John Garnder's death

JunkTop
JunkTop

Christopher Marlowe, without question.

This is the man who basically invented blank verse as a poetic form, and single-handedly sculpted Shakespeare into what he became. I'm too lazy to re-find the page I recently read containing a whole slew of quotes written about him, but will mention that the man was basically considered to be the only person who could have rivaled Shakespeare as a poet during their day, and it should be noted that Marlowe was the same age as him too, exactly two months younger according to their dates of baptism.

For those who don't know, he was stabbed to death at the mere age of 29, for reasons still not fully known, though there is much speculation about him being a spy. Either way, this is the man who made Shakespeare into what he is, with Shakespeare's earliest work apparently referencing or outright borrowing many of Marlowe's lines, and whose death Shakespeare is theorized to have been deeply and profoundly affected by. Though Shakespeare may have shown us perfection in blank verse through his own hand, it will never not be a loss to literature that we did not get to see what realms it could have been taken to by the man who birthed the form itself. For me, Marlowe's "Was this the face..." line is an example of perfection of the form, a line as good as Shakespeare's greatest, and to think how young he would have been at the time of its writing, and how much better he could have become if life had not been so cruel to him, is a train best left untaken.

Let us simply say that had fortune not been so unfair, our stage today may have had two Shakespeares.

CodeBuns
CodeBuns

@Techpill
Now's their chance. 10,000 years of pent up repression should provide for great cathartic art, and what do we get
#MeToo
Progressive art was a mistake.

StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

@cum2soon
But people loved Ulysses. FW was just the inevitable next step and that's when people stopped understanding.

whereismyname
whereismyname

The incredible talent that was Keats dying at 25 at having his juvenilia be canonized
He wrote some of the greatest English at 22... usually that's the embarassing stuff that comes out posthumously

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

@StrangeWizard
FW wasn't the inevitable next step to anything ever.

Need_TLC
Need_TLC

@JunkTop
Let us simply say that had fortune not been so unfair, our stage today may have had two Shakespeares.
lol, no. Marlow was formally perfect and gave Shakes his base but lacked the character genius Shakespeare had. It's highly unlikely he would have discovered it or had done it as good copying Shakes.

Harmless_Venom
Harmless_Venom

@Dreamworx
FW was taking the daylight jargon of Ulysses and maximizing it in the night world - where Ulysses ended. It's a real shame to see it put down as a mere joke (and it was but only on a level) without any effort ever on the reader.

MPmaster
MPmaster

@JunkTop
This is the man who basically invented blank verse as a poetic form

what is Chaucer

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

The real and only tragedy is that greek thought survived

w8t4u
w8t4u

@Stupidasole
Epicurus' entire oeuvre being lost

Emberfire
Emberfire

@Need_TLC
Bloom leveled the same criticisms against him, and yet he's been defended by others as having only shown us the early stage of his craft, justifying him producing caricatures more so than characters. All artists, regardless of genius, follow an ability curve, and just as Shakespeare's early work is greatly outmatched by those of his later career, it is certain Marlowe's characters would have at least come closer to those of Shakespeare had he been given more time to live, though I will agree Shakespeare's grasp of personality was singular and unmatchable by any. It is also possible, then, that Marlowe had within him the talent to create plays strong in areas other than character, for which the strength in those areas would make them comparable to Shake's. The point is that in Marlowe, we witnessed a flower of such potential and influence, tragically pulled from its root before reaching full blossom, and were only given a hint of what fragrance it may have eventually grown to produce.

RavySnake
RavySnake

maybe one of the greatest tragedies was the destruction of the vast majority of maya codices

DeathDog
DeathDog

This sperg never going to the doctor's. I he had gotten that cancer early, he might have become one of the greats.
@w8t4u
@JunkTop
@TechHater
@cum2soon
@kizzmybutt
@Bidwell
Also these

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

@JunkTop
@Emberfire
I don't know, man. I think you overrate Marlowe. I'm more fascinated that Shakespeare and Cervantes were working at the same time and died on the same day.

Supergrass
Supergrass

@Emberfire
Marlowe had within him the talent... comparable to Shake's
I disagree here, character is the most important thing in mimesis, it's really the whole point. As for ability curb it's too ambiguous. Marlowe in his early career was better than Shakespeare's early career (imo), and on the subject of Bloom I think I recall him saying something like Marlowe was already at his height, the formal perfection of his plays could only be surpassed by some innovation or new genius. We'll never really know but I think it's unlikely Marlowe would have developed a matching level in the area Shakes was best at.

Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

No one posted the Library of Alexandria.

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

@Stupidasole
I can't get over the fact that Gogol didn't finish Dead Souls, and he even burned away many chapters of Volume two.
What could have been

Burnblaze
Burnblaze

@Stupidasole
One word,

Pancake

Emberburn
Emberburn

Pound trying to suppress her. Just one more Epic-length poem by her would make me unbelievably happy.

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

Hart Crane's suicide.

CodeBuns
CodeBuns

John Kennedy Toole is a real bummer. Most people here are familiar with Confederacy of Dunces, and it's great, but Neon Bible was also a great book, very sincere and straightforward and he wrote it at 16, I believe.
The whole mess of his mother trying to publish either of his books and his family being petty money grubbing fucks is also insanely depressing.

Nojokur
Nojokur

@Techpill
Straight white men dominating the canon is unironically one the biggest tragedies of the western civilization.
No it isn't. I really hope Kim drops that nuke on you.

Lord_Tryzalot
Lord_Tryzalot

@Techpill
western civilization.
At it's peak it was ran by straight white men. You can see the affects of the recent cultural revolution now, the constant shouting of gibsmedat. Your attitude is the reason we are on the decline.
Pic related its (you)

BinaryMan
BinaryMan

Bruno Schulz was working on a massive epic, a work he considered to be his magnum opus, called 'The Messiah'; he was shot by a Nazi officer during WWII whilst walking home with a loaf of bread and it was lost forever. The overt symbolism of that death in context is so crushingly depressing and bittersweet it almost causes one to laugh.

Illusionz
Illusionz

Bolaño and Sebald dying when they were about to hit their peaks

viagrandad
viagrandad

@Stupidasole
Albert Camus dying so early... Imagine his books on cultural revolution and what not.
Foucault finishing his inquiries on sexuality with another 7 books... and defining the concept of resistance in his oeuvre
Lovecraft dying at 46 at his peak, when he started writing long fiction
Cortázar dying of Aids caused by a blood transfusion...
Pessoa dying before organizing his vault with thousands of pages
Poe dying drunk in a street wearing clothes of another person and amnesiac

I'll remember more later

lostmypassword
lostmypassword

@Stupidasole
Vsevolod Garshin was an underrated Russian short story writer, operating in the shadow of Tolstoy (he was quite young) but a very worthwhile and perhaps moving towards greatness: which you can see in stories like The Red Flower, Artists etc. He killed himself (possibly purposefully, possibly as a result of a fever) by throwing himself down a staircase - weirdly enough he is more well known for Ilya Repin's painting of him than any of his actual work.

Also in Russia you have both Pushkin and Lermontov dying in duels while still quite young.

Philip Sidney is another unfortunate death: i truly believe that had he been more savvy in his dealings at Elizabeth's court and consequently not been killed fighting in Europe his stature wold have increased immensely. He's already important (though largely ignored in modernity) for his Old Arcadia and Astrophil and Stella (as well as his extreme formalistic experimentation in his translation of the Psalms) - if he had lived longer he would have achieved the stature of a Spenser or Donne (if not that of Milton) for sure

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

@Crazy_Nice
This and Kafka's death

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

@RavySnake
This

Need_TLC
Need_TLC

Marx’s hemorrhoids making work too painful for him to finish the final part of Capital
it was going to be about the state
history would be different without Marx’s hemorrhoids

happy_sad
happy_sad

@Stupidasole
My diary desu

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