I laugh out loud at that notion, expressed by Michiko Kakutani, reviewing the new collection "Both Flesh and Not."
Meade asks me what's so funny, I explain, and he cites "too many notes":
"Just cut a few, and it'll be perfect!"
Back to "Both Flesh and Not" — which I just downloaded into my Kindle app. The title seems to grind into our heads that Wallace is not flesh anymore, having hung himself. Anticipating the first or second comment to this post will point that out, I'm pointing it out along with all the references to suicide that appear in the book. There are 4:
1. "What if we chose to accept the fact that every few years, despite everyone’s best efforts, some hundreds or thousands of us may die in the sort of terrible suicidal attack that a democratic republic cannot 100 percent protect itself from without subverting the very principles that make it worth protecting? Is this thought experiment monstrous?"
2. "It’s not just that there are [in 'Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture: A Novel of Mathematical Obsession'] long and irrelevant footnotes on, e.g., Gödel’s method of suicide, Poincaré’s theory of the unconscious, or the novel properties of the number 1,729.25." [Gödel’s method was refusing all food for a month, under the delusion his doctors were trying to poison him, which doesn't really sound like suicide, unless you believe "suicide" does not mean self-murder. ]
3 & 4. "... [Edwin] Williamson sometimes presents Borges’s stories and poems as 'evidence' that he was in emotional extremities. Williamson’s claim, for instance, that in 1934, 'after his definitive rejection by Norah Lange, Borges… came to the brink of killing himself' is based entirely on two tiny pieces of contemporaneous fiction in which the protagonists struggle with suicide. Not only is this a bizarre way to read and reason — was the Flaubert who wrote Madame Bovary eo ipso suicidal?— but Williamson seems to believe that it licenses him to make all sorts of dubious, humiliating claims about Borges’s interior life: '"The Cyclical Night," which he published in La Nación on October 6, reveals him to be in the throes of an acute personal crisis'; 'In the extracts from this unfinished poem… we can see that the reason for wishing to commit suicide was literary failure, stemming ultimately from sexual self-doubt.' Bluck."
ADDDED; I only searched for "suicide," and, reading the book, I encounter "suicidally" -- a self-regarding "suicidally" -- and the premise of my 4-point list, above, is radically undermined.