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David Foster Wallace Quotes
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David Foster Wallace Quote: “Dostoevski informs everybody; or he ought to.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “He was trying to pay close attention to his surroundings as a way to avert thought and anxiety.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Every two or three generations the world gets vastly different, and the context in which you have to learn how to be a human being, or to have good relationships, or decide whether or not there is a God, or decide whether there’s such a thing as love, and whether it’s redemptive, become vastly different. And the structures with which you can communicate those dilemmas, or have characters struggle with them, seem to become appropriate and then inappropriate again and so on.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Lucien finally dies, rather a while after he’s quit shuddering like a clubbed muskie and seemed to them to die, as he finally sheds his body’s suit, Lucien finds his gut and throat again and newly whole, clean and unimpeded, and is free, catapulted over fans and the Convexity’s glass palisades at desperate speeds, soaring north, sounding a bell-clear and nearly maternal alarmed call-to-arms in all the world’s well-known tongues.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Your personal will is the web your disease sits and spins in. The will you call your own ceased to be yours as of who knows how many Substance-drenched years ago.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The wraith responds vehemently that... No! No! Any conversation or interchange is better than none at all, to trust him on this, that the worst kind of gut-wrenching intergenerational interface is better than withdrawal or hiddenness on either side.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “That everybody’s sneeze sounds different.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Disappear inside the game: break through limits: transcend: improve: win.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The German logician Kant was right in this respect, human beings are all pretty much identical in terms of our hardwiring. Although we are seldom conscious of it, we are all basically just instruments or expressions of our evolkutiuonary drives, which are themselves the expressions of forces that are infinitely larger and more important than we are.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Himself had apparently thought the stilted, wooden quality of nonprofessionals helped to strip away the pernicious illusion of realism and to remind the audience that they were in reality watching actors acting and not people behaving.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Basically what you’re doing when you’re writing fiction is telling a lie, he tells those of us in the seminar; and the psychology of reading dictates that we’re willing to buy only what coheres, on some gut level, with what we already believe.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Some days you can almost see Hal like flit in and out of a match, like some part of him leaves and hovers and then comes back.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “No, what they want is to experience a passion so huge, overwhelming, powerful and irresistible that it obliterates any guilt or tension or culpability they might feel about betraying their perceived responsibilities.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Naive people are, more or less by definition, unaware that they’re naive.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It was impossible. It was like something out of The Matrix. I don’t know what-all sounds were involved, but my spouse says she hurried in and there was popcorn all over the couch and I was down on one knee and my eyeballs looked like novelty-shop eyeballs.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “That distinctive singular stamp of himself is one of the main reasons readers come to love an author. The way you can just tell, often within a couple paragraphs, that something is by Dickens, or Chekhov, or Woolf, or Salinger, or Coetzee, or Ozick. The quality’s almost impossible to describe or account for straight out – it mostly presents as a vibe, a kind of perfume of sensibility – and critics’ attempts to reduce it to questions of “style” are almost universally lame.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “If you close your eyes on a busy urban sidewalk the sound of everybody’s different footwear’s footsteps all put together sounds like something getting chewed by something huge and tireless and patient.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I had to face: I had chosen. My choice, this was love. I had chosen I think the way out of the chains of the cage. I needed this woman. Without her to choose over myself, there was only pain and not choosing, rolling drunkenly and making fantasies of death.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “His parents’ pregnancies must have been all-out chromosomatic war.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It’s the digitals. Leith has that word he uses for the shift from analogs to digitals. That word he uses about eleven times an hour.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The happy pleasure of the person alone, yes?”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It seems important to find ways of reminding ourselves that most “familiarity” is meditated and delusive.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Americans seemed no longer united so much by common beliefs as by common images: what binds us became what we stand witness to.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Babies are famous to themselves.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It’s always the same sort of grim windy Northeast November day where if you were at home you’d be eating earth-tone soups in a warm kitchen, listening to the wind and glad of home and hearth.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Cornell University Press announced plans for a festschrift.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “John Ziegler is not a journalist-he is an entertainer. Or maybe it’s better to say that he is part of a peculiar, modern, and very popular type of news industry, one that manages to enjoy authority and influence of journalism without the stodgy constraints of fairness, objectivity, and responsibility that make trying to tell the truth such a drag for everyone involved. It is a frightening industry, though not for any of the simple reasons most critics give.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Help,” the working Account Representative called, feeling the stir of a tinily remembered humid wind and pausing, again, to look behind him, past the Brougham’s black hood and the carelessly dropped safety helmet beside the white cycle, at the Ramp that spiraled up and out of sight toward a street, empty and bright, before the Building, empty and bright, dispossessed, autonomous and autonomic. Bent to what two lives required, below everything, he called for help again and again.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “No horror on earth or elsewhere could equal watching your own offspring open his mouth and have nothing come out.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “You are the sort of auditor for whom the rhetoricians designed the exordium.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Hal wills himself to stay objective and not form any judgments before he has serious data, hoping desperately for some sort of hopeful feeling to emerge.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Few artists dare to try to talk about ways of working toward redeeming what’s wrong, because they’ll look sentimental and naive to all the weary ironists.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “She wanted only tall smooth bottles whose labels spoke of Proof.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “That females are capable of being just as vulgar about sexual and eliminatory functions as males.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The real, many-veiled answer to the question of just what goes through a great player’s mind as he stands at the center of hostile crowd-noise and lines up the free-throw that will decide the game might well be: nothing at all.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “If an art form is marginalized it’s because it’s not speaking to people.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I felt despair. The word’s overused and banalified now, despair, but it’s a serious word, and I’m using it seriously. For me it denotes a simple admixture – a weird yearning for death combined with a crushing sense of my own smallness and futility that presents as a fear of death. It’s maybe close to what people call dread or angst. But it’s not these things, quite. It’s more like wanting to die in order to escape the unbearable feeling of becoming aware that I’m small and weak and selfish and going without any doubt at all to die. It’s wanting to jump overboard.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Let’s not sit around and give each other hand-jobs.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The thing is that there are obviously different ways to think about these kinds of situations.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The weird thing is that I cared about him at the same time I found him gross. He grossed me out... And that I was so deep in my problem that I couldn’t accept real, genuine, nonsexual or nonromantic or non-prettiness-type interest in me even if it was offered to me.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It may well be that we spectators, who are not divinely giftes as athletes, are the only ones truly able to see, articulate and animate the experience of the gift we are denied.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Everybody who really wants to knows what’s true. Most people just don’t want to. It means listening from deep inside. Most people just don’t want to. But the special people listen. You can hear what’s true, inside. Listen.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Sometimes what’s important is dull.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The top seed this weekend is Richard Krajicek,12 a 6′5″ Dutchman who wears a tiny white billed hat in the sun and rushes the net like it owes him money and in general plays like a rabid crane.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “PS: Allston rules!”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The amount of organization and toiletry-lugging he has to do to get secretly high in front of a subterranean outtake vent in the pre-supper gap would make a lesser man quail.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “So while a thing in a finite time cannot come in contact with things quantitatively infinite, it can come in contact with things infinite in respect of divisibility: for in this sense the time itself is also infinite.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “But what G. Cantor posits as the defining formal property of an infinite set is that such a set can be put in a 1-1C with at least one of its proper subsets. Which is to say that an infinite set can have the same cardinal number as its proper subset, as in Galileo’s infinite set of all positive integers and that set’s proper subset of all perfect squares, which latter is itself an infinite set.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Good old traditional audio-only phone conversations allowed you to presume that the person on the other end was paying complete attention to you while also permitting you not to have to pay anything even close to complete attention to her.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Rhythms are relations between what you believe and what you believed before.”
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