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David Foster Wallace Quotes
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David Foster Wallace Quote: “God, what a ghastly enterprise to be in, though-and what an odd way to achieve success. I’m an exhibitionist who wants to hide, but is unsuccessful at hiding; therefore, somehow I succeed.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Soy un turista americano, y por tanto ‘ex officio’ corpulento, rollizo, rubicundo, escandaloso, tosco, condescendiente, ensimismado, malcriado, preocupado por su aspecto, avergonzado, desesperante y codicioso.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute center of the universe, the realest, most vivid and important person in existence. We rarely talk about this sort of natural, basic self-centeredness, because it’s so socially repulsive, but it’s pretty much the same for all of us deep down. It’s our default setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth. Think about it: There is no experience you’ve had that you were not at the absolute center of.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Worship your intellect, being seing as smart – you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge og being found out. And so on.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I am seated in an office, surrounded by heads and bodies.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “This appetite to choose death by pleasure if it is available to choose – this appetite of your people unable to choose appetites, this is the death.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “All I’m saying is that it’s shortsighted to blame TV. It’s simply another symptom. TV didn’t invent our aesthetic childishness here any more than the Manhattan Project invented aggression.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Certain sincerely devout and spiritually advanced people believe that the God of their understanding helps them find parking places and gives them advice on Mass. Lottery numbers.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “You can be at certain parties and not really be there.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It is also lonely on a level that cannot be conveyed... If a person in physical pain has a hard time attending to anything except that pain, a clinically depressed person cannot even perceive any other person or thing as independent of the universal pain that is digesting her cell by cell.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Francophones are never impressed that anyone else can speak French.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Here is how to handle being a feral prodigy.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “What fire dies when you feed it?”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “This might be one way to start talking about differences between the early postmodern writers of the fifties and sixties and their contemporary descendants.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The library, and step on it!”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “These worst mornings with cold floors and hot windows and merciless light – the soul’s certainty that the day will have to be not traversed but sort of climbed, vertically, and then that going to sleep again at the end of it will be like falling, again, off something tall and sheet.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Now a second-order vain person is a vain person who’s also vain about appearing to have an utter lack of vanity. Who’s enormously afraid that other people will perceive him as vain. A second-order vain person will sit up late learning jokes in order to appear funny and charming, but will deny that he sits up late learning jokes. Or he’ll perhaps even try to give the impression that he doesn’t regard himself as funny at all.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “None of this stuff is really about morality or religion or dogma or big fancy questions of life after death. The capital-T Truth is about life before death.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The capital-T Truth is about life before death. It is about making it to 30, or maybe 50, without wanting to shoot yourself in the head.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “That concentrating intently on anything is very hard work.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Attachments are of great seriousness. Choose your attachments carefully. Choose your temple of fanaticism with great care. What you wish to sing of as tragic love is an attachment not carefully chosen. Die for one person? This is a craziness. Persons change, leave, die, become ill. They leave, lie, go mad, have sickness, betray you, die. Your nation outlives you. A cause outlives you.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The examiners call their children their little Line 40s. That’s of course where you enter your CCDC from Form 2441 on the 1040. Some of the children were playing Collections. Near the horseshoe courts. Some of the older children. Liens on the toys, a jeopardy assessment and seizure of some of the smaller childrens’ plates; there was some of the usual crying.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The reader becomes God, for all textual purposes. I see your eyes glazing over, so I’ll hush.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “That what appears to be egoism so often isn’t.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Tell them there are no holes for your fingers in the masks of men. Tell them how could you ever even hope to love what you can’t grab onto.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It may well be that we, spectators, who are not divinely gifted as athletes, are the only ones able truly to see, articulate, and animate the experience of the gift we are denied. And that those who receive and act out the gift of athletic genius must, perforce, be blind and dumb about it – and not because blindness and dumbness are the price of the gift, but because they are its essence.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The music’s still going, going absolutely nowhere, like Philip Glass on Quaaludes.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I’ve already just completely opened up about my shame and my inability to be open and straightforward about this. You’re exposing something I’ve already held up to view. It’s your shame about being ashamed of what you’re afraid might be seen as a lack of brightness that’s getting to stay buried under this dead horse of my deformity that you’re trying to whip.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The way I think about things and experience things is not particularly linear, and it’s not orderly, and it’s not pyramidical, and there are a lot of loops.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Dieting makes me want to murder everyone around me.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Irony tyrannizes us. All US irony is based on an implicit ‘I don’t really mean what I’m saying.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I tend to think of fiction as being mainly about characters and human beings and inner experience, whereas essays can be much more expository and didactic and more about subjects or ideas.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “His eyes were holes in the world.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Breasts are uniformly zeppelinesque and in various perilous stages of semiconfinement.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “No one can call themselves a writer until he or she has written at least fifty stories.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “If you can think of times in your life that you’ve treated people with extraordinary decency and love, and pure uninterested concern, just because they were valuable as human beings. The ability to do that with ourselves. To treat ourselves the way we would treat a really good, precious friend. Or a tiny child of ours that we absolutely loved more than life itself. And I think it’s probably possible to achieve that. I think part of the job we’re here for is to learn how to do it.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “These kids should be out drinking beer and seeing films and having panty raids and losing virginities and writhing to suggestive music, not making up long, sad, convoluted stories.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Good literature makes your head throb heartlike.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The real secret behind top athletes’ genius, then, may be as esoteric and obvious and dull and profound as silence itself. 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 a hostile crowdnoise and lines up the free-throw that will decide the game might well be: nothing at all.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It takes a big man to laugh at himself, but it takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “If some people read my fiction and see it as fundamentally about philosophical ideas, what it probably means is that these are pieces where the characters are not as alive and interesting as I meant them to be.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Sounds kind of ad hoc and jerry-rigged and haphazard.’ ‘Everybody’s a critic. This wasn’t an aesthetic endeavor.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I think, today’s irony ends up saying: “How totally banal of you to ask what I really mean.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “There is about world-class athletes carving out exemptions from physical laws a transcendent beauty that makes manifest God in man.”
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: “This is what happens: you imagine the things I will say and then say them for me and then become angry with them. Without my mouth; it never opens. You speak to yourself, inventing sides. This itself is the habit of children: lazy, lonely, self.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Imagine the day after the Berlin Wall came down if everybody in East Germany was plump and comfortable-looking and dressed in Caribbean pastels, and you’ll have a pretty good idea what the Fort Lauderdale Airport terminal looks like today.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “One of his troubles with his Moms is the fact that Avril Incandenza believes she knows him inside and out as a human being, and an internally worthy one at that, when in fact inside Hal there’s pretty much nothing at all, he knows. His Moms Avril hears her own echoes inside him and thinks what she hears is him, and this makes Hal feel the one thing he feels to the limit, lately: he is lonely. It’s.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “You’d be doing us both a favor.’ ‘This drives me bats. You know this drives me bats.’ Orin and Hal’s term for this routine is Politeness Roulette. This Moms-thing that makes you hate yourself for telling her the truth about any kind of problem because of what the consequences will be for her. It’s like to report any sort of need or problem is to mug her.”
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