Top 100

Top 500 David Foster Wallace Quotes (2023 Update)
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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: “Drug addicts driven to crime to finance their drug addiction are not often inclined toward violent crime.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I wonder if anyone feels as though they’re the same person they seem to remember. It would make them have a nervous breakdown. It probably wouldn’t even make sense. I don’t know if this is enough. I don’t know what anybody else has told you.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “So which is the lie? Hard or soft? Silence or time?”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “That what appears to be egoism so often isn’t.”
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: “In a nation whose great informing myth is that it has no great informing myth, familiarity equaled timelessness.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “This terror of silence with nothing diverting to do. I can’t think anyone really believes that today’s so-called ‘information society’ is just about information. Everyone knows it’s about something else, way down.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “He imagined that the clock’s second hand possessed awareness and knew that it was a second hand and that its job was to around and around inside a circle of numbers forever at the same slow unvarying machinelike rate...”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It is unimaginably hard to do this – to live consciously, adultly, day in and day out.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “He was around where the tree-line bulged herniatically out toward the end of the West Courts’ fencing.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “And yet this nauseated feeling has come and gone for you in the past, it’s passed eventually during prior depressions, Katherine, has it not?’ ‘But when you’re in the feeling you forget. The feeling feels like it’s always been there and will always be there, and you forget. It’s like this whole filter drops down over the whole way you think about everything, a couple weeks after –.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “He’d cure himself by excess.”
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: “The next year had seen them drop into the crazy-obsessive love spiral in which they’d break up and then not be able to stay away from each other, until one time she was able to stay away, and that was all she wrote.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The other half is to dramatize the fact that we still “are” human beings, now. Or can be.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “We will, of course, without hesitation use art to parody, ridicule, debunk, or criticize ideologies.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I knew my limitations and the limitations of the courts I played on, and adjusted thusly. I was at my best in bad conditions.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It can become an exercise in trying to get the reader to like and admire you instead of an exercise in creative art.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “He didn’t reject the idea so much as not react to it and watch as it floated away. He thought very broadly of desires and ideas being watched but not acted upon, he thought of impulses being starved of expression and dying out and floating dryly away.”
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: “There are, apparently, persons who are deeply afraid of their own emotions, particularly the painful ones. Grief, regret, sadness. Sadness especially, perhaps. Dolores describes these persons as afraid of obliteration, emotional engulfment. As if something truly and thoroughly felt would have no end or bottom. Would become infinite and engulf them.’ ‘Engulf means obliterate.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Gentlemen- by which I mean, of course, latter adolescents who aspire to manhood gentlemen, here is a truth: Enduring tedium over real time in a confined space is what real courage is. Such endurance is, as it happens, the distillate of what is, today, in this world neither you nor I have made, heroism. Heroism.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Do exactly as you please–if you still trust what seems to please you.”
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: “He said she went around with her feelings out in front of her with an arm around the feelings’ windpipe and a Glock 9mm. to the feelings’ temple like a terrorist with a hostage, daring you to shoot.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I felt, as I became a later and later bloomer, alienated not just from my own recalcitrant glabrous little body but in a way from the whole elemental exterior I’d come to see as my co-conspirator.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “My fingers are mated into a mirrored series of what manifests, to me, as the letter X.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Unless he actually had a lit gasper going, Calvin Thrust always has this way of being only technically wherever he was. There was always this air of imminent departure about him, like a man whose beeper was about to sound. It’s like a lit gasper was psychic ballast for him or something. Everything he said to Gately seemed like it was going to be the last thing he said right before he looked at his watch and slapped his forehead and left.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Believe what you want. I’m powerless over what you believe.”
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: “I was always either so unreasonably and pointlessly happy that no one place could seem to contain me, or so melancholy, so sick and silly with sadness that there was no place I could stomach the thought of entering. I hated it here. And I have never been as happy as when I was here. And these two things together confront me with the beak and claws of the True.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I think at seventeen now I believe the only real monsters might be the type of liar where there’s simply no way to tell. The ones who give nothing away.’ ‘But then how do you know they’re monsters, then?’ ‘That’s the monstrosity right there, Boo, I’m starting to think.’ ‘Golly Ned.’ ‘That they walk among us. Teach our children. Inscrutable. Brass-faced.”
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: “Like the doctrine of determinism, its better-known metaphysical cousin, fatalism holds that it is not in our power to do anything other than what we actually end up doing.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The father of Ruth van Cleve’s child, she reports, is under the protection and care of the Norfolk County Correctional Authority, awaiting sentencing for what Ruth van Cleve describes several times as operating a pharmaceutical company without a license.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “With words and tears she has amputated something form me. I gave her the intimate importance of me, and her bus pulled away, leaving something key of mine inside her like the weapon of a bee. All I want to do now is drive very away, to bleed.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I am coming to see that the sensation of the worst nightmares, a sensation that can be felt asleep or awake, is identical to those worst dreams’ form itself: the sudden intra-dream realization that the nightmares’ very essence and center has been with you all along, even awake: it’s just been... overlooked; and then that horrific interval between realizing what you’ve overlooked and turning your head to look back at what’s been right there all along, the whole time...”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I felt the sort of soaring, ceilingless tedium that transcends tedium and becomes worry.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Also essential to math is the sense in which abstracting something can mean reducing it to its absolute skeletal essence, as in the abstract of an article or book. As such, it can mean thinking hard about things that for the most part people can’t think hard about-because it drives them crazy.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I have pointed rhythmically at the ceiling to the two-four beat of the same disco music I hated pointing at the ceiling to in 1977.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I think TV promulgates the idea that good art is just art which makes people like and depend on the vehicle that brings them the art.”
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: “Ortho Stice played with a kind of rigid, liquid grace, like a panther in a back-brace.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I Philo, educating yourself was something you had to do in spite if school, not because of it – which is basically why so many of my high school peers are still there in Philo even now, selling one another insurance, drinking supermarket liquor, watching television, awaiting the formality of their first cardiac.”
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.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Look for a candidate who can do to the electorate what corporations are learning to do, so Government – or, better, Big Government, Big Brother, Intrusive Government – becomes the image against which this candidate defines himself. Though.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Someone has farted; no one knows just who, but this isn’t like a normal adult place where everybody coolly pretends a fart didn’t happen; here everybody has to make their little comment.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “That a person who did something for somebody’s gratitude was more like a 2-D cutout image of a person than a bona fide person.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Does somebody have an explanation why there’s human flesh on the hall window upstairs?”
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