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David Foster Wallace Quotes
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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: “Trying to be anti-cool is just one exponent off trying to be cool – it’s the same beast.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “All on a real superficial-type level, since Watson’s basically got like a little liquid-filled nubbin at the top of his spine where his brain ought to be.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It is within your power to experience a crowded, loud, slow, consumer-hell-type situation as not only meaningful but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars – compassion, love, the sub-surface unity of all things. Not that that mystical stuff’s necessarily true: the only thing that’s capital-T True is that you get to decide how you’re going to try to see it. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship.”
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: “In a nation whose great informing myth is that it has no great informing myth, familiarity equaled timelessness.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It was when I was the age where you can, as they say, “hear voices” without worrying that something is wrong with you. I “heard voices” all the time as a small child.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “They’re probably even more repulsive than atheists, at least to most of us here, but the fact is that religious dogmatists’ problem is exactly the same as the story’s atheist’s – arrogance, blind certainty, a closed-mindedness that’s like an imprisonment so complete that the prisoner doesn’t even know he’s locked up.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I have felt as bleak as I’ve felt since puberty, and have filled almost three Mead notebooks trying to figure out whether it was Them or Just Me.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “PS: Allston rules!”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The modern woman’s a mess of contradictions that they lay on themselves that drives them nuts.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The Great White Male is rap’s Grand Inquisitor, its idiot questioner, its Alien Other no less than Reds were for McCarthy.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The conjoined dogs were too distant to ascertain whether they had collars or tags, yet close enough that I could make out the expression on the face of the dominant dog above. It was blank and at the same time fervid – the same general expression as on a human being’s face when he is doing something that he feels compulsively driven to do and yet does not understand just why he wants to do it.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Hell hath no fury like a coolly received postmodernist.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “What if there was something essentially wrong with Claude Sylvanshine that wasn’t wrong with other people? What if he was simple ill-suited, the way some people are born without limbs or certain organs? The neurology of failure. What if he was simply born and destined to live in the shadow of Total Fear and Despair, and all his so-called activities were pathetic attempts to distract him from the inevitable?”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “And girl-women, women, curved like instruments or fruit, skin burnished brown-bright, suit tops held by delicate knots of fragile colored string against the pull of mysterious weights, suit bottoms riding low over the gentle juts of hips totally unlike your own, immoderate swells and swivels that melt in light into a surrounding space that cups and accommodates the soft curves as things precious. You almost understand.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Almost anything that you pay close, direct attention to becomes interesting.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Ideally, each piece of art’s its own unique object, and its evaluation’s always present-tense.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It’s not that students don’t “get” Kafka’s humor but that we’ve taught them to see humor as something you get-the same way we’ve taught them that a self is something you just have. No wonder they cannot appreciate the really central Kafka joke: that the horrific struggle to establish a human self results in a self whose humanity is inseparable from that horrific struggle.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “If an art form is marginalized it’s because it’s not speaking to people.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “He’d cure himself by excess.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “But and so things are slow, and like you they have this irritating suspicion that any satisfaction is still way off, and it’s frustrating; but like basically decent kids they suck it up, bite the foil, because what’s going on is just plain real; and no matter what we want, the real world is pretty slow, at present, for kids our age.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Dostoevski informs everybody; or he ought to.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Untitled. Unfinished. UNRELEASED.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The neurology of failure. What if he was simply born and destined to live in the shadow of Total Fear and Despair, and all his so-called activities were pathetic attempts to distract him from the inevitable?”
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: “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: “It seems important to find ways of reminding ourselves that most “familiarity” is meditated and delusive.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Like most North Americans of his generation, Hal tends to know way less about why he feels certain ways about the objects and pursuits he’s devoted to than he does about the objects and pursuits themselves. It’s hard to say for sure whether this is even exceptionally bad, this tendency.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “That everybody’s sneeze sounds different.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “You have a great deal of yourself on the line, writing- your vanity is at stake. You discover a tricky thing about fiction writing; a certain amount of vanity is necessary to be able to do it all, but any vanity above that certain amount is lethal.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “She is silk in a bed of mail-order satin. Complete and seamless, an egg of sexual muscle. My motions atop her are dislocated, frantic, my lone interstice a trans-cultural spice of encouragement I smell with my spine. As, inside it, I go, I cry out to a god whose absence I have never felt to keenly.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I will be conveyed to an Emergency Room of some kind, where I will be detained as long as I do not respond to questions, and then, when I do respond to questions, I will be sedated; so it will be an inversion of standard travel, the ambulance and ER: I’ll make the journey first, then depart.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “That’s why people use terms like flow or effortless to describe writing that they regard as really superb. They’re not saying effortless in terms of it didn’t seem like the writer spent any work. It simply requires no effort to read it – the same way listening to an incredible storyteller talk out loud requires no effort to pay attention. Whereas when you’re bored, you’re conscious of how much effort is required to pay attention.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “His white knit shirt and name-brand shorts were soaked through so you could see the straps of his jock biting into the soft ass I was handing him. He.”
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: “Is it showing off if you hate it?”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “You are the sort of auditor for whom the rhetoricians designed the exordium.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Am I happy? is one of those questions that, if it has got to be asked, more or less dictates its own answer.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Because all these people have, you see, by this time already killed themselves, where it really counts. By the time these people swallow entire medicine cabinets or take naps in the garage or whatever, they’ve already been killing themselves for ever so long. When they ‘commit suicide’, they’re just being orderly.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “He considered getting up to check the color of the bong he’d be using but decided that obsessive checking and convulsive movements could compromise the atmosphere of casual calm he needed to maintain while he waited, protruding but not moving, for the woman he’d met at a design session for his agency’s small campaign for her small theater company’s new Wedekind festival, while he waited for this woman, with whom he’d had intercourse twice, to honor her casual promise.”
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: “We may say, roughly, that a mathematical idea is ‘significant’ if it can be connected, in a natural and illuminating way, with a large complex of other mathematical ideas. Thus a serious mathematical theorem, a theorem which connects significant ideas, is likely to lead to important advances in mathematics itself and even in other sciences.”
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 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: “What if, when Tracy Austin writes that after her 1989 car crash, ‘I quickly accepted that there was nothing I could do about it,’ the statement is not only true but exhaustively descriptive of the entire acceptance process she went through?”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Something almost too overt about the pathos of the posture: this exact position was illustrated in some melancholic Watteau-era print on the frontispiece to Yevtuschenko’s Field Guide to Clinical States.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Babies are famous to themselves.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “This is PCE’s core fallacy – that a society’s mode of expression is productive of its attitudes rather than a product of those attitudes 63 – and of course it’s nothing but the obverse of the politically conservative SNOOT’s delusion that social change can be retarded by restricting change in standard usage.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Le persone bruciate alla nascita, quelle colpite e offese oltre ogni giustizia, finiscono per ripiegarsi nel loro stesso fuoco, o per risorgere.”
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