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David Foster Wallace Quotes
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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?”
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: “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: “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: “My bones are ringing the way sometimes people say their ears are ringing, I’m so tired.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “One of the really American things about Hal, probably, is the way he despises what it is he’s really lonely for.”
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: “In life, the microphone passes your lips but once... you had better be ready to sing.”
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: “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... That they walk among us. Teach our children. Inscrutable. Brass-faced.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “People turned out so identical in certain root domestic particulars it made Gately feel strange sometimes, like he was in possession of certain overlarge private facts to which no man should be entitled.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It may, after all, be alright to do something scary without thinking, but not when the scariness is the not thinking itself.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Certain things not only can’t be taught but can be retarded by other stuff that can be taught.”
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: “When they were introduced, he made a witticism, hoping to be liked. She laughed extremely hard, hoping to be liked. Then each drove home alone, staring straight ahead, with the very same twist to their faces. The man who’d introduced them didn’t much like either of them, though he acted as if he did, anxious as he was to preserve good relations at all times. One never knew, after all, now did one now did one now did one.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “He didn’t reject the idea so much as not react to it and watch as it floated away.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Two dry mouths bumping at each other, trying to kiss, his self-conscious thoughts twisting around on themselves like a snake on a stick while he bucked and snorted dryly above her, his swollen eyes red and his face sagging so that its slack folds maybe touched, limply, the folds of her own loose sagging face as it sloshed back and forth on his pillow, its mouth working dryly. The thought was repellent.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “For 360 minutes per diem, we receive unconscious reinforcement of the deep thesis that the most significant feature of truly alive persons is watchableness, and that genuine human worth is not just identical with but rooted in the phenomenon of watching.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “My father’s mood surrounded him like a field and affected any room he occupied, like an odor or a certain cast to the light.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It’s one of those unpleasant opioid feverish half-sleep states, more a fugue-state than a sleep-state, less a floating than like being cast adrift on rough seas, tossed mightily in and out of this half-sleep where your mind’s still working and you can ask yourself whether you’re asleep even as you dream. And any dreams you do have seem ragged at the edges, gnawed on, incomplete.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “And then also, again, still, what are those boundaries, if they’re not baselines, that contain and direct its infinite expansion inward, that make tennis like chess on the run, beautiful and infinitely dense? Schtitt’s.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The only way you can communicate at a high level is to be conscious of everything you write – every comma, every pronoun, every word, and all their implications.”
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: “In short, not only was it surprising to be greeted in person with such enthusiastic words, but it was doubly surprising when the person reciting these words displayed the same kind of disengagement as, say, the checkout clerk who utters the words ‘Have a nice day’ while her expression indicates that it’s really a matter of total indifference to her whether you drop dead in the parking lot outside ten seconds from now.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Hell hath no fury like a coolly received postmodernist.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “There are secrets within secrets, though – always.”
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: “But what of Lenore, of Lenore’s hair? Here is hair that is clearly within and of itself every color – blond and red and jet-black-blue and honeynut – but which effects an outward optical compromise with possibility that consists of appearing simply dull brown, save for brief teasing glimpses out of the corner of one’s eye.”
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: “You can be at certain parties and not really be there.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I fully grant that mysterious invisible room-cleaning is in a way great, every true slob’s fantasy, somebody materializing and deslobbing your room and then dematerializing – like having a mom without the guilt.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Once he’d been set off inside, it mattered so much that he was somehow afraid to show how much it mattered.”
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: “To presume that dictionary-making can somehow avoid or transcend ideology is simply to subscribe to a particular ideology, one that might aptly be called Unbelievably Naive Positivism.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It’ll help your attitude to look for evidence of design.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “People who’re somehow burned at birth, withered or ablated way past anything like what might be fair, they either curl up in their fire, or else they rise.”
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: “Kafka’s evocations are, rather, unconscious and almost sub-archetypal, the little-kid stuff from which myths derive; this is why we tend to call even his weirdest stories nightmarish rather than surreal.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Lonely people tend, rather, to be lonely because they decline to bear the psychic costs of being around other humans.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It would take an architect who could hate enough to feel enough to love enough to perpetrate the kind of special cruelty only real lovers can inflict.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Booboo, we’ve been over this. I can’t be asleep if we’re talking.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Do this: hate him for me after I die. I beg you. Dying request.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Our attachments are our temple, what we worship, no? What we give ourselves to, what we invest with faith.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “American human beings are a slippery and protean bunch in real life, hard as hell to get any kind of universal handle on.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Dieting makes me want to murder everyone around me.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “No, you simply sit there with your arms crossed nodding with that timeless patience that communicates condescension and judgment without exposing you to responsibility for insinuating anything aloud.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “What if I told you she could because she’s had this happen and she totally knows it’s possible to be just a thing but just like Victor Frankl that every minute from then on minute by minute if you want you can choose to be more if you want, you can choose to be a human being and have it mean something? Then what would you say?”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “One possible way of couching it is to choose to say that we will take apart your skull very gently and reconstruct a skull for you that will have a highly developed bump of clarity and a slight concave dent where the fear-instinct used to be.”
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