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David Foster Wallace Quotes
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David Foster Wallace Quote: “Respecting infinite sets, for example, Intuitionism is rabidly anti-Cantor and Formalism staunchly pro-Cantor, even though both Formalism and Intuitionism are anti-Plato and Cantor is a diehard Platonist. Which, migrainous or not, means we’re back to metaphysics: the modern wrangle over math’s procedures is ultimately a dispute over the ontological status of math entities.”
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: “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: “We’re going to reinvent not just government but history. Torch the past.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “A city that pretends to be nothing but what it is, an enormous machine of exchange – of spectacle for money, of sensation for money, of money for more money, of pleasure for whatever be tomorrow’s abstract cost.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Hal loathes sky-and-cloud wallpaper because it makes him feel high-altitude and disoriented and sometimes plummeting.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It’s always seemed a little preposterous that Hamlet, for all his paralyzing doubt about everything, never once doubts the reality of the ghost. Never.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “My own plan for the coming fourteen months is to knock on doors and stuff envelopes. Maybe even to wear a button. To try to accrete with others into a demographically significant mass. To try extra hard to exercise patience, politeness, and imagination on those with whom I disagree. Also to floss more.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “But it is not I the spy who have crept inside television’s boundaries. It is vice versa. Television, even the mundane little businesses of its production, has become my – our – own interior. And we seem a jaded, weary, but willing and above all knowledgeable Audience. And this knowledgeability utterly transforms the possibilities and hazards of “creativity” in television.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Then Poor Tony’s body began to swell. He watched his limbs become airy white dirigibles and felt them deny his authority and detach from him and float sluggishly up snout-first into the steel-mill sparks the ceiling rained. He suddenly felt nothing, or rather Nothing, a pre-tornadic stillness of zero sensation, as if he were the very space he occupied.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “And then but so what’s the difference between tennis and suicide, life and death, the game and its own end?”
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: “It’d be like casting a ballot for Stalin: you are voting for an end to all voting.”
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: “It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “This is how to play with personal integrity in a tournament’s early rounds, when there is no umpire. Any ball that lands on your side and is too close to call: call it fair. Here is how to be invulnerable to gamesmanship. To keep your attention’s aperture tight. Here is how to teach yourself, when an opponent maybe cheats on the line-calls, to remind yourself that what goes around comes around. That a poor sport’s punishment is always self-inflicted. Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Between a cold kitchen window gone opaque with the stove’s wet heat and the breath of us, an open drawer, and the gilt ferrotype of identical boys flanking a blind vested father which hung in a square recession above the wireless’s stand, my Mum stood and cut off my long hair in the uneven heat.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Datum: At least one-third of ancient rulers’ seers and magicians were in fact fired or killed early in their tenure because it emerged that the bulk of what they foresaw or intuited was irrelevant. Not incorrect, just irrelevant, pointless.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Fervent Christians are always remembering themselves as – and thus, by extension, judging everyone else outside their sect to be – lost and hopeless and just barely clinging to any kind of interior sense of value or reason or even to go on living, before they were ’saved.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “So tonight to shush you how about if I say I have administrative bones to pick with God, Boo. I’ll say God seems to have a kind of laid-back management style I’m not crazy about. I’m pretty much anti-death. God looks by all accounts to be pro-death. I’m not seeing how we can get together on this issue, he and I, Boo.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Surely we all dealt with and reconciled ourselves to a life many of whose features were out of our control. It was part of living in a world full of other people with other interests.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “You’re supposed to be strong enough to exert some control over how much you want to hide, and you’re so desperate to feel some kind of control that you settle for the appearance of control.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “What if in fact there were ever only two really distinct individual people walking around back there in history’s mist? That all difference descends from this difference? The whole and the partial. The damaged and the intact. The deformed and the paralyzingly beautiful. The insane and the attendant. The hidden and the blindingly open. The performer and the audience. No Zen-type One, always rather Two, one upside-down in a convex lens.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “You’re wearing that bow tie, after all. Isn’t that rather an invitation to a young sir?”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “Doctors tend to enter the arenas of their profession’s practice with a brisk good cheer that they have to then stop and try to mute a bit when the arena they’re entering is a hospital’s fifth floor, a psych ward, where brisk good cheer would amount to a kind of gloating. This.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “There’s something elementally horrific about waking before dawn.”
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: “Booboo, we’ve been over this. I can’t be asleep if we’re talking.”
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: “You just never quite occurred out there, kid.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It’s got something to do with love. With having the discipline to talk out of the part of yourself that can love instead of the part that just wants to be loved.”
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: “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: “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: “She regarded the things that were important to me as her enemy, not realizing that they were, in fact, the “me” she seemed so jealously to covet.”
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: “The great myth is that the bad ones don’t last long.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “You know those mass-market cartridges, for the masses? The ones that are so bad they’re somehow perversely good? This was worse than that.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “One never knew, after all, now did one now did one now did one.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “The thing about people who are truly and malignantly crazy: their real genius is for making the people around them think they themselves are crazy.”
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: “David Cronenberg’s mainstream Crash comes out of absolutely nowhere to win something called Best Alternative Adult Feature Film.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “It always seems to be important to have at least one person in the vicinity to hate.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “When he settles in with the tray and cartridge, the TP’s viewer’s digital display reads 1927h.”
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: “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: “I read,′ I say. ‘I study and read. I bet I’ve read everything you’ve read. Don’t think I haven’t. I consume libraries. I wear out spines and ROM drives. I do things like get in a taxi and say, “The library, and step on it.”
David Foster Wallace Quote: “I balked at trying antidepressants, I just couldn’t see myself taking pills to try to be less of a fraud.”
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