fiddling with history

david foster wallace


Total Noise [is] the sound of our U.S. culture right now, a culture and volume of info and spin and rhetoric and context...
too much to even absorb, much less to try to make sense of or organize into any kind of triage of saliency or value.
from “Deciderization 2007—a Special Report,” DFW’s intro to BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS OF 2007”

In sum, to really try to be informed and literate today is to feel stupid nearly all the time, and to need help.
ibid


One hideous symptom of severe depression is that it is impossible both to do anything and to do nothing....
from EVERY LOVE STORY IS A GHOST STORY..., p.34

 

Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship— be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles—is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

from DFW's commenecement address at Kenyon College, 2005

 

 

links to other dfw stuff


   programs       music       words       calendar       contact