David Foster Wallace Quotes
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I'm not afraid of new things. I'm just afraid of feeling alone even when there's somebody else there. I'm afraid of feeling bad. Maybe that's selfish, but it's the way I feel.
The assumption that you everyone else is like you. That you are the world. The disease of consumer capitalism. The complacent solipsism.
a manual for how to build a mentally ill child
Commercial comedy's often set up to feature an ironist makingdevastating sport of someone who's naive or sentimental or pretentious orpompous.
It's no accident that in a bureaucracy getting fired is called 'termination, ' as in ontological erasure.
For reasons that are not well understood, war's codes are safer for most of us than love's.
How is there freedom to choose if one does not learn how to choose?
[T]o really try to be informed and literate today is to feel stupid nearly all the time, and to need help.
For me, boviscopophobia (=the morbid fear of being seen as bovine) is an even stronger motive than semi-agoraphobia for staying on the ship when we're in port.
She smelled of talcum powder and Big Red.
Think of the old cliché about the mind being 'an excellent servant but a terrible master'. This, like many clichés, so lame & banal on the surface, actually expresses a great & terrible truth.
I never, even for a moment, doubted what they’d told me. This is why it is that adults and even parents can, unwittingly, be cruel: they cannot imagine doubt’s complete absence. They have forgotten.
Talent is its own expectation, Jim: you either live up to it or it waves a hankie, receding forever.
There are very few innocent sentences in writing.
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.
I think I was very often bored as a child, but boredom is not what I knew it as—what I knew was that I worried a lot
And it never even occurs to them their certainty that they are different is what makes them the same.
David Foster Wallace: Because I'd like to be the sort of person who can enjoy things at the time instead of having to go back in my head and enjoy them then.
His parents’ pregnancies must have been all-out chromosomatic war
This is why they started us here so young: to give ourselves away before the age when the questions 'why' and 'to what' grow real beaks and claws.
How odd I can have all this inside me and to you it’s just words.
A novelist has to know enough about a subject to fool the passenger next to him on an airplane.
If an art form is marginalized it's because it's not speaking to people.
There is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.
The great thing about irony is that it splits things apart, gets up above them so we can see the flaws and hypocrisies and duplicates.
To experience commitment as the loss of options, a type of death, the death of childhood's limitless possibility, of the flattery of choice without duress-this will happen, mark me. Childhood's end.
...having a lot of money does not immunize people from suffering or fear.
The mother at thirty with face commencing to display the faint seams of the plan for the second face life had in store for her and which she feared would be her own mother’s
The integrity of my sleep has been forever compromised, sir.
Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it'd find a way both to depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human i
Grammar, he saw, was agreement, community, consensus.
Mary had a little lamb, its fleece electrostatic / And everywhere Mary went, the lights became erratic.
The parts of me that used to think I was different or smarter or whatever, almost made me die.
You decide. You be the judge. It says You are welcome regardless of severity. Severity is in the eye of the sufferer, it says. Pain is pain.
There’s been time this whole time. You can’t kill time with your heart. Everything takes time.
I do things like get in a taxi and say, "The library, and step on it.
Nuclear weapons and TV have simply intensified the consequences of our tendencies.
Everything takes time. Bees have to move very fast to stay still.
We are all dying to give our lives away to something, maybe. God or Satan, politics or grammar, topology or philately (...) To games or needles, to some other person.
We're all on each other's food chain. All of us. It's an individual sport. Welcome to the meaning of individual. We're each deeply alone here. It's what we all have in common, this aloneness.
Your personal will is the web your disease sits and spins in. The will you call your own ceased to be yours as of who knows how many Substance-drenched years ago.
People hate people, not freedom.
I guess a bit part of serious fiction’s purpose is to give the reader, who like all of us is sort of marooned in her own skull, to give her imaginative access to other selves.
It did what all ads are supposed to do: create an anxiety relievable by purchase.
She was terrified of everything, and terrified to show it.
I think the main function of contemporary irony is to protect thespeaker from being interpreted as naive or sentimental.
No one can call themselves a writer until he or she has written at least fifty stories.
I don't think irony's meant to synergize with anything as heartfelt assadness.
The worst thing about irony for me is that it attenuates emotion.
Be on guard. The road widens, and many of the detours are seductive.