David Foster Wallace

“(She) says that she's finding it especially hard to take when these earnest ravaged folks at the lectern say they're `Here But For the Grace of God,' except that's not the strange thing she says, because when Gately nods hard and starts to interject about `It was the same for--' and wants to launch into a fairly standard Boston AA agnostic-soothing riff about the `God' in the slogan being just shorthand for a totally subjective and up-to-you `Higher Power' and AA being merely spiritual instead of dogmatically religious, a sort of benign anarchy of subjective spirit, Joelle cuts off his interjection and says that but that her trouble with it is that `But For the Grace of God' is a subjunctive, a counterfactual, she says, and can make sense only when introducing a conditional clause, like e.g. `But For the Grace of God I would have died on Molly Notkin's bathroom floor,' so that an indicative transposition like `I'm here But For the Grace of God' is, she says, literally senseless, and regardless of whether she hears it or not it's meaningless, and that the foamy enthusiasm with which these folks can say what in fact means nothing at all makes her want to put her head in a Radarange at the thought that Substances have brought her to the sort of pass where this is the sort of language she has to have Blind Faith in.”


David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
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Infinite Jest Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
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