David Foster Wallace Quotes

Quotes tagged as "david-foster-wallace" (showing 1-30 of 39)
David Foster Wallace
“There's good self-consciousness, and then there's toxic, paralyzing, raped-by-psychic-Bedouins self-consciousness.”
David Foster Wallace

Jonathan Franzen
“He was lovable the way a child is lovable, and he was capable of returning love with a childlike purity. If love is nevertheless excluded from his work, it's because he never quite felt that he deserved to receive it. He was a lifelong prisoner on the island of himself. What looked like gentle contours from a distance were in fact sheer cliffs. Sometimes only a little of him was crazy, sometimes nearly all of him, but, as an adult, he was never entirely not crazy. What he'd seen of his id while trying to escape his island prison by way of drugs and alcohol, only to find himself even more imprisoned by addiction, seems never to have ceased to be corrosive of his belief in his lovability. Even after he got clean, even decades after his late-adolescent suicide attempt, even after his slow and heroic construction of a life for himself, he felt undeserving. And this feeling was intertwined, ultimately to the point of indistinguishability, with the thought of suicide, which was the one sure way out of his imprisonment; surer than addiction, surer than fiction, and surer, finally, than love.”
Jonathan Franzen

David Foster Wallace
“It's not that students don't "get" Kafka's humor but that we've taught them to see humor as something you get -- the same way we've taught them that a self is something you just have. No wonder they cannot appreciate the really central Kafka joke -- that the horrific struggle to establish a human self results in a self whose humanity is inseparable from that horrific struggle. That our endless and impossible journey toward home is in fact our home. It's hard to put into words up at the blackboard, believe me. You can tell them that maybe it's good they don't "get" Kafka. You can ask them to imagine his art as a kind of door. To envision us readers coming up and pounding on this door, pounding and pounding, not just wanting admission but needing it, we don't know what it is but we can feel it, this total desperation to enter, pounding and pushing and kicking, etc. That, finally, the door opens...and it opens outward: we've been inside what we wanted all along. Das ist komisch.”
David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

David Foster Wallace
“Quentin Tarantino is interested in watching somebody's ear getting cut off; David Lynch is interested in the ear.”
David Foster Wallace, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments

David Foster Wallace
“It's all very confusing. I think I'm very honest and candid, but I'm also proud of how honest and candid I am -- so where does that put me?”
David Foster Wallace

Robert Hughes
“What has our culture lost in 1980 that the avant-garde had in 1890? Ebullience, idealism, confidence, the belief that there was plenty of territory to explore, and above all the sense that art, in the most disinterested and noble way, could find the necessary metaphors by which a radically changing culture could be explained to its inhabitants.”
Robert Hughes, The Shock of the New

David Foster Wallace
“The job of the first eight pages is not to have the reader want to throw the book at the wall, during the first eight pages.”
David Foster Wallace

David Lipsky
“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.”
David Lipsky, Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace

Jonathan Franzen
“We who were not so pathologically far out on the spectrum of self-involvement, we dwellers of the visible spectrum who could imagine how it felt to go beyond violet but were not ourselves beyond it, could see that David was wrong not to believe in his lovability and could imagine the pain of not believing in it. How easy and natural love is if you are well! And how gruesomely difficult--what a philosophically daunting contraption of self-interest and self-delusion love appears to be--if you are not! And yet ... the difference between well and not well is in more respects a difference of degree than of kind. Even though David laughed at my much milder addictions and liked to tell me that I couldn't even conceive of how moderate I was, I can still extrapolate from these addictions, and from the secretiveness and solipsism and radical isolation and raw animal craving that accompany them, to the extremity of his. I can imagine the sick mental pathways by which suicide comes to seem like the one consciousness-quenching substance that nobody can take away from you.”
Jonathan Franzen

Garth Risk Hallberg
Infinite Jest not only says that being human is hard work; it makes us work hard. It not only suggests we put ourselves in service to something larger than ourselves; it is one of those larger somethings. That's its rhetorical genius, and is how Wallace gets his self-help “to fly at such a high altitude”: Like AA, it is theory and praxis in a single stroke. Or: It is what it says, which may be the purest form of art.”
Garth Risk Hallberg

David Foster Wallace
“In a way, what Tarantino has done with the French New Wave and with David Lynch is what Pat Boone did with rhythm and blues: He's found (ingeniously) a way to take what is ragged and distinctive and menacing about their work and homogenize it, churn it until it's smooth and cool and hygienic enough for mass consumption. Reservoir Dogs, for example, with its comically banal lunch chatter, creepily otiose code names, and intrusive soundtrack of campy pop from decades past, is a Lynch movie made commercial, i.e., fast, linear, and with what was idiosyncratically surreal now made fashionably (i.e., "hiply") surreal [...] D. Lynch is an exponentially better filmmaker than Q. Tarantino. For, unlike Tarantino, D. Lynch knows that an act of violence in an American film has, through repetition and desensitization, lost the ability to refer to anything but itself. A better way to put what I just tried to say: Quentin Tarantino is interested in watching somebody's ear getting cut off; David Lynch is interested in the ear.”
David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace
“....there is an ending [to Infinite Jest] as far as I'm concerned. Certain kind of parallel lines are supposed to start converging in such a way that an "end" can be projected by the reader somewhere beyond the right frame. If no such convergence or projection occured to you, then the book's failed for you.”
David Foster Wallace

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

David Foster Wallace
“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? The true opponent, the enfolding boundary, is the player himself. Always and only the self out there, on court, to be met, fought, brought to the table to hammer out terms. The competing boy on the net’s other side: he is not the foe: he is more the partner in the dance. He is the what is the word excuse or occasion for meeting the self. As you are his occasion. Tennis’s beauty’s infinite roots are self-competitive. You compete with your own limits to transcend the self in imagination and execution. Disappear inside the game: break through limits: transcend: improve: win. Which is why tennis is an essentially tragic enterprise… You seek to vanquish and transcend the limited self whose limits make the game possible in the first place. It is tragic and sad and chaotic and lovely. All life is the same, as citizens of the human State: the animating limits are within, to be killed and mourned, over and over again…Mario thinks hard again. He’s trying to think of how to articulate something like: But then is battling and vanquishing the self the same as destroying yourself? Is that like saying life is pro-death? … And then but so what’s the difference between tennis and suicide, life and death, the game and its own end?”
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

David Foster Wallace
“I'm not saying that television is vulgar and dumb because the people who compose the Audience are vulgar and dumb. Television is the way it is simply because people tend to be extremely similar in their vulgar and prurient and dumb interests and wildly different in their refined and aesthetic and noble interests.”
David Foster Wallace

Caroline Kepnes
“I pick up the list of Benji's five favorite books because we've got work to do:

"Gravity's Rainbow" by Thomas Pynchon. He's a pretentious fuck and a liar.

"Underworld" by Don DeLillo. He's a snob.

"On the Road" by Jack Kerouac. He's a spoiled passport-carrying fuck stunted in eighth grade.

"Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" by David Foster Wallace. Enough already.

"The Red Badge of Courage" by Stephen Crane. He's got Mayflowers in his blood.”
Caroline Kepnes, You

David Foster Wallace
“(Where do they get these giant flags? What happens to them when there's no campaign? Where do they go? Where do you even store flags that size? Or is there maybe just one, which McCain2000's advance team has to take down afterward and hurtle with to the next THM to get it put up before McCain and the cameras arrive? Do Gore and the Shrub and all the other candidates each have their own giant flag?)”
David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

David Foster Wallace
“I think, today’s irony ends up saying: "How totally banal of you to ask what I really mean.”
David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace
“É questão de certo interesse perceber que as artes populares dos EUA da virada do milênio tratam a anedonia e o vazio interno como coisas descoladas e cool. De repente são vestígios da glorificação romântica do mundo e sofisticada e aí consumida por pessoas mais jovens que não apenas consomem arte mas a examinam em busca de pistas de como ser chique, cool - e não esqueça que, para os jovens em geral, ser chique e cool é o mesmo que ser admirado, aceito e incluído e portanto assolitário. Esqueça a dita pressão-dos-pares. É mais tipo uma fome-de-pares. Não? Nós entramos numa puberdade espiritual em que nos ligamos ao fato de que o grande horror transcendente é a solidão, fora o enjaulamento em si próprio. Depois que chegamos a essa idade, nós agora daremos ou aceitaremos qualquer coisa, usaremos qualquer máscara para nos encaixar, ser parte-de, não estar Sós, nós os jovens. As artes dos EU são o nosso guia para a inclusão. Um modo-de-usar. Elas nos mostram como construir máscaras de tédio e de ironia cínica ainda jovens, quando o rosto é maleável o suficiente para assumir a forma daquilo que vier a usar. E aí ele se prende ao rosto, o cinismo cansado que nos salva do sentimentalismo brega e do simplismo não sofisticado. Sentimento é igual a simplismo neste continente (ao menos desde a Reconfiguração). [...] Hal, que é vazio mas não é besta, teoriza privadamente que o que passa pela transcendência descolada do sentimentalismo é na verdade algum tipo de medo de ser realmente humano, já que ser realmente humano (ao menos como ele conceitualiza essa ideia) é provavelmente ser inevitavelmente sentimental, simplista, pró-brega e patético de modo geral, é ser de alguma maneira básica e interior para sempre infantil, um tipo de bebê de aparência meio estranha que se arrasta anacliticamente pelo mapa, com grandes olhos úmidos e uma pele macia de sapo, crânio enorme, baba gosmenta. Uma das coisas realmente americanas no Hal, provavelmente, é como ele despreza o que na verdade gera a sua solidão: esse horrendo eu interno, incontinente de sentimentos e necessidades, que lamenta e se contorce logo abaixo da máscara vazia e descolada, a anedonia.”
David Foster Wallace

David Lipsky
“He had finished and collected the three years of drafts [of Infinite Jest], and finally sat down and typed the whole thing. Wallace didn't really type; he input the giant thing twice, with one finger. "But a really fast finger.”
David Lipsky

D.T. Max
“When David Markson wrote in June to complain about an author's getting an award he though should have been his, Wallace gently warned him away from the pitfall of envy: "Mostly I try to remember how lucky I am to be able to write, and doubly, triply lucky I am that anyone else is willing to read it, to say nothing of publishing it. I'm no pollyanna - this keeping-the-spirits-up shit is hard work, and I don't often do it well. But I try... Life is good”
D.T. Max, Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace

“David [Foster Wallace] is a Cosmopolitan subscriber; he says reading 'I've Cheated - Should I Tell?' a bunch of times a year is 'fundamentally soothing to the nervous system.”
David Lipsky (Author)

D.T. Max
“He [Wallace] sent a quick note to his friend [Franzen] explaining his behavior. "the bold fact is that I'm a little afraid of you right now,"[...] "all I can tell you is that I may have been that [a worthy opponent] for you a couple/ three years ago, and maybe 16 months or tow or 5 or 10 years hence, but right now I am a pathetic and very confused man, a failed writer at 28, who is so jealous, so sickly searing envious of you and Vollmann and Mark Leyner and even David Fuckward Leavitt and any young man who is right now producing pages with which he can live and even approving them off some base-clause of conviction about the entrprise's meaning and end that I consider suicide a reasonable- if not at this point a desirable- option with respect to the whole wretched problem.”
D.T. Max, Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace
“Julie ha detto a Faye che lei è convinta che due persone innamorate attraversino tre fasi distinte prima di arrivare a conoscersi davvero. All'inizio si raccontano aneddoti e gusti personali. Poi ciascuno dei due dice all'altro in che cosa crede. E poi ciascuno osserva la relazione che c'è fra quello in cui l'altro ha detto di credere e quello che in effetti fa.”
David Foster Wallace, Girl with Curious Hair

D.T. Max
“A publisher sent him a galley of a novel by a writer he had barely heard of, one that impressed him deeply and seemed to embody all the literary qualities he had called for in his "fictional Futures" essay. The book was Franzen's The Twenty-Seventh City. Set in St. Louis, it mixed postmodernism and traditional storytelling and showed a familiarity its chosen city that Wallace could only marvel it. it decanted a Pynchonesque conspiracy in media-mediated language; it was about word AND the world, realism for an era when there was no real.”
D.T. Max, Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace

David Lipsky
“Yeah, there’s stuff that really good fiction can do that other forms of art can’t do as well. And the big thing, the big thing seems to be, sort of leapin’ over that wall of self, and portraying inner experience. And setting up, I think, a kind of intimate conversation between two consciences.”
David Lipsky, Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace
“…95 percent of political commentary, whether spoken or written, is now polluted by the very politics it’s supposed to be about. Meaning it’s become totally ideological and reductive: The writer/speaker has certain political convictions or affiliations, and proceeds to filter all reality and spin all assertion according to those convictions and loyalties. Everybody’s pissed off and exasperated and impervious to argument from any other side. Opposing viewpoints are not just incorrect but contemptible, corrupt, evil […] Political discourse is now a formulaic matter of preaching to one’s own choir and demonizing the opposition. Everything’s relentlessly black-and-whitened…. Since the truth is way, way more gray and complicated than any one ideology can capture, the whole thing seems to me not just stupid but stupefying… How can any of this possibly help me, the average citizen, deliberate about whom to choose to decide my country’s macroeconomic policy, or how even to conceive for myself what that policy’s outlines should be, or how to minimize the chances of North Korea nuking the DMZ and pulling us into a ghastly foreign war, or how to balance domestic security concerns with civil liberties? Questions like these are all massively complicated, and much of the complication is not sexy, and well over 90 percent of political commentary now simply abets the uncomplicatedly sexy delusion that one side is Right and Just and the other Wrong and Dangerous. Which is of course a pleasant delusion, in a way—as is the belief that every last person you’re in conflict with is an asshole—but it’s childish, and totally unconducive to hard thought, give and take, compromise, or the ability of grown-ups to function as any kind of community.”
David Foster Wallace, David Foster Wallace: The Interview

David Foster Wallace
“Supongo que ser tímido significa básicamente estar absorbido por uno mismo hasta el punto de que se hace difícil estar rodeado de otras personas”
David Foster Wallace, Conversations with David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace
“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, Conversations with David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace
“Nel momento in cui riconosceva quello che c'era su una cartuccia provava la sensazione carica d'ansia che ci fosse qualcosa di meglio su un'altra cartuccia e che potenzialmente se lo stava perdendo. Poi si rese conto che avrebbe avuto tutto il tempo di godersi ogni cartuccia e capì intellettualmente che non aveva senso provare il panico di perdersi qualcosa.”
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

« previous 1
All Quotes | My Quotes | Add A Quote