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David Foster Wallace Quotes





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Fiction's about what it is to be a human being.
 

For these cultures, getting rid of the pain without addressing the deeper cause would be like shutting off a fire alarm while the fire's still going.
 

I just think that fiction that isn't exploring what it means to be human today isn't art.
 

I often think I can see it in myself and in other young writers, this desperate desire to please coupled with a kind of hostility to the reader.
 

I think TV promulgates the idea that good art is just art which makes people like and depend on the vehicle that brings them the art.
 

It can become an exercise in trying to get the reader to like and admire you instead of an exercise in creative art.
 

It looks like you can write a minimalist piece without much bleeding. And you can. But not a good one.
 

It seems important to find ways of reminding ourselves that most "familiarity" is meditated and delusive.
 

Nuclear weapons and TV have simply intensified the consequences of our tendencies, upped the stakes.
 

One of the things that makes Wittgenstein a real artist to me is that he realized that no conclusion could be more horrible than solipsism.
 

Pleasure becomes a value, a teleological end in itself. It's probably more Western than U.S. per se.
 

Rap's conscious response to the poverty and oppression of U.S. blacks is like some hideous parody of sixties black pride.
 

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.
 

The interesting thing is why we're so desperate for this anesthetic against loneliness.
 

The other half is to dramatize the fact that we still "are" human beings, now. Or can be.
 

The problem is that once the rules of art are debunked, and once the unpleasant realities the irony diagnoses are revealed and diagnosed, "then" what do we do?
 

The reader becomes God, for all textual purposes. I see your eyes glazing over, so I'll hush.
 

This diagnosis can be done in about two lines. It doesn't engage anybody.
 

This is nourishing, redemptive; we become less alone inside.
 

This is so American, man: either make something your God and cosmos and then worship it, or else kill it.
 


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