Quotations by David Foster Wallace

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Born: Wednesday, February 21, 1962
Died: Friday, December 12, 2008 (46 years old)
Profession: Writer
Nationality: American


Fiction's about what it is to be a human being.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Being, Fiction)

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.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Cause, Fire, Pain)

I just think that fiction that isn't exploring what it means to be human today isn't art.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Art, Fiction, Today)

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.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Desire, Writers)

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.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Art, People, Idea)

It can become an exercise in trying to get the reader to like and admire you instead of an exercise in creative art.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Art, Exercise, Trying)

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

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

Nuclear weapons and TV have simply intensified the consequences of our tendencies, upped the stakes.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Consequences, Weapons)

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.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Artist)

Pleasure becomes a value, a teleological end in itself. It's probably more Western than U.S. per se.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: End, Pleasure, Value)

Rap's conscious response to the poverty and oppression of U.S. blacks is like some hideous parody of sixties black pride.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Oppression, Poverty, Pride, Rap)

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.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Flaws, Irony)

The interesting thing is why we're so desperate for this anesthetic against loneliness.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Loneliness)

The other half is to dramatize the fact that we still "are" human beings, now. Or can be.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Fact, Now)

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?
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Art, Irony, Rules)

The reader becomes God, for all textual purposes. I see your eyes glazing over, so I'll hush.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: God, Eyes)

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

This is nourishing, redemptive; we become less alone inside.
- David Foster Wallace

This is so American, man: either make something your God and cosmos and then worship it, or else kill it.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: God, American, Cosmos, Worship)

This might be one way to start talking about differences between the early postmodern writers of the fifties and sixties and their contemporary descendants.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Talking, Writers)

To be willing to sort of die in order to move the reader, somehow. Even now I'm scared about how sappy this'll look in print, saying this.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Now, Order, Saying)

TV's "real" agenda is to be "liked," because if you like what you're seeing, you'll stay tuned. TV is completely unabashed about this; it's its sole raison.
- David Foster Wallace

We're kind of wishing some parents would come back. And of course we're uneasy about the fact that we wish they'd come back - I mean, what's wrong with us?
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Fact, Parents, Wishing, Wrong)

We're not keen on the idea of the story sharing its valence with the reader. But the reader's own life "outside" the story changes the story.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: Life, Idea, Sharing)

What TV is extremely good at - and realize that this is "all it does" - is discerning what large numbers of people think they want, and supplying it.
- David Foster Wallace
(Keywords: People, Numbers, Want)







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