I read,' I say. 'I study and read. I bet I've read everything you've read. Don't think I haven't. I consume libraries. I wear out spines and ROM drives. I do things like get in a taxi and say, "The library, and step on it.

— David Foster Wallace

The most superior David Foster Wallace quotes that are easy to memorize and remember

I do things like get in a taxi and say, "The library, and step on it.

80

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

68

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.

56
David Foster Wallace quote If you are immune to boredom, there is l

If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish.

10

If your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything.

52

Am I a good person? Deep down, do I even really want to be a good person, or do I only want to seem like a good person so that people (including myself) will approve of me? Is there a difference? How do I ever actually know whether I'm bullshitting myself, morally speaking?

49

I know I'm paranoid, but am I paranoid enough?

48

This might be one way to start talking about differences between the early postmodern writers of the fifties and sixties and their contemporary descendants.

48

You don't have to think very hard to realize that our dread of both relationships and loneliness ... has to do with angst about death, the recognition that I'm going to die, and die very much alone, and the rest of the world is going to go merrily on without me.

44

How odd I can have all this inside me and to you it’s just words.

38

Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else.

37

In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.

36

In reality, 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.

32

About David Foster Wallace

Quotes 315 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Writer
Birthday October 16

The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.

31

True heroism is minutes, hours, weeks, year upon year of the quiet, precise, judicious exercise of probity and care—with no one there to see or cheer. This is the world.

29

Lonely people tend, rather, to be lonely because they decline to bear the psychic costs of being around other humans. They are allergic to people. People affect them too strongly.

25

The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.

24

Quentin Tarantino is interested in watching somebody's ear getting cut off;

David Lynch is interested in the ear.

22

Hear this or not, as you will. Learn it now, or later -- the world has time. Routine, repetition, tedium, monotony, ephemeracy, inconsequence, abstraction, disorder, boredom, angst, ennui -- these are the true hero's enemies, and make no mistake, they are fearsome indeed. For they are real.

18

What the really great artists do is they're entirely themselves.

They're entirely themselves. They've got their own vision, they have their own way of fracturing reality, and if it's authentic and true, you will feel it in your nerve endings.

18

Rap's conscious response to the poverty and oppression of U.

S. blacks is like some hideous parody of sixties black pride.

17

No wonder we 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 the horrific struggle. That our endless and impossible journey toward home is in fact our home.

15

The greatest sin is appearing naive or old-fashioned so that somebody can give you a sort of a very cool arch smile and devastate you with one extraordinarily crafted line that puts kind of a hole in your pretentious balloon.

15

You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.

14

....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.

13

Lucky people develop a relationship with a certain kind of art that becomes spiritual, almost religious, and doesn’t mean, you know, church stuff, but it means you’re just never the same.

11

Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.

9

It takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak.

8

Two young salmon are swimming along one day.

As they do, they are passed by a wiser, older fish coming the other way. The wiser fish greets the two as he passes, saying, "Morning boys, how's the water?" The other two continue to swim in silence for a little while, until the first one turns to the other and asks, "What the hell is water?"

8

For those who've never experienced a sunrise in the rural midwest, it's roughly as soft and romantic as someone's abruptly hitting the lights in a dark room.

7

Mario, what do you get when you cross an insomniac, an unwilling agnostic and a dyslexic?" "I give." "You get someone who stays up all night torturing himself mentally over the question of whether or not there's a dog.

7

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.

7

Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.

7

Good literature makes your head throb heartlike

7

What goes on inside is just too fast and huge and all interconnected for words to do more than barely sketch the outlines of at most one tiny little part of it at any given instant.

7

I have heard upscale adult U.S. citizens ask the ship's Guest Relations Desk whether snorkeling necessitates getting wet...I now know the precise mixocological difference between a Slippery Nipple and a fuzzy navel.

6

Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est" ("They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are quite a bit dicier").

6

I love the way you love, but I hate the way I'm supposed to love you back.

6

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

6

It's weird to feel like you miss someone you're not even sure you know.

6

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.

6

Stated as an English sentence, of course, this is just a banal platitude - but the fact is that, in the day-to-day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have life-or-death importance. That may sound like hyperbole, or abstract nonsense.

5

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

5

God seems to have a kind of laid-back management style I’m not crazy about.

5

Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.

5

He said she went around with her feelings out in front of her with an arm around the feelings' windpipe and a Glock 9mm. to the feelings' temple like a terrorist with a hostage, daring you to shoot.

5

Scenery is here. Wish you were beautiful.

4

Most of us will still take nihilism over neanderthalism.

4

...logical validity is not a guarantee of truth.

4

It looks like you can write a minimalist piece without much bleeding.

And you can. But not a good one.

4
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