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David Foster Wallace's Quotes

David Foster Wallace profile photo

Born: 1962-02-21
Profession: Writer
Nation: American
Biography of David Foster Wallace

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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?

Tags: Mean, Parents, Wish

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.

Tags: Above, Great, Irony

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

Tags: American, Else, God

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?

Tags: Art, Once, Problem

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

Tags: Against, Loneliness, Why

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

Tags: Fiction, Human

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.

Tags: Fire, Off, Pain

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

Tags: Good, Looks, Write

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

Tags: Nuclear, Simply, Tv

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

Tags: 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.

Tags: Black, Poverty, Pride

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

Tags: Art, Human, 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.

Tags: Desire, Often, Young

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.

Tags: Art, Good, Makes

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

Tags: Ourselves, Seems, Ways

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

Tags: Fact, Half, Human

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

Tags: Alone, Become, Less

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

Tags: Art, Become, Trying

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.

Tags: Artist, Makes, Real

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

Tags: Eyes, God, Reader

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

Tags: Anybody, Done, Lines

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.

Tags: Die, Order, Saying

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.

Tags: Idea, Life, Story

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.

Tags: Good, Large, Realize

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

Tags: Between, Might, Start

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.

Tags: Real, Seeing, Stay