Best David Foster Wallace Essays

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But because the scope of Wallace's vision was so magnificent, it's unlikely that many have thought of the ways in which the ball bounced from tennis piece to tennis piece and how they charted his evolution as a writer.

For anyone who is interested, the Library of America put together a collection of Wallace's five pieces of nonfiction on the subject—from 1992's "Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley," an analytical essay about his days as a junior player in windswept Illinois, to "Federer as Religious Experience," the last magazine piece he ever wrote.

I'm not a scholar, but I've read all of it more than once.

It's tremendous, some of the stuff he was achieving there.

In 2005 it was named one of the best English-language novels since 1923 by Time.

Below we’ve gathered some of our favorite quotes from David Foster Wallace, including selections from his fiction, essays and This Is Water, the commencement address he delivered at Kenyon College in 2005. “The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is being educated, and understanding how to think.That honor went to his 1996 would publish 10 years later as "justly praised but disproportionately famous."Whether you agree with Sullivan may depend on whether you have considered Wallace's tennis writing as a body of work unto itself.Readers are well aware of his relationship with the sport; it appeared consistently in both his fiction and nonfiction.’ ‘I give.’ ‘You get someone who stays up all night torturing himself mentally over the question of whether or not there’s a dog.’” - Infinite Jest (1996) 11. where the State is not a team or a code, but a sort of sloppy intersection of desires and fears, where the only public consensus a boy must surrender to is the acknowledged primacy of straight-line pursuing this flat and short-sighted idea of personal happiness.” – Infinite Jest (1996) 15.“You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.” – Infinite Jest (1996 12. “If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day.There's the way our tastes evolve as readers over our lives. There are different periods."If you want to write great fiction, if you want to write ambitious fiction, one of the braveries involved in that is that all of your weaknesses and bad habits are going to be on display."When I read [William] Faulkner…there was a great critic, Clifton Fadiman, who hated Faulkner. Did you realize anything or discover anything new about Wallace as you went through all of his tennis writing at once?There are some books that sort of belong to young people, you know? I remember for this introduction I had to write one time, I read all of this guy's negative criticism about Faulkner, and I remember thinking that it was all kind of right. He called "the most consistently boring novel by a reputable writer to come my way during the last decade." I remember reading him and thinking he was totally right about all this stuff. But somehow Faulkner's greatness wasn't touched by it. The thing that struck me first off was how much of it there was.Titled "For me, the effect of gathering Wallace's tennis-themed nonfiction under one cover is a bit like assembling a mirror, one of those segmented mirrors they build and position in space, only this one is pointed at a writer's mind," Sullivan writes. What do you remember about experiencing Wallace's writing for the first time?I just remember feeling the power, first encountering his work. Lauded by readers, critics and his literary peers as one of the most important voices of his generation, Wallace wrote three novels, three short story collections, and multiple works of non-fiction and reportage.His most famous work, 1996’s leviathan Infinite Jest, contains a world fashioned by Wallace’s inimitable imagination, exploring subjects ranging from tennis to substance abuse to the state of American popular culture.


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