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

David Foster Wallace

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

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

David Foster Wallace

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

David Foster Wallace

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

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

David Foster Wallace

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

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

either make something your God and cosmos

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

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

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

TV’s “real” agenda is to be “liked,

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

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

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

David Foster Wallace

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

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

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

David Foster Wallace

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

David Foster Wallace

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

David Foster Wallace

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

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

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

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

David Foster Wallace

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

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

David Foster Wallace

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