Monday, August 12, 2013

WORDS: DAVID FOSTER WALLACE

Image via Cape Cod Collegiate
Back in the day when I thought I might want to be a full time journalist (rather than a mere blogger) one of my mentors told me to read Consider the Lobster,a series of essays by David Foster Wallace.  Truth be told, I didn't actually read all of the stories in the compilation but I do remember reading a particularly hilarious account of a porn convention (that resulted in me actually laughing out loud aboard an airplane) and falling in love with Wallace's manner of writing.  His style is honest, observant, and truthful, often imitating that of a little kid who is so excited to tell a story that he forgets to pause to breathe.  

Anyway, back to the point.  Earlier last week I found myself reading yet another graduation speech, this time about the power of kindness, and noticed a lot of commentary relating it to similar talk Wallace gave to students at Kenyon in 2005.  Sucked in by my former, albeit limited, interaction with Wallace's writing, I gave it a read and found that it was perfect fodder for a "words" post.  Re-published by The Guardian after Wallace's passing in 2008, the speech, entitled, "What is Water?" can be found here (I decided against re-posting it in full because of its length) and I highly suggest you read it--especially if you're suffering from a little Sunday sadness hangover.  It's definitely worth a couple minutes of introspection on a Monday night.

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