David Foster Wallace Quotes (displaying: 1 - 10 of 457 quotes)
And make no mistake: irony tyrannizes us. The reason why our pervasive cultural irony is at once so powerful and so unsatisfying is that an ironist is impossible to pin down. All U.S. irony is based on an implicit "I do?t really mean what ?m saying." So what does irony as a cultural norm mean to say? That i?s impossible to mean what you say? That maybe i?s too bad i?s impossible, but wake up and smell the coffee already? Most likely, I think, toda?s irony ends up saying: "How totally banal of you to ask what I really mean.
Drug addicts driven to crime to finance their drug addiction are not often inclined toward violent crime. Violence requires all different kinds of energy, and most drug addicts like to expend their energy not on their professional crime but on what their professional crime lets them afford. Drug addicts are often burglars, therefore.
Like many Americans of his generation in this awkwardest of post-Imperial decades, an age suspended between exhaustion and replenishment, between input too ordinary to process and input too intense to bear, Sternberg is deeply ambivalent about being embodied; an informing fear that, were he really just an organism, he'd be nothing more than an ism of his organs.
Look man, we'd probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid it is? In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements of what's human and magical that still live and glow despite the times' darkness. Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it'd find a way both to depict this dark world AND to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it. You can defend "[American] Psycho" as being a sort of performative digest of late-eighties social problems, but it's no more than that.
Wha?s precious about somebody like Bill Vollmann is that, even though ther?s a great deal of formal innovation in his fictions, it rarely seems to exist for just its own sake. I?s almost always deployed to make some point (Vollman?s the most editorial young novelist going right now, and h?s great at using formal ingenuity to make the editorializing a component of his narrative instead of an interruption) or to create an effect tha?s internal to the text. His narrato?s always weirdly effaced, the writing unself-conscious, despite all the "By-the-way-Dear-reader" intrusions. In a way i?s sad that Vollman?s integrity is so remarkable. Its remarkability means i?s rare