Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life
Only once did David Foster Wallace give a public talk on his views on life, during a commencement address given in 2005 at Kenyon College. This is the audio recording of David Foster Wallace delivering that very address. How does one keep from going through their comfortable, prosperous adult life unconsciously? How do we get ourselves out of the foreground of our thoughts and achieve compassion? The speech captures Wallace's electric intellect as well as his grace in attention to others. After his death, it became a treasured piece of writing reprinted in The Wall Street Journal and the London Times, commented on endlessly in blogs, and emailed from friend to friend.
Writing with his one-of-a-kind blend of causal humor, exacting intellect, and practical philosophy, David Foster Wallace probes the challenges of daily living and offers advice that renews us with every listen.
©2005 David Foster Wallace (P)2010 Hachette
I'm 61 years old. This is a distillation of most important lessons I've learned in my 35 year 'quest' for enlightenment, growth, self-improvement, etc.
I can't say what was most compelling, but in this 23 minute audio I've placed 25 bookmarks.
Get this and listen to it. I try and listen to it at least once a day to remind me to "wake up!"
Why would the producers of this "audiobook" overlay loud music at the end so that you can barely make out what Wallace said but then lower the volume of the music when they read off the production credits? Maddening!!
Waiting for The Doctor.
I listen to this any time that I think that the world around me is so terrible and crashing down, or if I just need inspiration or motivation to do important things in my life. I love this speech. David Foster Wallace is missed, but he did wonderful things while he was here.
I have nothing to offer anyone except my own confusion.
It quite literally changed the way I thought.
To know (a) I wasn't the only one that spent entirely too much time trapped within his own head and (b) that, through effort, it can be overcome. That and to know DFW was well aware of his shortcomings, he embraced them and chose to use his strengths to look at the world through the eyes of those around him (which I've learned was his remarkable talent upon reading his various novels and collections after hearing this speech).
David Foster Wallace is known for his novels and short stories, but he shines most in his nonfiction work. He was an exceptional journalist (download Consider the Lobster, which he reads as well) and, in a way, philosopher. This is an opportunity to hear one of our finest writers speak, even though he's no longer with us.
I go what I came for: his carefully chosen words in his own voice. Very moving, inspiring, and down to earth.
He starts out with a funny one liner, but not much after that. This recording may be better suited to a "right brain" thinker.
"Wallace's words are inspired and down to earth."
This speech is strikingly objective. What it is not is condescending repetitive or cliché. Wallace does not strive to give you good advise but to simple remind you to breathe, when it is all too simple to forget how to. If you're a David Foster Wallace fan, this is undoubtedly a gem to keep.
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