September 22, 2008

real freedom

"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 real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing."

david foster wallace (Ithaca, NY, 1962-Claremont, CA, 2008), excerpt from a transcription found at of the 2005 Kenyon College Commencement Address, Gambier, OH, May 21, 2005

Further reading:

David Foster Wallace, Influential Writer, Dies at 46 (The New York Times)

The Salon Interview: David Foster Wallace (Salon)

David Foster Wallace at The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, Rolling Stone, Playboy

Note: An adapted version of the same commencement speech was printed in the Books section of The Wall Street Journal