I had forgotten This Is Water.
Not forgotten, really, as forgotten to remind myself. And this forgetting, in itself, is problematic since one theme of the speech’s text (and the book rendered from that speech) is choosing to be aware enough to remind yourself about the many intersecting realities informing what is otherwise boring, frustrating, or irritating in our lives.
Thanks to AdWeek for catching the video created by The Glossary.
Watch this. Please. This is not just water. This is humanity, this is life, this is truth. This is the answer to my question, posted here all too often, about how to make it through.
This is living rather than surviving.
And this is one of a dozen reasons I so adore David Foster Wallace’s art, writing, perspective, and contribution to our generation’s struggle with what it means to be alive.
Via @mattbucher, Monsterbeard has posted the audio of David Foster Wallace’s Kenyon speech.
Please listen. To the whole thing. If you don’t have time, just listen to Part Three.
You can buy the book This Is Water, the transcription of this speech. I, personally, don’t like how Little, Brown produced it because I don’t like bite-sized clips of Wallace. I like massive, undelineated gulps of his prose. I would have liked seven long paragraphs (single spaced) myself. But that doesn’t sell books.
I absolutely hate that David Foster Wallace is gone. HATE it. And I am nauseated that he was so tormented. Thank goodness we still have his writing. This second anniversary of his death is easier, a bit, than last year. Than the year before. Listening to the inappropriate laughter in that speech—you can hear him wince that people are amused at his description of selfish soullessness—and hearing how he gets somewhat cardboard-cut-out-ish about the suicide truths just makes the ache throb more today.
Go listen before the speech is taken down.