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. The speech is reprinted for the first time in book form in THIS IS WATER. 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 reading.
“Think of it as The Last Lecture for intellectuals.”―Time
“None of the cloudlessly sane and true things he had to say about life in 2005 are any less sane or true today…[This is Water] reminds us of [Wallace’s] strength and goodness and decency–the parts of him the terrible master [the mind] could never defeat, and never will.”―Tom Bissel, New York Times Book Review
“Striking…is [Wallace’s] evocative insight and humor.”―Mark Follman, Mother Jones