Monday, September 22, 2008

David Foster Wallace Commencement Speech

Thanks to husband Steve for pointing out this: The Wall Street Journal ran an adaptation of the commencement speech that David Foster Wallace gave to the 2005 graduating class at Kenyon College. I thought it was remarkable:

“And I submit that this is what the real, no-bull- value of your liberal-arts education is supposed to be about: How to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default-setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone, day in and day out.

“That may sound like hyperbole, or abstract nonsense. So let's get concrete. The plain fact is that you graduating seniors do not yet have any clue what "day in, day out" really means. There happen to be whole large parts of adult American life that nobody talks about in commencement speeches. One such part involves boredom, routine, and petty frustration. The parents and older folks here will know all too well what I'm talking about.”

Note: I can’t even remember who my commencement speaker was…some sciencey guy. THIS I would have remembered.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.