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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.


This Is Water
Average rating
5 / 5
Delightful reframing
July 18th, 2015
I read this a few years agao and went on to read his infinite jest novel. This short and raw commenceme speech is a lovely way to spend half an hour relaxing and lounging and reframing my adult life. I tend to feel better after seeing a glimpse of a thoughtful and careful and brave mind.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2013
This was stunning both in terms of literary beauty and in its ability to literally stun and elicit a reevaluation of actions and reactions. I look forward to reading it again and again.
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1 review

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