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46+ David Foster Wallace Quotes From The 'Infinite Jest' Author

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David Foster Wallace quotes are inspiring!

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David Foster Wallace was an American novel, short story, and essay writer.

Wallace is renowned for his book 'Infinite Jest'. His posthumously published book 'The Pale King' was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in the Fiction category in the year 2012.

Wallace garnered massive praise for his writing ability with the release of his second book 'Infinite Jest' which was a multilayered novel which he wrote over the course of four years. Critics found his writing style exciting and exhilarating, even comparing it to the writing styles of Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo.

Wallace to this day has been praised for his writing style which was unique in every way and for the use of his signature footnote heavy prose and digressive nature which helped him to produce elaborate essays and short stories.

For more related content take a look at these Thomas Pynchon quotes and Cormac McCarthy quotes.

David Foster Wallace 'Infinite Jest' Quotes

Here are some of the best David Foster Wallace quotes from his renowned book 'Infinite Jest'.

1. “Talent is its own expectation, Jim: you either live up to it or it waves a hankie, receding forever.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

2. “That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

3. “That other people can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

4.“You can be shaped, or you can be broken. There is not much in between. Try to learn. Be coachable.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

5. “Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

6. “... the sun would leave my sky if I couldn't assume you'd simply come and tell me you were sad...”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

7. “Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

8. “Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

9. “I do things like get in a taxi and say, 'The library, and step on it.'”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

10. “It's weird to feel like you miss someone you're not even sure you know.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

11. “God seems to have a kind of laid-back management style I’m not crazy about.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

12. “You are what you love. No? You are, completely and only, what you would die for without, as you say, the thinking twice.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

13. “Life's endless war against the self you cannot live without.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

14. “And when he came to, he was flat on his back on the beach in the freezing sand, and it was raining out of a low sky, and the tide was way out.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

15. “Be on guard. The road widens, and many of the detours are seductive.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

16. “I felt more solidly composed, now that I was horizontal. I was impossible to knock down.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

17. “The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Infinite Jest’.

'This Is Water' Quotes

Book quotes from David Foster Wallace are amazing.

Here are some of the best David Foster Wallace 'This Is Water' quotes from his amazing speech.

18. “It is unimaginably hard to do this — to live consciously, adultly, day in and day out.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘This Is Water’.

19. "Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship."

― David Foster Wallace, ‘This Is Water’.

20. "Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think."

― David Foster Wallace, ‘This Is Water’.

21. "Worship your intellect, being seen as smart — you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on."

― David Foster Wallace, ‘This Is Water’.

22.“The freedom to be lords of our own tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘This Is Water’.

'The Pale King' Quotes

Here are the best quotes from David Wallace Foster's posthumously released book 'The Pale King'.

23. “Every love story is a ghost story.”

— David Foster Wallace, ‘The Pale King’.

24. “Anything we think of proposing to say the other person seem dull or stupid or banal or on the other hand maybe overly intimate or tension-producing.”

— David Foster Wallace, ‘The Pale King’.

25. “How odd I can have all this inside me and to you it’s just words.”

— David Foster Wallace, ‘The Pale King’.

26. “We are not dead but asleep, dreaming of ourselves.”

— David Foster Wallace, ‘The Pale King’.

27. “To be, in a word, unborable.... It is the key to modern life. If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘The Pale King’.

David Foster Wallace Quotes From Other Works

David Foster Wallace quotes about story about fiction are educational.

Here are some quotes from some of his other works that are really great and insightful.

28. “When a solipsist dies... everything goes with him.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Certainly The End Of Something Or Other, One Would Sort Of Have To Think’.

29. “In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Up, Simba!’

30. “To make someone an icon is to make him an abstraction, and abstractions are incapable of vital communication with living people.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘Consider The Lobster’.

31. “The severing of an established connection is exponentially more painful than the rejection of an attempted connection.”

― David Foster Wallace, ‘The Broom Of The System: A Novel’.

David Foster Wallace Quotes About His Personal Life

Here are some great David Foster Wallace quotes about his personal life and experiences.

32. “You have decided being scared is caused mostly by thinking.”

― David Foster Wallace.

33. “What writers have is a license and also the freedom to sit—to sit, clench their fists, and make themselves be excruciatingly aware of the stuff that we’re mostly aware of only on a certain level.”

― David Foster Wallace.

34. “Fiction, poetry, music... these are the places (for me) where loneliness is countenanced, stared down, transfigured, treated.”

― David Foster Wallace.

35. “I felt despair. The word’s overused and banalified now, despair, but it’s a serious word, and I’m using it seriously.”

― David Foster Wallace.

36. “People, unless they're paying attention, tend to confuse fanciness with intelligence or authority.”

― David Foster Wallace.

37. “Almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it.”

― David Foster Wallace.

38. “Fiction becomes a weird way to countenance yourself and to tell the truth instead of being a way to escape yourself or present yourself in a way you figure you will be maximally likable.”

― David Foster Wallace.

39. “I'd like to be the sort of person who can enjoy things at the time instead of having to go back in my head and enjoy them then.”

― David Foster Wallace.

40. “It seems important to find ways of reminding ourselves that most 'familiarity' is meditated and delusive.”

― David Foster Wallace.

41. “It looks like you can write a minimalist piece without much bleeding. And you can. But not a good one.”

― David Foster Wallace.

42. “Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.”

― David Foster Wallace.

43. “Everything takes time. Bees have to move very fast to stay still.”

― David Foster Wallace.

44. “Acceptance is usually more a matter of fatigue than anything else.”

― David Foster Wallace.

45. "I just think that fiction that isn’t exploring what it means to be human today isn’t art."

― David Foster Wallace,'The Review Of Contemporary Fiction', 1993.

Funny Quotes From David Foster Wallace

Here are some of the best funny quotes from David Foster Wallace that will tickle your funny bones.

46. “If you've never wept and want to, have a child.”

― David Foster Wallace.

47. “I don't think writers are any smarter than other people. I think they may be more compelling in their stupidity, or in their confusion.”

― David Foster Wallace.

48. “I had kind of a midlife crisis at twenty which probably doesn’t augur well for my longevity.”

― David Foster Wallace.

49. “The reader becomes God, for all textual purposes. I see your eyes glazing over, so I'll hush.”

― David Foster Wallace.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for David Foster Wallace quotes then why not take a look at these Chuck Palahniuk quotes or Mark Twain quotes too?

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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