June 23, 2009


Wallace, David Foster, This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life (New York & Boston: Little, Brown, 2009) ("As I'm sure you guys know by now, it is extremely difficult to stay alert and attentive instead of getting hypnotized by the constant monologue inside your head." "What you don't yet know are the stakes of this struggle." "In the twenty years since my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand these stakes, and to see that the liberal arts cliché about 'teaching you think' was actually shorthand for a very deep and important truth." " 'Learning how to think' really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think.". "It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience." "Because if you cannot or will not exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed." Id. at 50-55. This is short volume is the late David Foster Wallace's 2005 commencement speech at Kenyon College.).