11 August 2013

DFW: This Is Water

A video by The Glossary brought renewed attention to David Foster Wallace's 2005 commencement speech This Is Water. Fortunately for me, since I had managed to miss the text all these years.

What is the relation between Wallace's default setting and Heidegger's the One (das Man)? Both of them are inauthentic modes of existence, but the former is self-centered while the latter stems from conformity.

A secondary question is how familiar DFW was with Heidegger. Aside from an ironic allusion in Infinite Jest, the only serious reference comes from a 2005 interview: "Heidegger’s the guy most people think got us into this bind, but when I was working on Broom of the System I saw Wittgenstein as the real architect of the postmodern trap." Some authors have also tried to interpret Infinite Jest and The Pale King in terms of Heidegger's The Question Concerning Technology.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the links and the discovery of this amazing text. Hope everything is fine !