David Foster Wallace’s “This Is Water”

Posted: November 16, 2012 in Dark Art Cafe
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Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life

This is a commencement speech given by David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College in 2005. In it he talks about how hard it is to recognize the “default settings” in our thinking, our prejudices, and how to go about the difficult work of getting outside our own “skull-sized kingdoms” in order to think differently, consciously, and compassionately.

Thinking compassionately is what he calls “water” or freedom.

And it is in pursuit of this freedom that I read, write, and teach literature.


Part 1:

Part 2:


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