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Publisher's Summary

Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life
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. This is the audio recording of David Foster Wallace delivering that very address. 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 listen.
©2005 David Foster Wallace (P)2010 Hachette
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By John Nosal on 10-09-12

The best 20 minutes of my life.

I have listened to "This is Water" hundreds of times. At first, I would listen and laugh. Now, years later, I listen and cry. The text hasn't changed, I have. This is the best 20 minute synopsis of the purpose of life that I have ever heard.

(Also highly recommended - "Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace")

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By cataldi on 05-31-15

Great narrative

This is a great commencement speech. Perhaps the greatest ever. I highly recommend this recording. Give it a listen.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Amazon Customer on 07-27-13

Wallace's words are inspired and down to earth.

This speech is strikingly objective. What it is not is condescending repetitive or cliché. Wallace does not strive to give you good advise but to simple remind you to breathe, when it is all too simple to forget how to. If you're a David Foster Wallace fan, this is undoubtedly a gem to keep.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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