This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered On A Significant Occasion, About Living A Compassionate Life

Hardcover | April 14, 2009

byDavid Foster Wallace

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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. The speech is reprinted for the first time in book form in THIS IS WATER. 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 reading.

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From the Publisher

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. The speech is reprinted for the first time in book form in THIS IS WATER. How does one keep from going through their comfortable, prosperous adult life unconsciously? How do we get ourselves out of ...

David Foster Wallace was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1962 and raised in Illinois, where he was a regionally ranked junior tennis player. He received bachelor of arts degrees in philosophy and English from Amherst College and wrote what would become his first novel, The Broom of the System, as his senior English thesis. He received a ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:144 pages, 6.75 × 4.75 × 0.75 inPublished:April 14, 2009Publisher:Little, Brown And CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316068225

ISBN - 13:9780316068222

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delightful reframing I read this a few years agao and went on to read his infinite jest novel. This short and raw commenceme speech is a lovely way to spend half an hour relaxing and lounging and reframing my adult life. I tend to feel better after seeing a glimpse of a thoughtful and careful and brave mind.
Date published: 2015-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning This was stunning both in terms of literary beauty and in its ability to literally stun and elicit a reevaluation of actions and reactions. I look forward to reading it again and again.
Date published: 2013-01-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Loved the speech, the format is annoying. I love David Foster Wallace and I've read the speech many times online. It's a wonderful speech to listen to, whether you're graduating or not (SSS Class of 09!). But the sentence-on-every-page format was really choppy and pretty much drove me nuts. I guess it's what you have to do to stretch a speech to 100-something pages. The text was butchered horribly and I felt that a lot of bits of the speech lost their depth when it was presented in this way. Buy DFW's other books and just read this wonderful speech online. It was never intended to be a book, it makes sense that the book format didn't work. 5/5 speech 0/5 for the book. Since you can't give half leaves, I'll just round down to 2.
Date published: 2009-06-17

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Editorial Reviews

"Striking...is [Wallace's] evocative insight and humor."-Mark Follman, Mother Jones