This Is Water: The Original David Foster Wallace Recording

    • 4.6 • 90 Ratings
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    • $3.99

Publisher Description

In this rare peak into the personal life of the author of numerous bestselling novels, gain an understanding of David Foster Wallace and how he became the man that he was.
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.

David Foster Wallace
hr min
May 1
Hachette Audio

Customer Reviews

William Beutler ,

This IS the original DFW commencement

Disregard the first review, which mistaken: this is in fact the long-awaited original audio of Wallace's 2005 speech at Kenyon college, with all of his nervousness and asides and [unintelligible]s presented for you to attempt intelliging.

I do hope the video does become widely available at some point, but until that time, this is the best version available (aside from the original transcription, which you can still find if you know how to work the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine).

NickWS71 ,

What We Lost . . .

This is one of my favorite commencement speeches, hands-down--a wonderfully insightful and rhetorically engaging argument shot through with a passion that insists "I've got to make you understand." It's a didactic speech to be sure, but Wallace's willingness to expose himself and face the consequences of a self-centered existence creates such a compelling moment that I defy anyone to stop listening after the first 30 seconds. We really lost a great writer.

The Onion One ,

The best version of this speech is...

...found in The Best American No-Required Reading 2006 (edited by Dave Eggers). Since I keep reading that the only other versions are either the terrible Little Brown version and the internet transcripts, consider this a public service announcement. This audio book is great, but DFW was a better writer than public speaker, so you may find the written version (in the book I mentioned) to be the best experience.

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