David Foster Wallace (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008) was an American writer and university professor in the disciplines of English and creative writing. His novel Infinite Jest (1996) was listed by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels published between 1923 and 2005. His last novel, The Pale King (2011), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2012.
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This is the kind of paradox, I think, of what it is to be a halfway intelligent American right now: . . . there are things we know are right, and good, and would be better for us to do, but constantly it's like "Yeah, but, you know . . . ," and "Who cares?" and "It's all bullshit anyway.
Whatever the philosophers may say, it remains true that, from the first hour of man's waking consciousness until that consciousness ceases, his most ardent desire is to be happy, and that the moment of his most profound regret is when he becomes convinced that on this earth perfect happiness cannot be found.
True myths may serve for thousands of years as an inexhaustible source of intellectual speculation, religious joy, ethical inquiry, and artistic renewal. The real mystery is not destroyed by reason. The fake one is. You look at it and it vanishes. You look at the Blond Hero — really look — and he turns into a gerbil. But you look at Apollo, and he looks back at you. The poet Rilke looked at a statue of Apollo about fifty years ago, and Apollo spoke to him. "You must change your life," he said. When the true myth rises into consciousness, that is always its message: "You must change your life.
In forming a bridge between body and mind, dreams may be used as a springboard from which man can leap to new realms of experience lying outside his normal state of consciousness and enlarge his vision not only of himself, but also of the universe in which he lives.
The neurochemistry of the brain is astonishingly busy, the circuitry of a machine more wonderful than any devised by humans. But there is no evidence that its functioning is due to anything more than the 1014 neural connections that build an elegant architecture of consciousness.