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Wallace, David Foster. THIS IS WATER: SOME THOUGHTS, DELIVERED ON A SIGNIFICANT OCCASION, ABOUT LIVING A COMPASSIONATE LIFE. New York City, NY: Little, Brown And Company, 2009. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 140 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's Commencement Address. Now considered a contemporary classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only that sold out shortly after publication. The First Edition is now rare. Presents David Foster Wallace's "This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered On A Significant Occasion, About Living A Compassionate Life". His moral philosophy, originally delivered as the Commencement Address at Kenyon College in 2005, the first and only one he ever gave, distilled in a single-reading volume. In book form, it is re-presented as a series of thoughts, aphorisms, and sayings, one on each page. "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, commented on endlessly in blogs, and emailed from friend to friend. Writing with his one-of-a-kind blend of casual humor, exacting intellect, and practical philosophy, David Foster Wallace probes the challenges of daily living and offers advice that renews us with every reading" (Publisher's blurb). Whatever one has to say about Wallace's lecture (in agreement or in rebuttal), "This Is Water" is written in his most intimate voice, could only have been written by him, and is thoughtful, provocative, and heartfelt. It shows that however playful, satirical, and ironic his tone could be, David Foster Wallace actively resisted the exploitation of the audience by the entertainment industry American publishing had become. For he was the Real Thing, and his death has been yet another blow to the most important idea of serious contemporary culture: Principled resistance to the status quo through writing that is an empowering engagement between writer and reader. Wallace's themes were revisited and his address matched, not surpassed, by fellow writer George Saunders in the latter's own Commencement Address, "Congratulations, By The Way: Some Thoughts On Kindness" (2014). David Foster Wallace committed suicide - in the most determined and gruesome manner imaginable, by hanging himself - on September 12, 2008 at the age of 46. An absolute "must-have" title for David Foster Wallace collectors. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. Please note: Copies available online have serious flaws or are in innumerable subsequent printings. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A rare copy thus. Selected by The New Yorker Magazine as one of the "Twenty Writers For The 21st Century". Winner of the MacArthur Genius Grant. One of the most brilliant American writers of our time. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER DAVID FOSTER WALLACE TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0316068225. $150.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on August 08, 2020.