The capital t truth is about life before death
Quote by David Foster Wallace: “The capital-T Truth is about life before death....”
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In a commencement address in , David Foster Wallace told the graduates of Kenyon College that they were about to face a life of boredom, routine, and petty frustration. There happen to be whole, large parts of adult American life that nobody talks about in commencement speeches. He then explains that the real value of their education is not in teaching them to think, but in teaching them how to think, by providing them the ability to make a choice about what they think, and when they think it.
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Sign in with Facebook Sign in options. Join Goodreads. It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over: "This is water. Share this quote:. Like Quote.
There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, "Morning, boys, how's the water? If at this moment you're worried that I plan to present myself here as the wise old fish explaining what water is to you younger fish, please don't be. I am not the wise old fish. The immediate point of the fish story is that the most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about. Stated as an English sentence, of course, this is just a banal platitude-but the fact is that, in the day-to-day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have life-or-death importance.
This is a standard requirement of US commencement speeches, the deployment of didactic little parable-ish stories. I am not the wise old fish. The point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about. Stated as an English sentence, of course, this is just a banal platitude, but the fact is that in the day to day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have a life or death importance, or so I wish to suggest to you on this dry and lovely morning. There are these two guys sitting together in a bar in the remote Alaskan wilderness. One of the guys is religious, the other is an atheist, and the two are arguing about the existence of God with that special intensity that comes after about the fourth beer.