The important kind of freedom

If, like me, you hadn’t read David Foster Wallace, author of Infinite Jest, before his suicide, a good place to start is his 2005 speech to the graduating class of Kenyon University.

The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.

Go read the speech. Let David Foster Wallace be your new friend, even though he speaks now only through the printed page.

Update: I stopped by Bookshop Santa Cruz this afternoon and picked up their last copy of Consider the Lobster, a collection of essays by DFW. It’s about all they had in stock. Of course, they’ll be getting more of his books soon.

Then I found this conversation with Michael Silverblatt.

More links:

Remembrances on McSweeney’s

David Foster Wallace on Bookworm

David Foster Wallace on Harper’s Magazine

Roger Federer as Religious Experience