Thursday, May 24, 2007

Existentially Loathesome

For all of the fellow David Foster Wallace fans in the house, I stumbled upon this little youtube video of the "Tourism rant" from Consider the Lobster. I'm not going to pretend that the video is groundbreaking, but DFW's stuff is so dense that taking any 2 minute segment and REALLY listening to it is always a good idea. If I remember correctly, this bit was actually from a footnote (which is like a Radiohead B-side or something; often better than the "main" stuff.) It will probably be especially meaningful for fellow travelers, who often have to consider this sort of odd-tension. It should be stressed here that Wallace is talking about intra-national tourism, though.


Rufus said...

Whenever I see or hear DFW, I am slightly disappointed. In my head he's funnier, quicker, and more frivolous, than his on air persona. He reads this piece like he's revealing the apocalpse, when it's only the set-up for his essentially ironic attempt to feel sympathy for lobsters.

Matt said...

DFW reading his own stuff might've been an egotistical conceit, true. I don't think he's too bad but I know what you mean. I actually get the impression that your comment is more of a compliment to his writing (yes?) Have you gone to a DFW talk? Aside from Noam Chomsky (and agree with him or no, I can't name another person who can field anything from "Tell me about the history of containerization" to "Can you quote George Kennan's NSC54 from memory?") he's one of the only speakers I've ever seen who seems comfortable answering any question you throw at him, and well. "Comfortable" should come with and asterisk, because as we both know DFW is deeply uncomfortable with any and every question but after much hand-waving and throat clearing he'll answer everything.