David Foster Wallace’s Kenyon commencement speech video
David Foster Wallace’s 2005 commencement address begins:
(If anybody feels like perspiring [cough], I’d advise you to go ahead, because I’m sure going to. In fact I’m gonna [mumbles while pulling up his gown and taking out a handkerchief from his pocket].)
Here is the excerpt of “This Is Water” (the title that Little, Brown gave the speech when they published it in hardcover) that The Glossary animated and released this week, just in time for commencement season.
It includes rush hour traffic, a miserable-looking grocery line, and a crazy-wheeled shopping cart that pulls to the left. We’ve written about this speech before, and about how Wallace’s suicide changed the way people read his work.
Kirsten Reach is an editor at Melville House.