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In 2005, author David Foster Wallace was asked to give the commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College. The resulting speech, which only became widely known 3 years later, after his tragic death, is an advice, a simple and elegant explanation of the real value of education. LA-based film company The Glossary have taken a 10-minute excerpt of the speech ( and created this short film, This is Water, which focuses on Foster Wallace’s main ideas.

..the boredom, routine and petty frustration” of daily adult life..
..education has nothing to do with knowledge and everything to do with awareness..

David Foster Wallace (1962) was born in Ithaca, New York, and raised in Illinois, where he was a regionally ranked junior tennis player. He received bachelor of arts degrees in philosophy and English from Amherst College and wrote what would become his first novel, The Broom of the System, as his senior English thesis. He received a masters of fine arts from University of Arizona in 1987 and briefly pursued graduate work in philosophy at Harvard University. His second novel, Infinite Jest, was published in 1996. Wallace taught creative writing at Emerson College, Illinois State University, and Pomona College, and published the story collections Girl with Curious Hair, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Oblivion, the essay collections A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, and Consider the Lobster. He was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and a Whiting Writers’ Award, and was appointed to the Usage Panel for The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. He died in 2008. His last novel, The Pale King, was published in 2011. (davidfosterwallacebooks.com)

read the full speech here

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