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Infinite Jest › Quotes

Infinite Jest Quotes

Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else.
You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.
Mario, what do you get when you cross an insomniac, an unwilling agnostic and a dyslexic?" "I give." "You get someone who stays up all night torturing himself mentally over the question of whether or not there's a dog.
What passes for hip cynical transcendence of sentiment is really some kind of fear of being really human, since to be really human [...] is probably to be unavoidably sentimental and naïve and goo-prone and generally pathetic.
It did what all ads are supposed to do: create an anxiety relievable by purchase.
That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack. That concentrating on anything is very hard work.
[...] almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it. Destiny has no beeper; destiny always leans trenchcoated out of an alley with some sort of 'psst' that you usually can't even hear because you're in such a rush to or from something important you've tried to engineer.
Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est" ("They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are quite a bit dicier").
...logical validity is not a guarantee of truth.
And Lo, for the Earth was empty of Form, and void. And Darkness was all over the Face of the Deep. And We said: 'Look at that fucker Dance.
The thing about people who are truly and malignantly crazy: their real genius is for making the people around them think they themselves are crazy. In military science this is called Psy-Ops, for your info.
You can be shaped, or you can be broken. There is not much in between. Try to learn. Be coachable. Try to learn from everybody, especially those who fail. This is hard. ... How promising you are as a Student of the Game is a function of what you can pay attention to without running away.
I'll say God seems to have a kind of laid-back management style I'm not crazy about. I'm pretty much anti-death. God looks by all accounts to be pro-death. I'm not seeing how we can get together on this issue, he and I...
sarcasm and jokes were often the bottle in which clinical depressives sent out their most plangent screams for someone to care and help them.
... That no single, individual moment is in and of itself unendurable.
Are we not all of us fanatics? I say only what you of the U.S.A. pretend you do not know. Attachments are of great seriousness. Choose your attachments carefully. Choose your temple of fanaticism with great care. What you wish to sing of as tragic love is an attachment not carefully chosen. Die for one person? This is a craziness. Persons change, leave, die, become ill. They leave, lie, go mad, have sickness, betray you, die. Your nation outlives you. A cause outlives you.
...most Substance-addicted people are also addicted to thinking, meaning they have a compulsive and unhealthy relationship with their own thinking.
Mary had a little lamb, its fleece electrostatic / And everywhere Mary went, the lights became erratic.
It now lately sometimes seemed a black miracle to me that people could actually care deeply about a subject or pursuit, and could go on caring this way for years on end. Could dedicate their entire lives to it. It seemed admirable and at the same time pathetic. We are all dying to give our lives away to something, maybe.
Why not? Why not? Why not not, then, if the best reasoning you can contrive is why not?.
There are no choices without personal freedom, Buckeroo. It's not us who are dead inside. These things you find so weak and contemptible in us---these are just the hazards of being free.
God seems to have a kind of laid-back management style I’m not crazy about.
The sun like a sneaky keyhole view of hell.
You are what you love. No? You are, completely and only, what you would die for without, as you say, the thinking twice.
Almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it.
...morning is the soul's night.
Like most North Americans of his generation, Hal tends to know way less about why he feels certain ways about the objects and pursuits he's devoted to than he does about the objects and pursuits themselves. It's hard to say for sure whether this is even exceptionally bad, this tendency.
We are all dying to give our lives away to something, maybe. God or Satan, politics or grammar, topology or philately - the object seemed incidental to this will to give ourselves away, utterly. To games or needles, to some other person. Something pathetic about it. A flight-from in the form of a plunging-into. Flight from exactly what? These rooms, blandly filled with excrement and heat? To what purpose?.
What if sometimes there is no choice about what to love? What if the temple comes to Mohammed? What if you just love? without deciding? You just do: you see her and in that instant are lost to sober account-keeping and cannot choose but to love?.
I'm just afraid of having a tombstone that says HERE LIES A PROMISING OLD MAN.
He suddenly felt nothing, or rather Nothing, a pre-tornadic stillness of zero sensation, as if he were the very space he occupied.
The man who knows his limitations, has none.
life's endless war against the self you cannot live without.
Our attachments are our temple, what we worship, no? What we give ourselves to, what we invest with faith. . . . Attachments are of great seriousness. Choose your attachments carefully. Choose your temple of fanaticism with great care.
Please learn the pragmatics of expressing fear: sometimes words that seem to express really invoke. This can be tricky.
American experience seems to suggest that people are virtually unlimited in their need to give themselves away, on various levels. Some just prefer to do it in secret.
Everything gets horrible. Everything you see gets ugly. Lurid is the word. Doctor Garton said lurid, one time. That's the right word for it. And everything sounds harsh, spiny and harsh sounding, like every sound you hear all of a sudden has teeth. And smelling like I smell bad even after I just got out of the shower. It's like what's the point of washing if everything smells like I need another shower.
...loneliness is not a function of solitude.
That it is statistically easier for low-IQ people to kick an addiction than it is for high-IQ people... That boring activities become, perversely, much less boring if you concentrate intently on them.
These worst mornings with cold floors and hot windows and merciless light - the soul's certainty that the day will have to be not traversed but sort of climbed, vertically, and then that going to sleep again at the end of it will be like falling, again, off something tall and sheer.
What metro Boston AAs are trite but correct about is that both destiny's kisses and its dope-slaps illustrate an individual person's basic personal powerlessness over the really meaningful events in their life: i.e almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it. Destiny has no beeper; destiny always leans trenchcoated out of an alley with some sort of Psst that you usually can't even hear because you're in such a rush to or from something important you've tried to engineer.
Be on guard. The road widens, and many of the detours are seductive.
This wise old whiskery fish swims up to three young fish and goes, 'Morning, boys, how's the water?' and swims away; and the three young fish watch him swim away and look at each other and go, 'What the fuck is water?' and swim away.
she committed suicide by putting her extremities down the garbage disposal-first one arm and then, kind of miraculously if you think about it, the other arm.
Hang me upside-down and fuck me in both ears. You pulled yourself out of a clinical depression by being a freaking hero.
I'm so scared of dying without ever being really seen. Can you understand?.
It is tragic and sad and chaotic and lovely. All life is the same, as citizens of the human State: the animating limits are within, to be killed and mourned, over and over again.
Everything I've ever let go of has claw marks on it. (on the wall of a bedroom at a recovery house for alcoholics and drug addicts).
Try to let what is unfair teach you…what is unfair can be a stern but invaluable teacher…you can be shaped, or you can be broken. There is not much in between. Try to learn. Be coachable. Try to learn from everybody, especially those who fail. This is hard.
-the soul's certainty that the day will have to be not traversed but sort of climbed, vertically, and then that going to sleep again at the end of it will be like falling, again, off something tall and sheer.
...the sun would leave my sky if I couldn't assume you'd simply come and tell me you were sad.
...perversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it.
She wanted only tall smooth bottles whose labels spoke of Proof.
They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are quite a bit dicier.
Be a Student of the Game. Like most cliches of sport, this is profound. You can be shaped, or you can be broken. There is not much in between. Try to learn. Be coachable. Try to learn from everybody, especially those who fail. This is hard. Peers who fizzle or blow up or fall down, run away, disappear from the monthly rankings, drop off the circuit.
The boy, who did everything well and with a natural unslumped grace the wraith himself had always lacked, and whom the wraith had been so terribly eager to see and hear and let him (the son) know he was seen and heard, the son had become a steadily more and more hidden boy, toward the wraith's life's end; and no one else in the wraith and the boy's nuclear family would see or acknowledge this, the fact that the graceful and marvelous boy was disappearing, right before their eyes. They looked but did not see his invisibility.
...when he kneels at other times and prays or meditates or tries to achieve a Big-Picture spiritual understanding of God as he can understand Him, he feels Nothing — not nothing, but Nothing, an edgeless blankness that somehow feels worse than the sort of unconsidered atheism he Came In with.