moar quotes from a wallace acolyte

From “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again” [Harper’s, January 1996]. That’s a real link by the way. You can click it and it will take you exactly where you would want to go given the context. It’s a little late for April Fool’s jokes anyways, huh?

Death and Frank Conroy notwithstanding, we’re maybe in a position now to appreciate the falsehood at the dark heart of the Celebrity Cruises brochure. For this – the promise to sate the part of me that always and only wants – is the central fantasy the brochure is selling. The thing to notice is that the real fantasy here isn’t that this promise will be kept but that such a promise is keepable at all. This is a big one, this lie. (It might well be The Big One, come to think of it.)

And of course I want to believe it; I want to believe that maybe this ultimate fantasy vacation will be enough pampering, that this time the luxury and pleasure will be so completely and faultlessly administered that my infantile part will be sated at last. But the infantile part of me is, by its very nature and essence, insatiable. In fact, its whole raison d’etre consists of its insatiability. In response to any environment of extraordinary gratification and pampering, the insatiable-infant part of me will simply adjust its desires upward until it once again levels out at its homeostasis of terrible dissatisfaction.

And sure enough, after a few days of delight and then adjustment on the m.v. Zenith (which no pseudojournalistic wag could avoid rechristening the Nadir), the Pamper-swaddled part of me that wants is now back, and with a vengeance. By Wednesday, I’m acutely conscious of the fact that the AC vent in my cabin hisses (loudly), and that although I can turn off the reggae Muzak coming out of the speaker in the cabin I cannot turn off the even louder ceiling-speaker out in the 10-Port hall.

~David Foster Wallace

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