November 24, 2012

"Work as Play... disciplined fun is more fun than impulsive or hedonistic fun."

From the David Foster Wallace essay "The Nature of Fun."

(The entire essay appears in the collection "Both Flesh and Not: Essays.")

18 comments:

Tim said...

I think the ability to reconcile results with expectations is a sign of maturity, if not wisdom.

I do not write for a living, nor am I engaged in any creative endeavor for a living, but I'd expect this ability to reconcile results with expectations is probably most difficult in the creative arts.

Emil Blatz said...

Not sure I'd be turning to this guy for the definition of fun. Just sayin'...

Chip Ahoy said...

I read that whole thing, didn't even go flow flow skim flow zippyzap but rather read every word as a thing in a spoken sentence that makes sense, and I got 0 out of it.

I am so disappointed, and I hear so much about that guy.

Alex said...

One thing for sure. When it comes to your profession, once you become very good every day can be fun. There's no fun when you don't know what the hell you're doing.

McTriumph said...

I'm with Emil Blatz on this. There are so many more fun people who killed themselves to pick from.

traditionalguy said...

Boundaries that identify lawful conduct and lawless conduct give meaning and excitement to our lives. Living in a Chaos of formless and free life only gives us instinctive survival skills with no meaning and diminishing excitement.

EDH said...

It has something to do with Work as Play. Under fun's new administration, writing fiction becomes a way to go deep inside yourself and illuminate precisely the stuff you don't want to see or let anyone else see...

Where have we seen that before?

"All work and no play makes..."

James Pawlak said...

Too many words: A looseness of verbal bowels.

Those interested in a real analysis of "fun" and all other human activities should look at the "T'Sel Matrix" as noted in the novel "The Regiment" by John Dalmas.

edutcher said...

The proposition defined in the post makes me think this guy never had sex.

Surfed said...

He's absolutely right. I'll just leave it at that.

Howard said...

It's really more about the artistic process of transformation beyond the self-conscientious plateau/regression that typically follows innocent beginnings. His conclusion about random versus structured fun is immature. Obviously he never made the complete transformation to understand that fun is where you find it and is fleeting. Perhaps his needing to create fun lead to his demise?

Scott said...

Arbeit macht frei.

Lem said...

Under fun's new administration, writing fiction becomes a way to go deep inside yourself and illuminate precisely the stuff you don't want to see or let anyone else see, and this stuff usually turns out (paradoxically) to be precisely the stuff all writers and readers share and respond to, feel.

F For Feeling.

Lem said...

That essay is the essence of AA/NA.


veni vidi vici said...

Because if his name were simply "David Wallace", he probably wouldn't be even half as famous as he is/was.

Once that's acknowledged, what else is there? The "everyone has one" truism?

Mitchell the Bat said...

I think maybe we've got a reach-exceeding-grasp thing going on here, all around.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

So says a guy who killed himself.

Joe said...

I tried reading the essay. It was complete naval gazing, blabbering bullshit. Boy did this guy like hearing himself talk. Why didn't his editor ask "get to the fucking point!"

This is the type of writing that appears to be intellectual, but is actually unbelievably trite. He used big words and long sentences to mask the fact that he has nothing to say. And intellectuals buy into this shit lock, stock and barrel.