And I submit that this is what the real, no-shit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: How to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone, day in and day out.
I have a love/ hate relationship with DFW's writing. He is challenging for me to read because:
- I have a lackluster vocabulary.
- In general, I am a slow reader.
- I get frustrated with words I do not understand.
Nonetheless, I like a good ol' challenge. The following words appear in This Is Water, and they were a mystery to me before looking up their definitions. Let the mockery begin:
- ubiquitous: adjective. present, appearing, or found everywhere.
- The immediate point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.
- banal: adjective. so lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring
- platitude: noun. a remark or statement, esp. one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful.
- ... in the day-to-day trenches of adult existence banal platitudes can have a life-or-death importance.
- didactic: adjective. intended to teach, particularly in having moral instruction as an ulterior motive.
- Here's another didactic little story.
- simp: noun. a silly or foolish person.
- The atheist rolls his eyes like the religious guy is a total simp.