This Is Water

This Is Water Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life

Only once did David Foster Wallace give a public talk on his views on life, during a commencement address given in 2005 at Kenyon College. The speech is reprinted for the first time in book form in THIS IS WATER. How does one keep from going through their comfortable, prosperous adult life unconsciously? How do we get ourselves out of the foreground of our thoughts and achieve compassion? The speech captures Wallace's electric intellect as well as his grace in attention to others. After his death, it became a treasured piece of writing reprinted in The Wall Street Journal and the London Times, commented on endlessly in blogs, and emailed from friend to friend. Writing with his one-of-a-kind blend of causal humor, exacting intellect, and practical philosophy, David Foster Wallace probes the challenges of daily living and offers advice that renews us with every reading.
Sign up to use


Photo of Benedict Neo
Benedict Neo@benedict
5 stars
Dec 31, 2023
Photo of Benedict Neo
Benedict Neo@bneo
5 stars
Sep 7, 2023
Photo of Maria
5 stars
Mar 11, 2023
Photo of Gavin
4 stars
Mar 9, 2023
Photo of Bridget Smith
Bridget Smith@br_ridget
5 stars
Oct 12, 2022
Photo of Nelson Zagalo
Nelson Zagalo@nzagalo
5 stars
Sep 3, 2022
Photo of brendan sudol
brendan sudol@bren
5 stars
Aug 12, 2022
Photo of Raag Sudha
Raag Sudha@raagrambles
5 stars
Mar 11, 2022
Photo of Melody Izard
Melody Izard@mizard
4 stars
Jan 10, 2022
Photo of Laura Mitchell Hutchinson
Laura Mitchell Hutchinson@lauraahutchy
5 stars
Nov 5, 2021
Photo of Carolina Lopes
Carolina Lopes@carolina
5 stars
Sep 5, 2021
Photo of Hugo Ahlberg
Hugo Ahlberg@hugo
5 stars
Aug 17, 2021
Photo of DF
5 stars
Mar 1, 2024
Photo of Elou
5 stars
Jan 28, 2024
Photo of H
4 stars
Dec 16, 2022
Photo of Carla Schwarze
Carla Schwarze@carlaschwarze
4 stars
Jul 21, 2022
Photo of Jem Cab
Jem Cab@jemnotfinch
3.5 stars
Jul 2, 2022
Photo of Adriana Coppola
Adriana Coppola@adrianaa
5 stars
Feb 17, 2022
Photo of Ash Hoe
Ash Hoe@ash
5 stars
Aug 13, 2021
Photo of Ned Summers
Ned Summers @nedsu
5 stars
Jan 31, 2024
Photo of Josh Kuiros
Josh Kuiros@joshkuiros
5 stars
Jan 30, 2024
Photo of Brian
5 stars
Jan 25, 2024
Photo of Leon Beckert
Leon Beckert@leonbeckert
5 stars
Jan 17, 2024
Photo of Jo A
Jo A@thecupofjo
5 stars
Jan 1, 2024