Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

43

Boredom, Irony, and Anxiety: Wallace and the Kierkegaardian View of the Self

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terms
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notes

aw yes Allard den Dulk again. on boredom as one of the main themes in TPK and the rest of his work generally: "the challenges to becoming a coherent self and realizing a meaningful existence amid the fragmented plurality of the contemporary Western world" (p 42). traces the Kierkegaardian existential thought evident in his books: the self being something you make not have (Kafka is relevant here too; see DFW's Kafka essay); irony for the aesthete vs the ethical life view; boredom as anxiety due to the world being emptied of meaning. my fave essay here I think

Pieter den Dulk, A. (2014). Boredom, Irony, and Anxiety: Wallace and the Kierkegaardian View of the Self. In ? David Foster Wallace and "The Long Thing": New Essays on the Novels. Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 43-60

44

In Kierkegaard's view, an individual is not automatically a self but has to become one. A human being merely embodies the possibility of becoming a self. For Kierkegaard, there is no "true core" that an individual already "is" or "has" and that underlies selfhood. Becoming a self is the task of human life [...]

—p.44 by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 6 months ago

In Kierkegaard's view, an individual is not automatically a self but has to become one. A human being merely embodies the possibility of becoming a self. For Kierkegaard, there is no "true core" that an individual already "is" or "has" and that underlies selfhood. Becoming a self is the task of human life [...]

—p.44 by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 6 months ago
49

The tragic fate of the aesthete raises the question: how can the individual liberate himself from the ironic-aesthetic attitude and realize a meaningful life? Kierkegaard's answer is deceptively simple: by choosing. In Either/Or, the ethicist affirms that "the ethical constitutes the choice" and that this choice is "the main concern in life, you can win yourself, gain yourself" [...] The aesthetic life is characterized by not-choosing; the aesthete wants to retain his negative freedom. To overcome the empty despair in which this life-view runs aground, the negative freedom established through irony should be followed, as mentioned above, by taking up the responsibility to give shape and meaning to one's life, thereby realizing a positive freedom. This is the choice that, for Kierkegaard, characterizes the ethical life view.

referring to the father of the contortionist boy from TPK, who became addicted to seduction (405)

—p.49 by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 6 months ago

The tragic fate of the aesthete raises the question: how can the individual liberate himself from the ironic-aesthetic attitude and realize a meaningful life? Kierkegaard's answer is deceptively simple: by choosing. In Either/Or, the ethicist affirms that "the ethical constitutes the choice" and that this choice is "the main concern in life, you can win yourself, gain yourself" [...] The aesthetic life is characterized by not-choosing; the aesthete wants to retain his negative freedom. To overcome the empty despair in which this life-view runs aground, the negative freedom established through irony should be followed, as mentioned above, by taking up the responsibility to give shape and meaning to one's life, thereby realizing a positive freedom. This is the choice that, for Kierkegaard, characterizes the ethical life view.

referring to the father of the contortionist boy from TPK, who became addicted to seduction (405)

—p.49 by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 6 months ago
50

Choice is always an action in which the individual connects to reality, to the world. Choice always means taking responsibility for a certain commitment to the world. And it is through that choice, through that connection to reality, in consciousness transcending itself toward the world, that the self emerges.

i love reading literary criticism not expecting much but then coming across something like this. this is what i live for

—p.50 by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 6 months ago

Choice is always an action in which the individual connects to reality, to the world. Choice always means taking responsibility for a certain commitment to the world. And it is through that choice, through that connection to reality, in consciousness transcending itself toward the world, that the self emerges.

i love reading literary criticism not expecting much but then coming across something like this. this is what i live for

—p.50 by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 6 months ago

coined by Danish science writer Tor Nørretranders in his book The User Illusion published in English 1998; meant to mean "explicitly discarded information"

53

defined as "not giving all the information needed to make sense of something and leaving it up to the reader to think about how this might work"; a common strategy of DFW's

—p.53 default author
notable
1 year, 8 months ago

defined as "not giving all the information needed to make sense of something and leaving it up to the reader to think about how this might work"; a common strategy of DFW's

—p.53 default author
notable
1 year, 8 months ago
58

This emphasis on the importance of what is right in front of of our noses is a central theme in Wallace's work (cf. This is Water). Like existentialism, it is about the experience of concrete human existence. One of the more valuable things that Wallace's fiction can contribute to our philosophical understanding of the current age is that it points out the real world and urges us to pay attention to it, to commit to it, and thereby, to become ourselves.

—p.58 by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 6 months ago

This emphasis on the importance of what is right in front of of our noses is a central theme in Wallace's work (cf. This is Water). Like existentialism, it is about the experience of concrete human existence. One of the more valuable things that Wallace's fiction can contribute to our philosophical understanding of the current age is that it points out the real world and urges us to pay attention to it, to commit to it, and thereby, to become ourselves.

—p.58 by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 6 months ago