Over the long holiday weekend, David Foster Wallace Avoidance Syndrome struck again—more on this in a moment.
In trying to get lost in the rhythm of Infinite Jest, my heart said, “You’re not ready for fiction.”
In paperback, I had wrapped Mastery, and started Rebel without a Crew.
In eBook format, I had dabbled in Draft No. 4 from John McPhee after Barking Up The Wrong Tree by Eric Barker and Greenlights.
I thumbed through a couple samples, and then…WHAM.
Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t: Why That Is And What You Can Do About It by Steven Pressfield.
I consumed the book in almost its entirety, a hallmark of Pressfield’s and my relationship.
It was so impactful, that I thought about reworking my entire list on the basis of this book, and branching out from there.
So here goes:
Goodbye, Book List 2021. Hello, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t Family Tree.
Here’s a small preview of this project:
Would you be interested in seeing more book reviews and recommendations this way? Let me know by replying to this email or the comments.
David Foster Wallace Avoidance Syndrome
If you’ve stayed with me, you might be dying to know:
What is David Foster Wallace Avoidance Syndrome (DFWAS)?
Well, DFWAS is that feeling when you set out to do one thing and the thing inspires you to do something else entirely.
The first time I experienced this was when I readied myself to watch David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech, This is Water.
Instead, I wrote a poem, and here it is.
I don’t even like chocolate cereal
But here I am
With a fresh bowl full
Staring at my computer screen
About to listen to a commencement speech by David Foster Wallace
And as the milk loses its purity
The cereal gets better
And the intense cocoa flavor
Dissolves into a sensation
That reminds me of a soft-serve twist cone
You know that final bit
Where the ice cream has dripped down
And absorbed some of the crunch
You’re left with this perfect moment
When three things almost become one
Chocolate, Vanilla, Cone
If you took it alone
It would be mushy, even disgusting
But when you’ve just downed
A towering swirl of sugar and fat
It doesn’t matter
Not much matters when you’re eating ice cream
It’s almost impossible to cry
Into frozen milk
Believe me I tried
When we said goodbye to that sweet black and white doggie
We cried most of the day
Until we ate ice cream
But when you’re sad
You eat it right out of the carton
With a spoon
You scrape the bottom
And the waxed paper pint
And you don’t get any wrapper fleck to mix in the bottom
So it’s soup at this point
Barely its former self
A tepid liquid
Devoid of taste and most joy
But your tummy is full
And you fight the law of diminishing returns
Because those first two to ten bites
Are so damn good
The milk is dark brown now
I stab at the bottom of the bowl
Hopeful for something flaky
Looking to find a little piece
I tip it up and drink it down
Yo bro, what did you use to make the ‘mind map’ infographic?