Ramblings & ephemera

David Foster Wallace on fiction’s purpose in dark times

From Larry McCaffery’s “Conversation with David Foster Wallace” (Dalkey Archive Press at the University of Illinois: Summer 1993):

Look man, we’d probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is? In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements of what’s human and magical that still live and glow despite the times’ darkness. Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it’d find a way both to depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it.

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