Jaynes Your Way

Here are my thoughts about films, life, and what not. If you don't like them I'll give your money back.


14 May, 2010

With graduation having just whizzed by, I've been forced to consider my future plans. As a nasty byproduct of contemplating that really unanswerable question, you have to consider what is a success.  How will you be successful? Do you want to be successful? Success is a strange noun. Its definition is always changing and it means many, many thinks to different people. The definition of success means a favorable outcome, but the OED does not give us a clue as to what it is that is favorable. If only. . .

I was lent a copy of Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself by David Lipsky. The books is a transcript of Lipsky's journey with David Foster Wallace while researching an article for Rolling Stone on DFW and the recent acclaim and success associated with the recently published novel Infinite Jest. Wallace is in the midst of touring the country promoting his then recently released tome. Lipsky accompanies Wallace to 8 various book signings all the while asking questions, which Wallace responds very candidly. I read this the other day and it stuck out:

[Wallace]. . .And I think that the ultimate way you and I get lucky is if you have some success early in life, you get to find out early it doesn't mean anything. Which means you get to start early the work of figuring out what does mean something. And the biggest thing that I like about what's going on, to be totally honest--and see, you're being very good, 'cause now I'm starting to like you, and so I'm saying this stuff, and it may sound crazy. I really like that this doesn't, that this isn't that big a deal to me. That it like--it's nice.
Are you trying to be successful for other people, or are you doing what you want to do for its own sake? I fortunately still get the opportunity to ask myself these questions before I start down a set path. Though like everything in my life up until this point, I know it won't be a set path, but full of tangents, setbacks, and mountains. Read the book if you get a chance and see how a genius also grapples with the specter of success.


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