Eleven years ago, the novelist delivered one of the all-time best commencement addresses. Here's the backstory.
Last summer my son turned 18 years old. I enthusiastically said to him, "Wonderful, you can vote for our next president." He answered, rather gloomily, "I feel it is pointless, they all make promises they never fulfill. How can I choose a candidate?"
David Foster Wallace spent the last years of his life teaching creative writing at Pomona College. Pomona College is no more than a 10-minute walk from where I live. It is also where David Foster Wallace chose to end his life in September 2008 at age 46.
The most persistent question is whether language can adequately tell our stories. Citing various thinkers, such as David Foster Wallace, Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard -- whose lines appear in ticker tape on the screen -- the film director wonders about the cracks in our ability to shape the meaning of our world.