September 12th, 2010
Wallace on “risking disapproval”

The next real literary “rebels” in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles. Who treat of plain old untrendy human troubles and emotions in US life with reverence and conviction. Who eschew self-consciousness and hip fatigue. The anti-rebels would be outdated of course, before they even started. Dead of the page. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naive, anachonistic. Maybe that’ll be the point. Maybe that’s why they’ll be the next real rebels. Real rebels as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations, of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today’s risks are different. The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the “Oh, how banal.”

–David Foster Wallace

Sep 15 2010
7:11 am
Katie writes:

The definition of a true rebel.

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence [Frederick Douglass]

Sep 15 2010
8:17 pm
Scott writes:

Nice. Thanks.

Sep 18 2010
3:53 pm
Belen writes:

I’m quite ineterested in this text, however, my english isn’t perfectly good, so I have a bit of trouble understanding an important part of it; does “risking dissaproval” mean to risk yourself to do something that might cause you the dissaproval of people? or does it mean that you consider a risk to dissaprove of other people yourself?

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