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The Nature of the Fun - The Ex-Communicator

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September 16th, 2008


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01:50 pm - The Nature of the Fun
The Nature of the Fun is a short essay (PDF) by David Foster Wallace on the ambivalence of the writing process, in which he compares the draft to a beloved but damaged baby that you carry about with you, hoping to heal it, or for it to be loved.

you want them to see and love a lovely, miraculous, perfect, ad-ready
infant and to be right, correct, in what they see and feel. You
want to be terribly wrong, you want the damaged infant's hideousness
to turn out to have been nothing but your own weird delusion
or hallucination. But that'd mean you were crazy; you have
seen, been stalked by, and recoiled from hideous deformities that
in fact (others persuade you) aren't there at all. Meaning you're at
least a couple of fries short of a Happy Meal, surely. But worse: it'd
also mean you see and despise hideousness in a thing you made
(and love), in your spawn and in certain ways you. And this last,
best hope, this'd represent something way worse than just very bad
parenting; it'd be a terrible kind of self-assault, almost self-torture.
But that's still what you most want: to be completely, insanely, suicidally
wrong.


People who write or struggle to write might find the essay interesting or sad.

And here is Good People, a mainstream short story, which is very poignant and accessible, about a young couple struggling with a familiar dilemma.

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