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David Foster Wallace on Ambition [Video]

In this video, Infinite Jest author David Foster Wallace muses on the topic of ambition. The video animates an interview of Wallace by Leonard Lopate recorded in 1996. Wallace's insight into ambition, perfectionism, learning, and teaching will resonate with many people since access to online education and an ever fiercer job market saturate our world.

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Ambition precedes action – you must desire an object before you’re willing to fight for it. Centuries of ancient literary wisdom will tell you that ambition is a dance performed on the edge of a knife: a misstep will prove extremely detrimental. However, what other options do you have? What are the consequences of inertia? What are the consequences of listening to that drive?

In this video, Infinite Jest author David Foster Wallace muses on the topic of ambition. The video animates an interview of Wallace by Leonard Lopate recorded in 1996. Wallace’s insight into ambition, perfectionism, learning, and teaching will resonate with many people since access to online education and an ever fiercer job market saturate our world.

What is the role of ambition? Do you find that your parents grow wiser as you grow older too? When you deploy a semicolon is it absolutely Mozartesque?