I didn’t really understand emotionally that there are people around who didn’t have enough to eat, who weren’t warm enough, who didn’t have a place to live, whose parents beat the hell out of them regularly. The sadness isn’t in seeing it, the sadness is in realizing how phenomenally lucky I am, not only to have never been hungry or cold, but to be educated, to have access to books. Never before in history has a country been so blessed, materially and intellectually, and yet we’re miserable.
The quote above is from David Foster Wallace’s conversation with Chris Lydon on WBUR, a public radio station in Boston, in February of 1996. The interview was recently unearthed from a “dusty basement, nestled between shows about the ‘96 primaries and escalating violence in the Middle East.” Considering Wallace’s suicide, considering ISIS, considering America today, it’s definitely worth a listen. You can find to the full interview, for the first time, here.