Thursday, 13 September 2007

From "The Broom of the System"

By David Foster Wallace.

"[...] The experience I have had was on the . . . (unintelligible) . . . In the Desert? And I was . . . where we were I was contestant. I am the contestant. The host opened the showcase and from where I was the audience screamed. It was the most desirable prize imaginable. The prize impossible to conceive of a more desirable prize. The totally desirable prize. And the audience had to be restrained with electrified wire mesh. And where I was I was not restrained. And . . ." (unintelligible) "and wires affixed. Host in robes says . . ." (here patient adopts different voice, possibly one of game-show quizmaster [N], pain at vocal effort obvious):

"'And the contestant will of course receive in which he receives the most widely desirable prize imaginable, on the condition that he, here we are, not want it, for the next 60 seconds.

"Contestant, where I was, did not receive prize. Shouts from audience: 'Don't think about it.' 'Renounce all desire.' Shouts from audience behind electrified wire mesh. To receive totally desirable prize by not desiring prize I did not receive it [...]"

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