David Foster Wallace’s Legendary Commencement Speech

Back in 2005, David Foster Wallace (DFW) gave the commencement speech at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH. As with many things that DFW did, it took on a life and legend of its own. Here is the speech set to a whiteboard session authored by Mark Wooding, who runs the After Skool YouTube channel and has done a similar exercise for other important audio.

The speech starts with a great parable and goes on from there. Worth the 23 minute listen.

There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments