‘LaMont, are you willing to listen to a Remark about what is true?’ ‘Okey-dokey.’ ‘The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.’ ‘Maybe I ought to be getting back.’ ‘LaMont, the world is very old. You have been snared by the delusion that envy has a reciprocal. You assume that there is a flip-side to your painful envy of Michael Chang: namely Michael Chang’s enjoyable feeling-of-being-envied-by-LaMont-Chu. No such animal.’ ‘Animal?’ ‘You burn with hunger for food that does not exist.’ ‘This is good news?’ ‘It is the truth. To be envied, admired, is not a feeling. Nor is fame a feeling. There are feelings associated with fame, but few of them are any more enjoyable than the feelings associated with the envy of fame.’ ‘The burning doesn’t go away?’ ‘What fire does when you feed it? It is not fame itself they wish to deny you here. Trust them. There is much fear in fame. Terrible and heavy fear to be pulled and held, carried. Perhaps they only want to keep it off you until you weigh enough to pull it towards yourself.’ ‘Would I sound ungrateful if I said this doesn’t make me feel very much better at all?’ ‘LaMont, the truth is that the world is incredibly, uncredibly, unbelievably old. You suffer with the stunted desire caused by one of its oldest lies. Do not believe the photographs. Fame is not the exit from any cage.’ ‘So I’m stuck in the cage from either side. Fame or tortured envy of fame. There’s no way out.’ ‘You might consider how escape from a cage must surely require, foremost, awareness of the fact of the cage. And I believe I see a drop on your temple, right … there …’ Etc.
— Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (P 389)
[David Foster Wallace speaking to David Lipsky] I think what it reminds me of is the way that the fall of ’89 felt … feeling like, that I was washed up, and what was painful about that is never gettin’ a chance to you know be felt about the way LaMont feels about those players. And then also realizing how pathetic that was.
— Although of course you end becoming yourself by David Lipsky (pp 254)