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Who Said It: Chuck Palahniuk or David Foster Wallace?

Liberty Hardy

Senior Contributing Editor

Liberty Hardy is an unrepentant velocireader, writer, bitey mad lady, and tattoo canvas. Turn-ons include books, books and books. Her favorite exclamation is “Holy cats!” Liberty reads more than should be legal, sleeps very little, frequently writes on her belly with Sharpie markers, and when she dies, she’s leaving her body to library science. Until then, she lives with her three cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, in Maine. She is also right behind you. Just kidding! She’s too busy reading. Twitter: @MissLiberty

“The next morning, room service delivers a lavish breakfast to my sumptuous penthouse suite at the Hilton, and there folded on the table next to my egg white omelet and my whole-wheat toast, no butter, and my coffee, black, no sugar, is the Sunday Los Angeles Times, and on the front page is an obituary for David Foster Wallace. Next to that are a knife . . . a fork . . . and a bud vase holding a yellow rose. Two days earlier, a few miles east of here, while I was pretending to journalists that Choke is a romantic comedy—because who ever heard of selling a romantic tragedy?—David Foster Wallace hung himself. It’s not until he’s dead, and I’m reading his obituary, that I see we have the same birthday. We were both born on February 21, 1962. Please don’t ask me if this means something. Please don’t ask me if anything makes sense. ” – Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters Remix

I, like Chuck, was late in finding out he and David Foster Wallace shared a birthday. Here are a few quotes from the two of them – see if you can guess which one of them said it. (The answers are in invisible text at the bottom of the post–highlight to see them.)

25461. “We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are…Or we can decide for ourselves.”

2. “You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.”

3. “Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home… it’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.”

4. “If you don’t know what you want, you end up with a lot you don’t.”

5. “All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.”

6. “Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.”

7. “Everything takes time. Bees have to move very fast to stay still.”

8. “We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”

9. “The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.”

10. “To be, in a word, unborable…. It is the key to modern life. If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish”

11. “Find out what you’re afraid of and go live there.”

David Foster Wallace at New Yorker Magazine Festival12. “Whatever you get paid attention for is never what you think is most important about yourself.”

13. “Fiction’s about what it is to be a fucking human being.”

14. “You are not a beautiful, unique snowflake… This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.”

15. “Maybe we have to break everything to make something better out of ourselves.”

16. “Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else.”

17. “You realize you have no control over how you’re perceived.”




1. Chuck

2. David

3. Chuck

4. Chuck

5. Chuck

6. David

7. David

8. Chuck

9. David

10. David

11. Chuck

12. David

13. David

14. Chuck


16. David

17. Chuck