Learning From Pretend
I liked this paragraph from Alyssa Rosenberg:
I haven't watched The People v. Larry Flynt for years, but I remember how gorgeous Courtney Love's portrayal of Althea Flynt was, as a picture of someone just kind of slipping away (incidentally that, and Lindsay Lohan's performance in Mean Girls rank as the two roles I most wish the actresses who took them learned life lessons from.).
I find that I get this a lot more with books than I do with films. I'm reading "Infinite Jest" right now, and it's brutal for exactly this reason: It's in no small part about why it's worth living even when living hurts. And its answer, at least in parts, is that if you can get through this day, and then get through the next day, and then get through the day after that, then even though you can't see it now, there will be a day when it doesn't hurt so much. What's so wrenching about it, of course, is that David Foster Wallace didn't play the author of "Infinite Jest." He was the author of "Infinite Jest." These were lessons he had learned, and was trying to teach. And then, eventually, they weren't enough.
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