Episode 15 - Discussing David Foster Wallace with Krzys Piekarski
In this episode, we talk with Krzys Piekarski, PhD. Krzys is a DFW scholar who has written extensively on DFW and Buddhism. He also runs a wisdom program in Austin called Character by Design: https://characterbydesign.org/
We cover a variety of topics in this show, from parables to stress and boredom to the basics of Buddhism and how it manifests in Wallace’s writing.
The book Krzys mentions is at the end of the show is called Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, and we talk about the books of Steven Batchelor - Buddhism without Beliefs.
His podcast, with author Sunni Brown is called Sunni & Wise. http://sunniandwise.com / @sunniandwise
There are some weird booming sounds in this episode. Sorry about that!
01:46 - Introduction Krzys & his teaching background
03:00 - Teaching in prison
04:24 - Krzys’s dissertation on Buddhism, Philosophy, and David Foster Wallace
06:48 - Can Wallace be considered a Buddhist thinker?
08:30 - Krzys’s path to Buddhism
11:00 - DFW’s undergrad years at Amherst & Wittgenstein
12:08 - Wittgensteinian zen parable
14:14 - The limits of language
14:25 - Buddhism 101
15:15 - Suffering
18:59 - How we can gain freedom
21:50 - George Saunders calls Wallace a great Buddhist writer
23:57 - Wallace and meditation
25:38 - The boredom thing
29:11 - Flow state
35:49 - What is the purpose of life?
36:00 - David Foster Wallace and the Velveteen Rabbit
38:30 - Escape from the self
43:10 - Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
44:20 - Mario Incandenza
47:00 - Disgust and addicts
52:00 - Trying to express inexpressible truths
53:20 - Double binds
57:20 - Stepping in to a monastery
1:00:30 - Sincere curiosity
1:02:15 - There is nothing missing in you
1:07:00 - Show wrap-up, thanks, and links
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