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i am not a stuffed tiger.

in other magazines

The other super-exciting element of the weekend to date was finding a newsstand that hadn't sent back their August issues of Gourmet magazine, which included an essay by David Foster Wallace "about" the Maine Lobster Festival. It is probably not a coincidence that the article was followed by a section on eggplant recipes.

See also: "Lobster tale lands writer in hot water" [boston]

A part of the article almost completely unrelated to the practice of boiling animals alive is posted below.


I confess that I have never understood why so many people's idea of a fun vacation is to don flip-flops and sunglasses and crawl through maddening traffic to loud hot crowded tourist venues in order to sample a "local flavor" that is by definition ruined by the presence of tourists. This may (as my Festival companions keep pointing out) all be a matter of personality and hardwired taste: The fact that I just do not like tourist venues means that I'll never understand their appeal and so am probably not the one to talk about it (the supposed appeal). ...
As I see it, it probably really is good for the soul to be a tourist, even if it's only once in a while. Not good for the soul in a refreshing or enlivening way, though, but rather in a grim, steely-eyed, let's-look-honestly-at-the-facts-and-find-sone-way-to-deal-with-them way. My personal experience has not been that traveling around the country is broadening or relaxing, or that radical changes in place and context have a salutary effect, but rather that intranational tourism is radically constricting, and humbling in the hardest way --- hostile to my fantasy of being a real individual, of living somehow outside and above it all. (Coming up is the part that my companions find especially unhappy and repellent, a sure way to spoil the fun of vacation travel:) To be a mass tourist, for me, is to become a pure late-date American: alien, ignorant, greedy for something you cannot ever have, disappointed in a way you can never admit. It is to spoil, by way of sheer ontology, the very unspoiledness you are there to experience. It is to impose yourself on places that in all noneconomic ways would be better, realer, without you. It is, in lines and gridlock and transaction after transaction, to confront a dimension of yourself that is as inescapable as it is painful: As a tourist, you become economically significant but existentially loathsome, an insect on a dead thing.
--David Foster Wallace, "Consider the Lobster," Gourmet: August 2004.

Comments

Hi Josh, do you know if the text of that DFW article is available anywhere online? Thanks!
Condé Nast seems particularly bad at posting their content online (or in research databases), but a quick search turned up a link on this website -->
http://lifeandtimes.org/stuff/dfw-gourmet.zip

(my download timed out, you might have better luck)

this guy [trevordodge] also claims to have GIF scans of it, but they aren't on his site anymore.

-

If these options don't pan out, let me know and I can make photocopies to mail or scan it next week.
Hi Josh, thanks very much for the links! The link that timed out for you ended up working for me.

Thanks again. Given how much I loved DFW's Harper's essays where he wandered around at public events, I'm really looking forward to checking out this article! Cheers.