The Millions has a good little feature they call “He Was Water: Kenyon Grads Remember David Foster Wallace’s Commencement Speech”.
Here’s a video/audio excerpt:
Read the Who2 biography of David Foster Wallace if you’re not sure who the guy was.
Or be satisfied to know that he was a writer who killed himself and became a literary genius, the author of the novel Infinite Jest, which is considered the world’s greatest novel ever to people who know that most other people really won’t read the whole thing.
David Foster Wallace gave the speech to graduates of Kenyon College in 2005. He says a lot — really a lot — but it’s a good message and (a little) unusual for a commencement speech. Mostly it’s interesting because it reveals a little of what David Foster Wallace was like as a person.
Wallace hanged himself in 2008 (not because of the speech).