Here's something that found its way to me a year ago and has been threaded through my thoughts ever since. It's the beautiful David Foster Wallace speaking to Michael Silverblatt on KCRW's Bookworm. They were speaking in 1996, not long after the publication of Wallace's novel, Infinite Jest. This bit from Wallace woke me up:
The thing that makes me nervous talking about this is, so far, it seems as if people think it [Infinite Jest] really is a book about drug addiction or recovery, and, you know, intentional fallacies notwithstanding, what was really going on in my head was something, something more general: that some of the sadness that it seems to me kind of infuses the culture right now has to do with this loss of a sense of purpose or organizing principles—something you're willing to give yourself away to, basically. And that the addictive impulse, which is very much kind of in the cultural air right now, is interesting and powerful only because it's a kind of obvious distortion of kind of a religious impulse or an impulse to be a part of something bigger.