It now lately sometimes seemed like a kind of black miracle to me that people could actually care deeply about a subject or pursuit, and could go on caring this way for years on end. Could dedicate their entire lives to it. It seemed admirable and at the same time pathetic. We are all dying to give our lives away to something, maybe. God or Satan, politics or grammar, topology or philately – the object seemed incidental to this will to give one-self away, utterly. To games or needles, to some other person. Something pathetic about it. A flight-from in the form of a plunging-into. Flight from exactly what? These rooms blandly filled with excrement and meat? To what purpose? This was why they started us here so young: to give ourselves away before the age when the question why and to what grow real beaks and claws. It was kind, in a way. Modern German is better equipped for combining gerundives and prepositions than its mongrel cousin. The original sense of addiction involved being bound over, dedicated, either legally or spiritually. To devote one’s life, plunge in.
–Infinite Jest p.900