'A writer of virtuostic talents who can seemingly do anything' New York Times 'Wallace is a superb comedian of culture . . . his exuberance and intellectual impishness are a delight' James Wood, Guardian 'He induces the kind of laughter which, when read in bed with a sleeping partner, wakes said sleeping partner up . . . He's damn good' Nicholas Lezard, Guardian 'One of the best books about addiction and recovery to appear in recent memory' Sunday Times Somewhere in the not-so-distant future the residents of Ennet House, a Boston halfway house for recovering addicts, and students at the nearby Enfield Tennis Academy are ensnared in the search for the master copy of Infinite Jest, a movie said to be so dangerously entertaining its viewers become entranced and expire in a state of catatonic bliss . . .
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This is part of a new series of guides to contemporary novels. The aim of the series is to give readers accessible and informative introductions to some of the most popular, most acclaimed and most influential novels of recent years - from ‘The Remains of the Day' to ‘White Teeth'. A team of contemporary fiction scholars from both sides of the Atlantic has been assembled to provide a thorough and readable analysis of each of the novels in question.
Infinite Jest has been hailed as one the great modern American novels and its author, David Foster Wallace, who committed suicide in 2008, as one of the most influential and innovative authors of the past 20 years. Don DeLillo called Infinite Jest a "three-stage rocket to the future," a work "equal to the huge, babbling spin-out sweep of contemporary life," while Time Magazine included Infinite Jest on its list of 100 Greatest Novels published between 1923-2006. David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest: A Reader's Guide was the first book to be published on the novel and is a key reference for those who wish to explore further. Infinite Jest has become an exemplar for difficulty in contemporary Fiction-its 1,079 pages full of verbal invention, oblique narration, and a scattered, nonlinear, chronology. In this comprehensively revised second edition, Burn maps Wallace's influence on contemporary American fiction, outlines Wallace's poetics, and provides a full-length study of the novel, drawing out the most important themes and ideas, before surveying Wallace's post-Infinite Jest output, including The Pale King.
Published in conjunction with an exhibition held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Sept. 13, 2011-Mar. 4, 2012.
Somewhere in the not-so-distant future the residents of Ennet House, a Boston halfway house for recovering addicts, and students at the nearby Enfield Tennis Academy are ensnared in the search for the master copy of Infinite Jest, a movie said to be so dangerously entertaining its viewers become entranced and expire in a state of catatonic bliss . . . 'Wallace's exuberance and intellectual impishness are a delight, and he has deep things to say about the hollowness of contemporary American pleasure . . . sentences and whole pages are marvels of cosmic concentration . . . Wallace is a superb comedian of culture' James Wood, Guardian
In 1996, David Foster Wallace published his second major novel 'Infinite Jest' that changed not only our understanding of what literature can do but, also the way we read literature. Despite its age, the book has not lost a single bit of its fascination, its actuality, and its academic appeal. With its hundreds of characters, thousands of pages, hundreds of endnotes and myriads of different perspectives, sub-plots, and narrative digressions, 'Infinite Jest' was, and still is, an extraordinary challenge for its readers as well as literary critics. One interesting question related to Wallace's work is to what extent readers are able to establish, and defend their own way of approaching literature, their natural reading habits, their personal boundaries, and their 'readerly authority' that are challenged by their discourse with the book. The author shows in how far the reader of 'Infinite Jest' has to get involved in this work of play, how it affects the way they read the book, and how the idiosyncratic reading experience finally becomes an integral part of the whole book itself.
I examine David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, looking at the ways in which it speaks to our current cultural moment. I posit that Wallace, in the novel, is able to use his story to comment on the ground-clearing nature of irony, technological abstraction, and postpostmodernism, and suggest that the post-postmodern future makes individuals catatonic. I also argue that Wallace predicted many of the ironic features of post-postmodernism because he lived and wrote in a generation that came after postmodernism. Wallace identifies TV as quintessentially post-postmodern, where meaning is neutralized through a Fredric Jameson's idea of pastiche--a kind of irony that only seeks to reference itself. The opening scene of Infinite Jest shows a young man unable to speak to adults, and unable to extoll his virtues. Hal, the main character in the scene, loses his ability to speak. And if readers take Hal’s metaphorical catatonia a step farther, they will see a Hal representative of a millennial generation, also unable to speak. Hal is a post-postmodern child, buried by a culture of irony and Jameson's pastiche and depthlessness, where diatribes on metaphysical aboutness are more important than the meaning of things themselves. Wallace defines this problem, in the novel, as a central obsession and avoidance of the cultural feeling of "anhedonia," the radical abstracting of things that were once full of meaning of affective content. Soren Kierkegaard also defines this problem as "infinite absolute negativity," where individuals can become purely ironic and absent from society, gaining a kind of perverse negative freedom. On the other hand, the novel, I argue, not only posits the tyranny of this newfound perverse freedom in Western culture, but also laments the backlash of overt sincerity that is equally oppressive, represented by the AA parts of the novel. In end, I argue Wallace's novel laments the fact that we are losing something essential human when it comes to making our own choices about what to believe in, in our contemporary age.
Unlock the more straightforward side of Infinite Jest with this concise and insightful summary and analysis! This engaging summary presents an analysis of Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, a vast, sweeping novel which takes in a tennis academy for gifted young players, a halfway house for recovering addicts and an “entertainment” rumoured to be so compelling that it will kill whoever watches it. The novel’s scope, humour and complexity mean that it is widely recognised as the author’s masterpiece and as one of the greatest novels of recent years. David Foster Wallace was an American writer, and is one of the most influential authors of recent years. Besides Infinite Jest, he is also known for the short story collection Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and the essay collections A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again and Consider the Lobster. Find out everything you need to know about Infinite Jest in a fraction of the time! This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you: • A complete plot summary • Character studies • Key themes and symbols • Questions for further reflection Why choose BrightSummaries.com? Available in print and digital format, our publications are designed to accompany you on your reading journey. The clear and concise style makes for easy understanding, providing the perfect opportunity to improve your literary knowledge in no time. See the very best of literature in a whole new light with BrightSummaries.com!