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David Foster Wallace s Infinite Jest

Author: Stephen Burn
Publisher: A&C Black
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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.


The Narrative Game The Reading of David Foster Wallace s Infinite Jest as Play

Author: Rainer Holl
Publisher: Anchor Academic Publishing (aap_verlag)
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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.


David Foster Wallace s Infinite Jest

Author: Stephen J. Burn
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
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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.


Infinite Jest

Author: David Foster Wallace
Publisher: Hachette UK
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'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 Woods, 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 . . . '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


The Reading of David Foster Wallace s Infinite Jest as Play

Author: Rainer Holl
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Bachelor Thesis from the year 2010 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, TU Dortmund (Institut fur Anglistik und Amerikanistik), language: English, abstract: 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. 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 a extraordinary challenge for its readers. An interesting question related to Wallaces work is to what extent readers are able to establish and defend their own rules and boundaries that are challenged by their discourse with the book. The whole reading process can thus be seen as a work of play that is established between the poles of 'infinity' and 'jest'. This opens up a new narratological dimension which has an immediate impact on the autonomy of the reader. I want to find out in how far the readers of 'Infinite Jest' have 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.


Desire Drive and the Modern Subject in David Foster Wallace s Infinite Jest

Author: Soong Phoon
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Infnite Jest is both a comic and deeply sad exploration of the multitudinous addictions and excesses that de!ne the modern subject. Set in a dystopian future, the 1079 page-long novel's intertwined, helictical plots revolve around a tennis academy, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility and the farcical machinations of "uébecois terrorists, at the centre of which is the Incandenza family. Infnite Jest humanely engages with the question of what it means to be in the modern world, rather than to simply suffer the world's exigencies. It asks what responsibility we should have for previous generations, and how we might come to terms with the excesses of our own. Finally, it confronts the question of how we should best communicate with each other, and how we should respond if, and when, we discover that a void of exists at the centre of being. Considering the novel in psychoanalytic terms enables us to parse the excesses and addictions the novel portrays and to address the existential questions of being it raises. Psychoanalysis provides a retrospective and retroactive framework within which the excessive character of the drive towards jouissance, and the piece of 'nonbeing' at the subject's core can be understood. The psychoanalytic approach makes a clear intervention in contemporary discourse on the novel, discourse which is primarily concentrated around the text's relation to postmodernity, metafiction and irony. While many critics register, in some way, the ethical concerns of the novel, psychoanalysis accommodates these themes more directly than other approaches because it is, fundamentally, a consideration of the ethical meaning of being and desiring. This thesis explores Infinite Jest in light of Sigmund Freud's, Jacques Lacan's, and Joan Copjec's understanding of subjectivity. It analyses the novel's repetition of the addictive drive towards external objects, the practical mode of being offered by Alcoholics Anonymous, and the problems subjects encounter in trying to understand the human purpose of a void at the heart of existence.


Infinite Lego

Author: Ryan Blanck
Publisher: Lit Fest Press / Festival of Language
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FULL COLOR INTERIOR. From the author, "It all began on a date night with my wife a couple of years back. We live in a rather boring town, and money was kind of tight, so after a relatively inexpensive dinner at our favorite pizza place we went to browse the aisles of our local Barnes & Noble. We happened upon The Brick Bible by Brendan Smith and loved the concept - the entire Biblical narrative retold in graphic novel form, but with the images being LEGO sculptures. Feeling inspired, we enlisted the help of our daughters to launch our own LEGO Bible blog. We got through the book of Genesis and part way through Exodus before the project sputtered and fell by the wayside. A couple of years later, I was working on my proposal for a paper the first annual David Foster Wallace Conference hosted by Illinois State University, and I gave a second read to the "Original Creative Works" call for submissions. Then a thought came to me. "I like David Foster Wallace," I thought. "I like LEGOs," I thought. "So, why not bring those two together," I thought. I selected some of my favorite scenes from some of my favorite stories, and I began to build. Scenes from "Little Expressionless Animals," "Forever Overhead," and "Good People;" along with scenes from the novels: Broom of the System, Infinite Jest, and The Pale King. Even one taken from "This is Water." I built the sculptures and photographed them and assembled the images into a digital slideshow. Then it was off to Bloomington-Normal for the Conference. At the Conference, I was honored to be selected as a featured panelist for my "Reimagining Wallace" presentation. Then I was shocked to see such a large crowd gathered to view my creations on the very large screen. I did not expect pictures of LEGOs to be such a hit at an academic conference. Inspired by the positive response to my presentation, I went home and continued building more Wallace-inspired LEGO sculptures, now focusing my attention on his magnum opus, Infinite Jest (Go big or go home, am I right?). As my understanding and enjoyment of Dave's writings continue to evolve, so do my artistic expressions that he inspires. What I love about Dave's writing is that it not only invites serious academic consideration, but that it also invites and inspires creative response. In my case, that has included blog posts, imitative essays, and now LEGO creations. Who knows what will be next..." --Ryan M Blanck


Addiction to Itself

Author: Derek Edward Wayne
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Elegant Complexity

Author: Greg Carlisle
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"Elegant Complexity is the first critical work to provide detailed and thorough commentary on each of the 192 sections of David Foster Wallace's masterful Infinite Jest. No other commentary on Infinite Jest recognizes that Wallace clearly divided the book into 28 chapters that are thematically unified. A chronology at the end of the study reorders each section of the novel into a sequential timeline that orients the reader and that could be used to support a chronological reading of the novel. Other helpful reference materials include a thematic outline, more chronologies, a map of one the novel's settings, lists of characters grouped by association, and an indexed list of references. Elegant Complexity orients the reader at the beginning of each section and keeps commentary separate for those readers who only want orientation. The researcher looking for specific characters or themes is provided a key at the beginning of each commentary. Carlisle explains the novel's complex plot threads (and discrepancies) with expert insight and clear commentary. The book is 99% spoiler-free for first-time readers of Infinite Jest."--Publisher's website.


The Eschatological Imagination

Author: John Timothy Jacobs
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There is an inherent risk in studying contemporary fiction. Serious questions form around issues of an author's longevity and legacy, a work's merit and its endurance for later scholarship, and the varieties of current critical reception and methodology against the shifts to come. The attendant difficulty of assessing and analyzing a work before an industry of critical reception has formed also presents challenges. David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest (1996) represents these challenges, and much more; it is at once an encyclopedic novel of 1079 pages, full of both liberal arts and scientific erudition, and an encomium to an apocalyptic end of late millennial American culture. The novel is highly allegorical and operates with three crucial subtexts, in addition to the standard diegetic narrative. In this study, I present three different, though not mutually exclusive, interpretations of this novel, a novel that has presented interpretive difficulties to scholars of contemporary fiction. In Part One, I survey and compare Wallace's aesthetic with the radical, yet self-contained, aesthetic of the poet, G.M. Hopkins; Part Two examines the integral concept of mediation and explores the subtext of the return of the dead author & mdash;the novel operates, in part, as a rejoinder to the death-of-the-author critical impasse; Part Three is primarily comparative and analyzes Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov (1880). Wallace has rewritten (or reimagined) Dostoevsky's novel and translated it into a contemporary context and idiom as a remedy for postmodern American solipsism.