Read the fucking footnotes. There’s like pages worth of footnotes. You can’t skip them. If you’re putting in the effort to read Infinite Jest then. David Foster Wallace, the reigning champion of footnotes, decided to use endnotes for Infinite Jest for practical as well as aesthetic reasons. Wallace began writing Infinite Jest in earnest in Much of it is single- spaced, and what footnotes existed at this stage appear at the.

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The novel is widely noted for its unconventional narrative structure modeled after the Sierpinski gasket [1] and its experimental use of endnotes there are a total of endnotessome with footnotes of their own. It has been categorized as an encyclopedic novel [2] and made Time magazine’s list of the best English-language novels published between and Infinite Jest is regarded as a literary bestseller, having sold 44, hardcover copies in its first year of publication.

The novel’s gestation period was long. Wallace began Infinite Jest”or something like it,” at various times between and His efforts in —92 were more productive.

Infinite Jest at 20: 20 things you need to know

I knew him, Horatio: Corporations are allowed the opportunity to bid for and purchase naming rights for each calendar year, replacing traditional numerical designations with ostensibly honorary monikers bearing corporate names. Although the narrative is fragmented and spans several “named” years, most of the story takes place during “The Year of the Depend Adult Iest ” Y.

On the orders of U. President Johnny Gentle a “clean freak” who campaigned on the platform of cleaning up the USA while ensuring that no American would be caused any discomfort in the processmuch of what used to be the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada has ifninite a giant hazardous waste dump, an area “given” to Canada and known as the “Great Concavity” by Americans due to the resulting displacement foottnotes the border.

In the novel’s world, each footnoes is subsidized by a specific corporate sponsor for tax revenue. The years of Subsidized Time are:. Critics have debated which year Y. Ejst novel’s primary locations are the Enfield Tennis Academy E. Ennet House lies directly downhill from E. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology student union also figures quite prominently in the novel.

In the novel the structure is built in the shape of the human brain. There are four major interwoven narratives: These narratives are connected jesf a film, Infinite Jestalso referred to in the novel as “the Entertainment” or “the samizdat “. The film, so entertaining to its viewers that they lose all interest in anything other than viewing it and thus eventually die, was James Incandenza’s final work. He completed it during a period of sobriety that was insisted upon by its lead actress, Joelle Van Dyne.


The Quebecois separatists seek a master, redistributable copy of the work to aid in acts of terrorism against the United States.

Les Assassins des Fauteuils Rollents A. The use of “rollents” where “roulants” would be correct is in keeping with other erroneous French words and phrases in the novel. While other separatist groups are willing to infiniet for nationhood, the A. Only one miner’s son ever disgracefully failed to jump—Bernard Wayne, who may be related to E.

There is also evidence linking E. Infinite Jest is a postmodern encyclopedic novelfamous for its length and detail and for its digressions that involve endnotes some of which themselves have footnotes. Wallace’s “encyclopedic display of knowledge” [6] incorporates media theorylinguistics, film studies, sport, jext, science, and issues of national identity. The book is often humorous yet explores melancholy deeply. Eschewing chronological plot development and straightforward resolution—a concern often mentioned in reviews—the novel supports a wide range of readings.

At various times Wallace said that he intended for the novel’s plot to resolve, but indirectly; responding to his editor’s concerns about the lack of resolution, he said “the answers all [exist], but just past the last page”. You can get a pretty good idea, I think, of what happens”. In an interview with Charlie RoseWallace characterized the novel’s heavy use of endnotes as a method of disrupting the linearity of the text while maintaining some sense of narrative cohesion.

The novel touches on many topics, including addiction to drugs, but also to sex and famewithdrawal, recovery, death, family relationships, absent or jrst parents, mental health, suicide, sadness, entertainment, film theory, media theory, linguistics, science, Quebec separatism, national identity, and tennis intinite a metaphysical activity.

As its title implies, the novel is in part based on the play Hamlet. As in the play, the son’s task is to fight incipient mental breakdown in order to redeem his father’s reputation.

Another link is to the Odysseywherein the son Telemachus Hal has to grow apart from his dominating mother Penelope Avril and discover the truth about his absent father Odysseus James.

That pattern is also reproduced in the novel Ulyssesset in a realistic version of Dublin populated by a wide range of inhabitants, just as Infinite Jest is mostly in a realistic Boston with a varied population.

Christopher Bartlett has argued that Hal’s mistake is a infinote reference to Telemachus, who for the first four books of the Odyssey believes that his father is dead. The film so entertaining that its viewers lose interest in anything else has been likened to the Monty Foothotes sketch ” The Funniest Joke in the World “, as footnotrs as to “the experience machine “, a thought experiment by Robert Nozick.


Infinite Jest was marketed heavily, and Wallace had to adapt to being a public figure. He was interviewed in national magazines and went on a city book tour. Publisher Little, Brown equated the book’s heft with its importance in marketing and sent a series of cryptic teaser postcards to 4, people, announcing a novel of “infinite pleasure” and “infinite style”.

Infinite Jest – Wikipedia

Early reviews contributed to Infinite Jest ‘s hype, many of them describing it as a momentous literary event. Its size and complexity make it forbidding and esoteric. Time magazine included the novel infinitee its list of the best English-language novels published between and Not all critics were as laudatory. Some early reviews, such as Michiko Kakutani ‘s in The New York Timesinfinitf mixed, recognizing the inventiveness of the writing but criticizing the length and plot.

She called the novel “a vast, encyclopedic compendium of whatever seems to have crossed Wallace’s mind. Other words I might use include bloated, boring, gratuitous, and—perhaps especially—uncontrolled.

Scott wrote of Infinite Jest, “The novel’s Pynchonesque elements Some critics have since qualified their initial stances. In Scott called Infinite Jest an “enormous, zeitgeist-gobbling novel that set his generation’s benchmark for literary ambition” and Wallace “the best mind of his generation.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Infinite Jest and the science of foptnotes.

Retrieved 20 August Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 1″. Archived from the infinote on May 3, David Foster Wallace’s ‘Infinite Jest ‘ “.

Unraveling Infinite Jest “. Association for Computational Linguistics. Little, Brown and Company. Review incinite Contemporary Fiction. Studies in Contemporary Fiction. University of Iowa Press, The New York Times. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 19 October Bloom’s turgid studies of artistic influenza. February 10, “The Panic of Influence. August 18, “A Conversation with James Wood. Works by David Foster Wallace. Retrieved from ” https: Views Read Edit View history.

In other projects Wikiquote. This page was last edited on 29 Decemberat By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Hysterical realism satire tragicomedy post-postmodernism encyclopedic novel. Print hardcoverpaperback. Wikiquote footontes quotations related to: