Tag Archives: Infinite Jest

Infinite Summer

For all of y’all literary types who fancy big, sprawling books…it doesn’t get much bigger, or more sprawling than this within contemporary letters (well, maybe this, but…): Join in and read one of the great texts from the late David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest. With groups on the Twitter and the Facebook helping with motivation there is no better time than the present.

People say stuff like this out of the side of their mouth all the time, but this book changed my life, introduced me to a different way of viewing the world, tied me to other people in a way no other book has done. Yes, there are over a thousand pages here, but contrary to what many critics have said, there is not a word out of place, nothing superfluous here, I promise. Thanks, Dave, we miss you.

Infinite Summer

(pic from wikipedia)


DFW and Gender Theory

So…occasionally, since leaving the academe (heh) I still read some gender theory, and I’m somewhat interested in what has taken post-modernism’s place at the table of critical humanities discussion (seriously, stop talking about Freud and Derrida for about 50 years, you’ll come back to Freud smarter, and forget who Derrida was). Since I am a crack-fiend when it comes to David Foster Wallace, I found this book somewhere on my carpet (no, but really, can’t afford it, anyone want to get me a gift?): Becoming the New Man in Post-Postmodernist Fiction – Portrayals of Masculinities in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest and Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club (for the low, low price of $64, Amazon will get it to you (me) with FREE!!!!! shipping. I’ve read most of Mr. Palahniuk’s stuff too, but…Blurb in italics following the pic.

Becoming the new man DFW cover

While scholars have analyzed the masculinity crisis portrayed in American fiction, few have focused on postmodernist fiction, few have examined masculinity without using feminist theory, and no articles propose a solution for ending traditional masculinity’s dominance. I examine the masculinity crisis as it is portrayed in two postmodernist novels, David Foster Wallace’s novel Infinite Jest and Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Fight Club. Both novels have male characters that ran the gamut of masculinities, but those that are the most successful at avoiding gender stereotypes develop a masculinity which incorporates strong, phallic masculinity and nurturing, testicular masculinity, creating a balanced masculinity. Also, both novels examine postmodernist fiction’s future. Wallace and Palahniuk help reveal the future of postmodernist fiction: a post-postmodernist fiction that, like well-rounded masculinity, seeks to be more emotionally open while still using irony and innovation for meaningful effects, not just to be clever. This book aims to help gender scholars further develop their theories about masculinity, and show literature scholars the future of postmodernist fiction.

(Text and Pic Amazon)