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David Foster Wallace ☆ 2 Read

Comedy Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction without sacrificing for a moment its own entertainment value It is an exuberant uniuely American exploration of the passions that make us human and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can d. Know what they say about novels such as Infinite Jest Don t seek Perfection or Pleasure but rather seek the Infinite PossibilitiesI have a lot to say about this book but before that there s a little I don t want to say about it Here it is This book is never ending It bored me at times too Some of the end notes were annoying I read many other books when I was supposed to read this book Whenever somebody asked me what IJ was all about I was unable to come up with a clear cut answer I skipped few lines here and there I think those who haven t read this book or won t read it would have or less incomplete existence as a reader I think those who have read the whole book and still think it s no good arewelljust normal I guess No reason is good enough for not reading this book In spite of best of my efforts my mind diverted to DFW s suicide I had thoughts of trying marijuana it s not really a big deal in India After reading few reviews here I got panic attacks due to their awesomeness This review went out of hand and got a bit long so oops I don t want to say cheesy lines like If IJ was a country I d applied for a permanent residency or If IJ was a drug I d get high forever or If IJ was a guy I d marry him or I m already missing reading it I laughed when I said to myself after finishing it let me get my thoughts in order The good news is you can read IJ again and again The bad news is you Have to read it againHere s what I want to sayAn Unexamined LifeEM Forster said One always tends to overpraise a long book because one has got through it Though I m sure he didn t have a book like IJ in mind but I agree with him to some extent Reading a long book means devoting a substantial time of your life a time which you value and there s no way one would like to declare that hesheit spent that time on something unworthy But when the book is Infinite Jest then it deserves every iota of praise bestowed upon it Its reading experience is something like the author takes your hand makes you sit in front of a mirror and whisper in your ear now see the magic and lo you re sucked in by the mirror and the next moment you find yourself in a strange yet surprisingly familiar land and slowly the images the scenery the words starts unfolding themselves and you need to look out at each direction else you ll be lost You need to examine a life which was left unexamined for a long time Day of finishing Infinite JestJan 25 2013 at around 2200hrs I finished reading this book closed it and put it aside I stared at it for a while then logged on to goodreads gave it 5 stars put it under my favorites shelf and asked myself Well what was that all about There was no answer in response but just an echo of words to write something that stabs you in the heart That pierces you makes you think you re going to dieDay of starting reading Infinite jest There was a sudden knock on the door I woke up with a start and reluctantly went to open the door An adolescent boy promptly asked Do you want to get entertained Huh what the I slammed the door shut and went back to sleep Few hours passed but again my sleep broke on hearing some loud cheering I went out and much to my surprise there was a whole tennis court in front of me and two players were busy playing There was a group of boys snorting coke sitting round the corner and on the opposite stands some kind of class was going on I recognized that it was Arthur Ashe stadium but couldn t place the players I looked at the score board Wal and Fed Wal was apparently leading with 6 3 7 6 5 3 Somebody tapped on my shoulder He was the same boy This time he handed me a book I took it and immediately lost my balance The alarm of my cell phone went off at that precise moment and welcomed me back to reality Once the feeling of vertigo subsided I checked the date December 1 2012 I said to myself Of courseThe days in betweenOver the period of almost two months I read IJ every day Having read Girl with curious hair and A supposedly fun thing I ll never do again I experienced both fiction and non fiction writing by Wallace and loved it It proved to be a boon because if nothing else the disjointed stories in IJ were something like short stories from Girl although a lot developed and maturely handled and the long ramblings on different topics reminded me of essays in a Supposedly funso Yes Reading Wallace s other works before attempting this book did help a lot than I expected There was something that made him work for me which not only provided enjoyment but became a great source of knowledge and it won t be an exaggeration to say that I have found a book that shall remain with me both physically and emotionally throughout this modest and unexciting life of mine Infinite Jest is not a work of a genius It s the work of someone who was all set to change the definition of word genius as we know it He created a world that was consistently dark desolate and most of the times demented but also witty ingenious and oh so funny This magnum opus is incredibly challenging but at the same time surprisingly accessible It won t let the reader sit back relax and enjoy it It s no beach read but want its readers to sit up and take notice about what is going on You can t afford to lose focus and track but the probability is that you ll lose both anyway It s that kind of book a literary euivalent of mobiusism a never ending uest a once in a lifetime experience By expressing all this I m in no way glorifying its completion by me but simply stating the facts It s not possible to overestimate this book Wallace took the most wretched situations and characters and created such amazing backdrops that in spite of everything so seemingly hopeless he would still be able to present you with a glimpse of hope In face of lot of desperate moves he would teach you a lesson or two in patience With so many impossibilities going on one after the other he would tell what all is possible if one try to do just one thing Realize His prose is exuberant with less scope of comfort He won t surround you with the sea of beautiful flowing writing to make you feel that he has stated something profound but rather something relentless and contemporary that you re in a position to relate in both subjective and objective way no matter how insane that way is You ll lose count of neologism solecism collouialism malapropism and many other isms DFW employed within IJ which not only proves fascinating but gives you an idea about the extent to which he allowed himself to experiment in order to say whatever he wanted to and you ll see how effortless it all looks as if DFW was telling something that s always been there and getting our attention by a simple psst look here expression Dave Eggers in his wonderful foreword rightly stated A Wallace reader gets the impression of being in a room with a very talkative and brilliant uncle or cousin who just when he s about to push it too far to try our patience with too much detail has the good sense to throw in a good low brow jokeHe has employed an allegorical structure to this novel and develops it to an extraordinary proportion taking cues from many of his influences namely Joyce Pynchon Shakespeare and Dante to name a fewI don t want to indulge much into plots but just a brief and my practice in brevity if I m allowed IJ primarily takes place in futuristic USA circa 2009 10 in Boston city The setting for majority of the narration is based at Enfield Tennis Academy ETA and Ennet House a drug and alcohol recovery house where majority of the interesting characters reside situating nearby ETA ETA was founded by James O Incandenza an avant garde film maker whose wife Avril Incandenza heads the academy with their 2 sons Mario and Hal being the current attendees of the ETA while their eldest brother Orin being a previous attendee now a punter in the NFL Orin is a jerk Mario is great and Hal is lonely Avril is beautiful very tall and delusional about her kids James was taller committed suicide and knew his kids just too well He created a film known as The Entertainment titled Infinite Jest which rud to have ualities such that whoever saw it wanted nothing else ever in life but to see it again then again and so on rendering its audience fatally addicted to it The uest of finding the master copy of this entertainment marks the entry of a group of uebecois separatists in the book known as Les Assassins des Fauteuils Rollents aka Wheelchair Assassins or simply AFR who wants to obtain a copy which they called Samizdat because of its lethal ualities that would make them dangerously powerful to meet their extremist goals This group gave me creeps The book is mostly covered with Wallace commentary about drug addiction through myriad eccentric and bizarre characters at the Ennet House Wallace presents the intake of drugs its effects and substance withdrawal ie cold turkey in such merciless detail that one can t help to actually empathize with those involved in substance abuse Apart from drugs there s some wonderful description about depression clinical depression to be precise Here s one of my favorite passage which I ve tagged as spoiler view spoiler The so called psychotically depressed person who tries to kill herself doesn t do so out of uote hopelessness or any abstract conviction that life s assets and debits do not suare And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high rise Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view ie the fear of falling remains a constant The variable here is the other terror the fire s flames when the flames get close enough falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors It s not desiring the fall it s terror of the flames And yet nobody down on the sidewalk looking up and yelling Don t and Hang on can understand the jump Not really You d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling hide spoiler

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Infinite Jest

About what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are Eual parts philosophical uest and screwball. While I don t actually have A Favorite Book or Song or Album or Band or Film or Painting or Sexual Position or any other category of things that contain than one eually great contender Infinite Jest is the first book that immediately comes to mind when the idea of My Favorite Book arisesAs I ve already alluded to and partially instantiated in a few scattered places around GoodReads I feel that I read this book at the right time The contingent particulars which culminated as the temporal whole that was My Life converged with my reading of this book rather beautifully First of all I had zero knowledge of the book and author before and throughout my reading I came upon it as a babe in the woods in these regards I was completely unaware of its popular and largely positive critical reception seven years prior in 1996 For this I am grateful It s all too easy to hop on the backlash bandwagon when critical darlings and it people of the moment emerge on your radar I take great pains to try to avoid this kind of thing but it s not easyI also was juggling a variety of ongoing confused trains of thought about the basic subjects that the book focuses on to boil them down as far as relevantly and reasonably possible Addiction Entertainment and Western Culture specifically that of the modern US of A I was also deep in the trenches of stomach level sadness11 What were you intending to do when you started this bookI wanted to do something sad I d done some funny stuff and some heavy intellectual stuff but I d never done anything sad And I wanted it not to have a single main character The other banality would be I wanted to do something real American about what it s like to live in America around the millennium And what is that likeThere s something particularly sad about it something that doesn t have very much to do with physical circumstances or the economy or any of the stuff that gets talked about in the news It s like a stomach level sadness I see it in myself and my friends in different ways It manifests itself as a kind of lostness Whether it s uniue to our generation I really don t know InterviewI had borrowed the copy that I read the first time around from my best friend at the time who I d been close with since early childhood I d been confiding some existential angst to him about depression and the exacerbation of said depression with miscellaneous self medicating behavioral patterns He responded by solemnly handing me a thick book wrapped in the image of white cumulus clouds imposed upon a bright blue sky Cut to the summer of 2004 I d just finished my first year of real not community college and was working on the buildings and grounds crew around the campus in exchange for eight dollars an hour and a free room I spent the days doing all manner of maintenance and grunt work and my nights poring over this book and dramatically rediscovered the joys of falling head first into a fictional world and the redemptive value of communing with the consciousness of another person through reading and writing I also found another artist to feel a deep kinship with and solely through the type of communion that is mediated by pulped trees and ink Wallace was rather uickly inducted into the ever expanding and occasionally contracting roster that is my pantheon of personal heroes and as such also rapidly ascended through the ranks to sit somewhere vaguely near the zenith point again the trouble with rankingI was hooked in a big way by the time I hit upon the scene describing the torturously self conscious self doubting thoughts of a cannabis addict named Ken Erdedy This was well before the hundredth page mark It perfectly captured the mind of a hyper analytic depressive and compulsive THC ingestor From the sorrowfully resigned glee that all minutely self aware addicts feel at various points along the path of Addiction of planning a two week long marijuana vacation2 to the descriptions of how depressing having sex with someone would be in such an excessively stoned and self loathing state32 Consisting mainly of drawing the blinds shutting off the phone being perpetually intoxicated with pot smoke watching films vigorously masturbating and loads of fractally expanding and contracting shame and despair lurking beneath it all and freuently bursting through the surface for greedy gulps of oxygen and one on one time with the vacationer s psyche This planning is all being done in the context of desperately attempting to find a way to finally pluck the compulsive behavior getting high from his life excessive use of the demonized substance is rationalized as the savior the one thing that will finally make him disgusted enough to uit forever 3 He had never once had actual intercourse on marijuana Frankly the idea repelled him Two dry mouths bumping at each other trying to kiss his self conscious thoughts twisting around on themselves like a snake on a stick while he bucked and snorted dryly above her his swollen eyes red and his face sagging so that its slack folds maybe touch limply the folds of her own loose sagging face as it sloshed back and forth on his pillow its mouth working dryly pp 22 23There s simply too much too many amazing scenes and characters to even begin the process of surgically removing them holding them up to the light of the review and rendering them vague enough to maintain some reuisite mystery and yet contextualized enough to give each pinned down specimen some mouth watering OOMPF for the Dear Reader It simply cannot be done People can cast their gaze in the direction of the myriad collegiate dissertations already written about this book andor a book called Elegant Complexity if they want in depth analysis Luckily many of the people I know who will read this review have already read the novelSo there s a terrible type of rumor that roams around about this book and Wallace generally and these sentiments can be rounded up and boiled down to It s all PoMo trickery and no heart Wrong So very very wrong I ve always seen this book as the emergent propertylocus of a web like arrangement of profoundly emotionally compelling portraits of people places and things This is its core its essence its fundamental organizing principle Yes there are some gags like footnotes and some funny names but what the naysayers seem to overlook are the hundreds of seismically moving descriptions of human struggles and triumphs from the head clutchinglyjaw gapingly dramatic to the very recognizably monotonous which can be very edifying this process of recognition from the painfully inherently private and singular to the monumentally universal and public Wallace s desire to write a sorrowful book is fully realized here I think it s safe to say that this a tragedy in the Shakespearean4 sense of the term and that it like the greatest tragedies does not simply pummel you with darkness but pokes holes of humor and joy through the opaue veil to allow for some breathing room Indeed there are some extremely funny things going on in this book and it s mostly a darker shade of humor that is employing them Not at all like putting a clown nose on a prisoner being executed or anything DFW is much naturally funny than that but a beautiful balance of the genuinely sad the genuinely funny and the instances of absurdity where both overlap4 FYI The title comes from a line in Hamlet Alas poor Yorick I knew him Horatio a fellow of infinite jest of most excellent fancyI also think of this book as mostly embodying a style of realism though there are occasionally some rather extraordinary things taking place as well What I m trying to stress is that it s not some non stop ride of wacky gimmicks and metafiction which is strangely and mistakenly the impression some blurbs give of this book Beneath the hilarious absurdity of things like business corporations annually purchasing the names of the year which is a brilliant gag by the way there is a massive foundation of stark realism and humanism perched stoically beneath and it s all just slightly artfully tweaked in ways that makes you wonder how this or that instance of absurdity is really much different from the absurdity faced in your slice of the non fictional world that you inhabit I ll go ahead and just state it plainly referring to our units of measurement like our neat bundles of 365 days as things like Year of the Adult Depends Undergarment or Year of the Trial Sized Dove Bar is less insane than the very real concept of corporate personhoodAs far as self referentiality and the use of metafictional techniues are concerned I simply see none of it Nowhere are we cleverly reminded that we re reading a book at least not explicitly Nowhere is that little wink and nudge of This is a bookI am an author writing a book ever inserted into the prose This was something Wallace very consciously avoided along with a species of irony that he s referred to as being representative of the song of a bird who s come to love its cage I ve discussed this with Bram before and he makes some mention of DFW s self consciousness seeping through the pages of Infinite Jest in his wonderful if slightly less religiously devoted review Bram s point seems to be so that Wallace s voice throughout the novel is very much his voice the same type of charge gets launched at DeLillo as I briefly covered elsewhere This is indisputable The thing is this it doesn t bother me in the least because as Bram writes on the subject of DFW s voice Whatever his reason for writing this way it works because this voice is such a joy to read Amen brother Bram Indeed I found it to be such a joy that I didn t even notice this fact about the prose style in either my first or second reading I don t mind that the thoughts of a physically deformed and mentally challenged teenager are narrated with the same voice as the thoughts of a clinically depressed thirtysomething woman or a wheelchair bound u b coise assassin or the prettiest veiled girl of all time or an alcoholic experimental filmmaker and his childhood self et cetera The book is written from a completely third person perspective too This is an important fact to note Had Wallace tried to cram his voice into first person perspectives of the characters it would ve been an unpublishable disaster But he didn t it wasn t so let s get over it and just come to grips with what it means to write from the third person perspective In sum this book is proof positive by my lights that characters don t have to take on wildly different tones of voice and manners of thought and speech in order to be rendered deeply sympathetic and compelling For most of the book the prose is so pitch perfect and the on page action so arresting that I simply didn t make a note of this just now mentioned technical stuff about perspective tonal shifts and so on There are some relative lulls like some of the extended descriptions of tennis matches but on the vastly larger slice of the pie chart the book remains extremely entertaining thought provoking tear duct lubing belly tickling soul massaging etc The scenes at Ennett Recovery House and the AA meetings are flawless and much of it struck me uite strongly as being amazingly insightful and emotionally jarring Upon my second reading of the novel I discovered where the cover image of the sky might possibly have come from You are at a fork in the road that Boston AA calls your Bottom though the term is misleading because everybody here agrees it s like someplace very high and unsupported you re on the edge of something tall and leaning way out forward p 347Everything involving the Incandenza family is superb Same with Joelle Van Dyne aka Madame Psychosis aka PGOAT Prettiest Girl of All Time Same with Gately Same with the entire conceptual metaphorical apparatus behind the notorious film mostly known as The Entertainment officially titled Infinite Jest as well as the actual socio political entanglements that surround it Same with the brilliant conversational back n forths between Marathe and Steeply where some of the greatest insights into the three major themes of the novel occur Same with Wallace s sheer talent with language including the coining of highly memorable terms and idioms There are now two phrases I use around fellow fans of this book when the moment is appropriate the howling fantods in reference to feelings of extreme nervousness and high strung emotional strain and to eliminate one s map in reference to suicide I could gush on and on and on and onThis all just makes me want to settle into Round Three right this very second and read it all over again and I just might Infinite Jest has the uality of slowly unfurling in your memory which makes sense considering the sheer length the descriptive depth and the broad spectrum of content Each re exposed detail symbiotically attaches itself into the larger self organizing cumulative memory of how fucking amazing the book was and indeed still is When I met the tome s final sentence and finished it off I was left with an amazing set of feelings that s very difficult to describe satisfactorily Basically I felt a deep abiding sadness at the fact that it was now finished I found myself somewhat frantically flipping between the final page and the Notes Errata section irrationally seeking words I may as well have been tearing the room apart looking for meth money I felt a physiological craving confined and radiating within I wanted More entertainment More communion More redemption More identification And then as I sat stunned and staring at the final paragraph it hit me David Foster Wallace wanted the reader to feel this way55 On some level all writers and artists and anyone trying to sell anything ideas feelings books etc to other people all want those people to keep coming back for but there was than that standard set of intentions going on in Infinite Jest He was trying to show people something about themselves namely that sad funny and strange spectacle of continually seeking pleasure and reliefHe wanted the reader to acknowledge Craving He turned the mirror of the Ennett House upon the reader and captured their reflection and left them with things to think deeply about outside of the book My eyes widened and my jaw literally dropped open and the word Genius popped into my head scattering the cognitive noise and bringing me one brief moment of Thoughtless Bliss

Summary ð PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ☆ David Foster Wallace

A gargantuan mind altering tragi comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America Set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy and featuring the most endearingly screwed up family to come along in recent fiction Infinite Jest explores essential uestions. this booki think it is time to write a proper review for this book as it is one of my all time favorites and deserves way than two words back when i was a junior in college i was at the nyu bookstore trying to sell back some textbooks before going away for winter break the person in line in front of me was trying to sell back infinite jest where was i when this class was being offered and of course they weren t taking it back because nyu is a stingy fucking school she turned around to me and said you want this and i said yescuz i don t say no to free and she said merry christmasand kinda just thrust it at me and it was the best present i ever got a true christmas miracle i was on my way to see my then boyfriend in italy for the start of a european jaunt and i missed out on a lot of european cities because i could not put this book down i read it on planes and trains and a gondola in restaurants and bars by canals and in a cafe on top of the alps fuck cathedrals i had this book i am a truly bad traveler but i am a committed reader as soon as i finished the book i started right over and since then i have read it a total of seven times it is the most glorious collection of words that has ever been published it is everything it is funny and sad and creepy and disturbing and completely absorbing and brilliant and he was just a gem of a man the first time i got to meet him i dropped this book in front of him by now all tattered and smooshed and he seem surprised that someone has actually read their copy and then i gave him a card that had been a thank you card but i crossed out thank and wrote fuck in its place and said fuck you for writing the great american novel before i got the chance to this is the kind of thing i think is charming because i am deeply flawed but it worked and he called me and it was really nice he was a great man who was truly kind and courteous to his fans i ended up getting a proper thank you card from him because he is traditionally charming and now i am sad just thinking about this so the review ends here because it has served its cathartic purpose for me and i guess if anyone is reading this you just got a free glimpse into the softer side of karen it happenscome to my blog

10 thoughts on “Infinite Jest

  1. says:

    USHER Goodreads court is now in session the Honourable Judge Chandler presiding All riseJUDGE Mr Wise you appear before the court today on the charge of failing to adore Infinite Jest an act in gross and flagrant violation of basic Goodreads standards of decency How do you plead?WARWICK WellI mean presumably this kind of thing is

  2. says:

    this booki think it is time to write a proper review for this book as it is one of my all time favorites and deserves way than two words back when i was a junior in college i was at the nyu bookstore trying to sell back some textbooks before going away for winter break the person in line in front of me was trying to sell back infinite jest where was i when this class was being offered?? and of course they wer

  3. says:

    It's my habit to write on the inside sleeve of a book the words from the text that I can't define or don't understand Here is the resulting list from the back inside sleeve of Infinite Jestapocopesbolectionsregletsdipsomaniauincunxvaricocelessimpaticoaleatoryexperialistagnatepedalferrousfulvouslouveredsangfroidgibbonsapercueideticmuratedtume

  4. says:

    While I don't actually have A Favorite Book or Song or Album or Band or Film or Painting or Sexual Position or any other category of things that contain than one eually great contender Infinite Jest is the first book that immediately comes to mind when the idea of My Favorite Book arisesAs I've already alluded to and partially instantiated in a few scattered places around GoodReads I feel that I read this boo

  5. says:

    Admittedly Infinite Jest is a tough book You start the book having no clue when it is happening and who the various characters are There is stuff that happens in the opening pages that explains events at the end of the book albeit over 1000 pages and hundreds of footnotes away I'd say it is uite elliptical That being said it is an amazing piece of literature I forced myself through the first 300 and then 400 pages and at about 500 pages

  6. says:

    Anybody who completes THE Infinite Jest automatically receives a medal Really Just read every single fuh cking word from

  7. says:

    I've been waiting panther like for the right combination of caffeine and personal gumption to strike to attack writing about this since it really is one of my favorite books ever ever and one of the most fascinating things I've ever read I've read this book twice and I could care less what people say about it because when I do care I tend to grit my teeth over the ridiculous comments reviews that tend to come up in discu

  8. says:

    Know what they say about novels such as Infinite Jest Don’t seek Perfection or Pleasure but rather seek the Infinite PossibilitiesI have a lot to say about this book but before that there’s a little I don’t want to say about it Here it is☽This book is never ending☽It bored me at times too☽Some of the end notes were annoying☽I read many other books when I was supposed to read this book☽Whenever

  9. says:

    Around halfway through endnote 90 which itself is 4 pages long Don Gately says It makes me feel good you think I'm decent to talk to That's supposed to be why I'm here I sure needed to talk at the start Can you remember where you were headed before I broke i— interrupted? 1001This is arguably what passes for a joke in Infinite Jest See Gately is a reformed thief who used to burglarize houses to support his drug habi

  10. says:

    DJ Ian's Sunday Evening Tell Me What You Really ThinkYou're listening to Radio KCRCR Tell Me What You Really Think where we listen to the critics and you talk back That's if there's any time left after I finish my rant HeheA lot of listeners ask me about my namesake What about that other Ian Graye you say The one on GoodReads What do you think of him? And what did you think of his recent review of David Foster Wallace

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Tessa Young is an 18 year old college student with a simple life, excellent grades, and a sweet boyfriend She always has things planned out ahead of time, until she meets a rude boy named Harry, with too many tattoos and piercings who shatters her plans.