“It now lately sometimes seemed like a kind of black miracle to me that people could actually care deeply about a subject or pursuit, and could go on caring this way for years on end. Could dedicate their entire lives to it. It seemed admirable and at the same time pathetic. We are all dying to give our lives away to something.”—David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
“Infinite Jest, for all its putative difficulty, cares about the reader, and if it denies him or her a conventional ending, it doesn't do so out of malice; it does it out of concern, to provide a deeper palliative than realistic storytelling can.”— D. T. Max, in Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story, explaining the vital difference between David Foster Wallace and TFiOS’s Peter Van Houten. It’s true that IJ was the biggest and most obvious model for An Imperial Affliction, but IJ’s famed ambiguity doesn’t violate the unwritten contract between reader and writer because the book is redemptive and full in all the ways that An Imperial Affliction (by all accounts, at least) isn’t.
“Wallace was wondering whether he hadn't become a literary statue, 'the version of myself' as he wrote to a friend at the time, 'that I want others to mistake for the real me.' ... He was now frozen by his own need to be the person others saw him as. They could let go of it more easily than he could. And since the success of Infinite Jest the problem had gotten worse, so that he feared the 'slightest mistake or miscue' would knock the statue down. The prospect terrified him. ”—D. T. Max’s Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story
Infinite Jest: doneZO
my infinite summer is over and i am leaving the old me behind in between pages ripe with unharvested crop lines of highlighted favoirte prose. It’s technically bailey’s turn to find and lose herself in my copy.
Also i need book recommendations. Where do i go after DFW? My brother wants me to start on a song of ice and fire, but truthfully and obviously/predictably i want to resist the ceaseless in-my-face media recommendations constantly (ie annoyingly) held by my brother’s tireless and teeming arms in my face. Although maybe perhaps a good ol’ fantasically complexly created fantasy world is just what i need after reading a dystopian yet humanzing romp through easily I.D.able themes interweaving the—previously unexamined yet always walked—addiction/entertainment lines. Maybe i need media that hits farther from home. Or media that hits lighter? On third thought maybe tolstoy…
So? Recommendations, opinions, etc?