Infinite Jesters

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Like Julio Cortazar's famous novel, Infinite Jest (IJ) can be read in many ways. Both remain wildly different examples of fiction roaming the novel's frontier. IJ is slightly more convoluted and geometrically conceived than more typically structured reads.

"Alas, poor Yorick!--I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy..." ~ from Hamlet

After only 23 years since its publication, IJ is irrefutably a classic. But is it worthy of claiming its place in the, admittedly, arguably overrated pantheon of hallowed forebears like Ulysses, The Apes of God, Under the Volcano, The Recognitions, Hopscotch, Pale Fire, Gravity's Rainbow, Women and Men (not to mention a relatively unknown recursive-looped rarity like the heavily footnoted, The Dissertation, by R.M. Koster, for instance, and too many more obscure gems to mention by name)? Read IJ and, maybe, you'll find out.

IJs Gargantua-and-Pantagruelian girth (nearly 1100 leaves of small print on oversized pages) is its greatest challenge. Not its much maligned "Subsidized Time" or acronyms. Not its fascinating, Melvillean footnotes, whose footnotes' footnotes sometimes have their own footnotes -- common first-timer's complaints. Consider that vast backcountry of footnotes like panoramic rest stops along the way.

Hamlet opens: "Who's there?"
Infinite Jest opens: "I am...."
Reading IJ won't be a bust. Trust that two bookmarks are musts.

All things (everything and more!) IJ-related: no notes and errata regarding David Foster Wallace's (DFWs) tome of tomes will be deemed too arcane or lame for digressive threads.

All information DFW-relevant -- his other novels, story and essay collections, undergraduate philosophy treatise, or lengthy expose on the Annual Adult Video News Awards, even, or the howling fantods, whatever -- are welcome ad nauseam (or is it ad nauseated? ad nauseous?) as well.

(Footnotes have been temporarily removed for refurbishing).

TopicTopicMessagesLast Message 
Infinite Jest: James Incandenza's Death?34 unread / 34Tribe_XX, September 2019
Stuff for DFW Dorks, Completists, Collectors (or all of the above)22 unread / 22kswolff, January 2017
Infinite Jest turns 20-prepare for essays4 unread / 4Mr.Durick, February 2016
I Think, Therefore I Jest: EFs recursive IJ reading thread41 unread / 41kswolff, December 2015
The Entertainment6 unread / 6DonGately421, October 2015
Avril is Luria?9 unread / 9DonGately421, October 2015
End of the Tour docudrama about DFWs IJ book tour7 unread / 7kswolff, September 2015
Miscellany62 unread / 62absurdeist, August 2015
The Pale King4 unread / 4KatrinkaV, May 2015
IJ reference6 unread / 6Marcial87, February 2015
Tad's Reading59 unread / 59TadAD, January 2015
IJ reaches the masses...2 unread / 2absurdeist, December 2014
This could be the death of me...4 unread / 4KatrinkaV, November 2014
DFW's Top Ten List5 unread / 5khldbrnd, June 2014
The Pale King27 unread / 27absurdeist, December 2013
Robert Durick: Okay, I've read it. So what?33 unread / 33Sandydog1, December 2013
Water9 unread / 9anna_in_pdx, June 2013
Infinite Jest: meaning of subsidized time products?15 unread / 15anna_in_pdx, May 2013
Hideously Long (but not forgotten) Interviews with David Foster Wallace4 unread / 4Jesse_wiedinmyer, May 2013
dchaikin looking towards IJ51 unread / 51dchaikin, April 2013
Invitation to online reading group of Infinite Jest1 unread / 1punkzip, March 2013
DFWs Essays that are available online17 unread / 17DetailMuse, February 2013
Footnotes and Fractals: RidgewayGirl takes a long look at IJ15 unread / 15Mich_Smith, February 2013
nymith's blind walk with Infinite Jest12 unread / 12absurdeist, February 2013
Into the heart of America, zenomax's IJ thread.7 unread / 7zenomax, January 2013
RSVP Thread for Infinite Jest, Opening the First Page on 01.01.201399 unread / 99featherblende, January 2013
Justicemoney's First-time IJ Read10 unread / 10justicemoney, January 2013
anna reads IJ12 unread / 12anna_in_pdx, January 2013
Why you shouldn't read Infinite Jest; or, A Thread for Haters35 unread / 35absurdeist, January 2013
INFINITE JEST & HAMLET: Similarities3 unread / 3absurdeist, January 2013
Self-reflexive metathread: Description of Footnotes to Infinite Jester's group description page1 unread / 1absurdeist, January 2013
Trandism's Roadmap to IJ8 unread / 8trandism, January 2013
Elegant Complexity and Other Infinite Jest Reading Aids6 unread / 6Sandydog1, January 2013
Bas-in-jest4 unread / 4absurdeist, January 2013
Why have you avoided DFW or Infinite Jest? Scared? Afraid its weight will crush you? Or wh54 unread / 54Sandydog1, January 2013
IJ Resources and References2 unread / 2Sandydog1, January 2013
So how are we going to proceed w/Infinite Jest exactly, come New Year's?7 unread / 7Sandydog1, January 2013
semckibbin's Infinite Jest reader's diary and personal odyssey (because it's all about me)3 unread / 3trandism, January 2013
Year of Beelzebubba singing unforgettable Ethel Merman covers and reading Infinite Jest for the seco6 unread / 6tomcatMurr, December 2012
Tatts9 unread / 9MeditationesMartini, December 2012
How did you first "meet" Mr. Wallace?22 unread / 22absurdeist, December 2012
James O. Incandenza: A Filmographyª8 unread / 8absurdeist, December 2012
DFW biography18 unread / 18absurdeist, December 2012
When Art and Infinite Jest Collide3 unread / 3slickdpdx, December 2012
Out-of-the-Blue Question Thread: In which Infinite Jest's Themes are mined obliquely3 unread / 3absurdeist, December 2012
INFINITE JEST: Its Structure8 unread / 8absurdeist, November 2012
Open invite to read Infinite Jest 2012 in good company!112 unread / 112anna_in_pdx, October 2012
INFINITE JEST: The Canadian Conspiracy & Other small detail-oriented observations (spoilers)16 unread / 16narpe, October 2012
A new Infinite Jest blog1 unread / 1TimFootman, September 2012
Maps1 unread / 1dchaikin, September 2012
Broom of the System7 unread / 7absurdeist, September 2012
Gately's former navy M.P.2 unread / 2beelzebubba, July 2012
A Look at Wallace1 unread / 1barney67, June 2012
The Rise and Fall in Infinite Jest's Popularity3 unread / 3absurdeist, March 2012
Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with DFW3 unread / 3tomcatMurr, April 2011
New Yorker Short Story...2 unread / 2krolik, April 2011
Infinite Jest: Jests and Jokes8 unread / 8absurdeist, April 2011
Infinite Jest: The Ghost of Eric Clipperton6 unread / 6glowing-fish, March 2011
Infinite Jest/Harry Potter3 unread / 3glowing-fish, March 2011
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men2 unread / 2Sutpen, March 2011
Infinite Jest: The politics of David Foster Wallace35 unread / 35MeditationesMartini, March 2011
INFINITE JEST: Quotes, themes, observations...11 unread / 11MeditationesMartini, March 2011
Infinite Jest: Revenge as Theme2 unread / 2MeditationesMartini, March 2011
DFWs non-Infinite Jest books10 unread / 10Sutpen, March 2011
DFWs Syllabus at Pomona College2 unread / 2krolik, February 2011
DFW: Miscellania37 unread / 37tomcatMurr, December 2010
Spreading Infinite Jest1 unread / 1cfn, November 2010
A forum for Infinite Jest (a work in progress, please be kind)6 unread / 6absurdeist, November 2010
Why won't DFW become a member of this group?12 unread / 12absurdeist, October 2010
INFINITE JEST: the end (with spoilers)26 unread / 26Sutpen, September 2010
Now what?8 unread / 8tomcatMurr, August 2010
INFINITE JEST: influences4 unread / 4slickdpdx, August 2010
Halation9 unread / 9pyrocow, July 2010
IJ sections3 unread / 3MeditationesMartini, June 2010
Previous topics15 unread / 15absurdeist, June 2010
Why this group?24 unread / 24A_musing, June 2010
INFINITE JEST: Questions7 unread / 7pyrocow, June 2010
INFINITE JEST: Early pages1 unread / 1pyrocow, June 2010
INFINITE JEST: Tennis & communication1 unread / 1pyrocow, June 2010
INFINITE JEST: Common enemies, common suffering1 unread / 1pyrocow, June 2010
INFINITE JEST: Interesting techniques1 unread / 1pyrocow, June 2010
INFINITE JEST: Allusions & Food for Thought1 unread / 1pyrocow, June 2010
Preparing for Infinite Jest (no spoilers)1 unread / 1pyrocow, June 2010
"p-terminals"4 unread / 4pyrocow, May 2010
I have a question.30 unread / 30LizzieD, May 2010
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