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Infinite Jest : A Novel av David Foster…

Infinite Jest : A Novel (urspr publ 2014; utgåvan 1996)

av David Foster Wallace

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner / Omnämnanden
13,225244461 (4.23)11 / 1103
A spoof on our culture featuring a drug-and-alcohol rehabilitation house near Boston. The center becomes a hotbed of revolutionary activity by Quebec separatists in revolt against the Organization of North American Nations which now rules the continent.
Titel:Infinite Jest : A Novel
Författare:David Foster Wallace
Info:Little, Brown (1996), Edition: 1st ed, Hardcover
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek


Infinite Jest av David Foster Wallace (2014)

  1. 80
    Gravitationens regnbåge av Thomas Pynchon (AndySandwich)
    AndySandwich: Books that cause neuroses.
  2. 91
    Ulysses av James Joyce (browner56)
    browner56: You will either love them both or hate them both, but you will probably need a reader's guide to get through either one--I know I did.
  3. 61
    Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself av David Lipsky (blahblah88)
    blahblah88: Get to know DFW.
  4. 50
    Skippy Dies av Paul Murray (owenkeegan)
    owenkeegan: Set at an Irish boarding school, this book shares a sense of humor with and has a narrative disjunction similar to Infinite Jest.
  5. 30
    A Naked Singularity av Sergio De La Pava (DaveInSeattle)
  6. 42
    Fåfängans marknad : en roman utan hjälte av William Makepeace Thackeray (Anonym användare)
    Anonym användare: It's all about what people do for entertainment, status, and sport. Along the way, the entire spectrum of society is satirized.
  7. 75
    Cloud Atlas: A Novel av David Mitchell (owenkeegan)
    owenkeegan: David Foster Wallace based the structure of Infinite Jest on a fractal. Cloud Atlas similarly transitions from one story to the next as though zooming in on a corner of one world to reveal a whole new universe, related but unique.
  8. 10
    Tidsskredet av Philip K. Dick (ateolf)
  9. 10
    The Instructions av Adam Levin (hairball)
    hairball: If you liked Infinite Jest, you will like The Instructions, but even if you didn't like IJ, you should try it.
  10. 21
    The Man Without Qualities: A Sort of Introduction; Pseudo Reality Prevails {Vol. 1 of 2} av Robert Musil (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung meint, dass 'Unendlicher Spass' von Foster Wallace für den Beginn des einundzwanzigsten Jahrhunderts das sei, was Musils 'Mann ohne Eigenschaften' für das vergangene Jahrhundert war.
  11. 10
    Hamlet av William Shakespeare (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Infinite Jest wields several references/allusions to Shakespeare's play.
  12. 00
    The Dissertation: A Novel (Norton paperback fiction) av R. M. Koster (absurdeist)
  13. 00
    Kokain : drogen som erövrade världen av Tom Feiling (DLSmithies)
    DLSmithies: I know that Infinite Jest isn't "about drugs" - to reduce it to that would be insulting - but nevertheless, I read these books around the same time, and found they both have really interesting things to say about drugs and addiction in modern society - so if you liked IJ, Tome Felling's book might be worth a look.… (mer)
  14. 00
    The Sellout av Paul Beatty (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Books share a hectic, erudite wordplay and sense of the outrageous.
1990s (6)
Cooper (10)
To Read (164)

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I cannot remember reading a novel whose ending is placed at the focal point of a perspective fugue, way over the boundaries of the novel itself.
I do remember, of course, at least one fulgid example of a perfectly circular narrative whose very ending sentence folds into the beginning; and this is not the only instance in which my imagination was drawn to figure a set of literary coordinates, where Wallace's and Joyce's ways cross.
However, Infinite Jest is unique in this projection of its plot out of its own last page, before the epilogue makes it back to the opening scene, much like the way the back of your head is said to be visible in front of you, had you to cross the event horizon of a black hole; whereas Finnegans Wake flows like a river, quite literally, seeping out of its own pages yes, but in a more diffused manner, same as if a fine spray of its narrative imperceptibly soaked reality.
Well, the simple fact that Wallace keeps reminding me of Joyce should be a gauge of my admiration. His insane command of language and his deep sorrow for the human condition are what kept me glued to the page; well, apart from the plot. Many described this novel as plotless, uncentred, spinning out of its own author's control; well, nothing could be farthest from truth for the attentive reader. Let's not mistake stylistic choices for lyricism, here. Everything falls into place; just not inside the narrative. We readers need to become adults. We need to really care for the characters' fate, and only then, we will start noticing the clues about their destinies.
I guess this is where the greatness lies: Wallace was, famously, an advocate for emotional presence and sincerity as opposed to detached irony. He saw the use of irony and detachment in contemporary western culture as an instrument of denial and a crippling excuse against the acknowledgement of pain, leading to the inability to experience emotional growth: a symptom of mass immaturity of our society, elevated to universal norm. He equated it to the denial of the addict.
He made use of a great deal of humour to bring this point across, but please be careful not to mistake this humour with detached irony; Wallace deeply cared for human beings, and he cared for the pain felt by his characters. He wanted us to care, too, and he used his perfect prose as a maieutic teaching tool, to guide us towards understanding of pained self-awareness and soulless detachment as polar opposites. A hint: look for an abrupt change of style towards the end of the novel, when Hal starts thinking in first-person again. I'm not gonna spoil it for yous all, but that was the moment when I realised that there was true greatness under all that hilarious mess. That moment is proof that Wallace had perfect control over his novel. The superficial impression of centrelessness, the apparent lack of resolution, are all devices meant to mimic the overwhelming confusion of being alive; underneath flows a powerful and very simple narrative of love, loss, neglect, addiction, and the fundamental choice we are all faced at some stage between death and recovery. Even if recovery may not look like it at all, by the outside world enmeshed in ironic denial. Think of Hal.
There would be much more to say about literary richness of references to the great moralists like Dostojevsky and stuff like that; but it has already been said better than I possibly could.
I will only add that, if you make it to the end, you will enjoy a brief yet scorching roast of Harold Bloom's style. No wonder he blasted the novel with his signature arrogance and lack of class (and of literary insight). Let's say that being addressed as a turgid writer must have given him the howling fantods. Gotta love David Foster Wallace. ( )
  Elanna76 | May 2, 2024 |
Infinite Jest is not for the faint hearted. Because of both its lack of a unifying plot across its multiple storylines and the omission of significant facts (mainly pertaining to character relationships and background), the book requires a second reading to understand details presented before the reader has gained sufficient context to grasp their significance. Unfortunately, the book's length (nearly 1,000 pages, not including a plethora of often irrelevant footnotes) makes a second reading a tall ask, particularly when considering you still won't likely fully comprehend what happens because you also need to understand David Foster Wallace's intentions for writing the book.

At its core, Infinite Jest is the story of the Enfield Tennis Academy (ETA) in Massachusetts, a school for elite junior tennis players. The Academy is run by the widow of its founder, James Incandenza, and her purported half-brother, Charles Tavis. Its second-best player is Hal Incandenza, son of the late founder and current Administrator, Avril.

It is also the story of Don Gately, a recovering drug addict who works at a halfway house for alcoholics and drug addicts. Gately is a mountain of a man who has a violent conflict with several non-residents seeking revenge for the killing of their dog by another resident of Ennet House. Gately's story could be pulled out of the novel and made its own story; both novels would be stronger for this separation.

Most significantly, Infinite Jest is the story of the eponymous movie (frequently referred to as an entertainment), the watching of which results in a fatal comatose state for the viewer, and the efforts of several governments and terrorist organizations to obtain the original, duplicatable master copy, which can then be used against the U.S. population. Equally significant is the fact that this movie was created by the same James Incandenza who founded the ETA.

There are several good websites offering explanations of the symbolic meaning of characters and speculation on the occurrence of "offscreen" events and the nefarious roles of several major characters associated with the ETA. I would suggest spending time on these sites after finishing the novel, rather than rereading it. The insights they provide made me feel like Jennie Fields of The World According to Garp fame, who has to have her son explain the meaning of his story "The Magic Gloves" to her. Once he does, she says, "[i]f that's what it means, I like it." Similar to Jennie, I see and appreciate that Infinite Jest is a treatise on how readers should actively engage with novels rather than viewing them as mere entertainment and how the ETA can be viewed as an allegorical MFA program, but getting to my pseudo-understanding was a long and at times tedious slog through a book that in my mind could have been significantly shorter without losing its meaning. ( )
  skavlanj | Mar 11, 2024 |

I'm not sure how this book ended up in my To-Read list. I wouldn't have read it on holiday either, if I had known it was so long. In fact, I generally do not read extremely long books (> 600 pages) by authors until I've vetted a shorter work first. All this contributed to an extremely unpleasant read.

Infinite Jest is partly about a dangerous film of the same name: People that interact with this film cannot stop watching, until they die of corporeal neglect. Ironic that my experience of the book was the exact contrast, since I had to struggle against giving up on it at every turn. About 2 / 3 of the way into the book, probably around page 650, some of the story arcs appear to begin to approach one another. A few pages later, it was clear this was a feign and the book continues without direction or regard for the reader, ending with a random flashback.

Story: 2 / 10
Characters: 8
Setting: 7.5
Prose: 7.5

Tags: Sports secondary schools, training, addiction, revolutionary groups, politics, neuroticism, corruption, toxic waste, technology, family ( )
  MXMLLN | Jan 12, 2024 |
- This won't make much sense if you haven't read the book.

- Who doesn't love the Eschaton story, Hal's mistaken visit to the all-male encounter group, a well-played (three-) set piece? Not me, I mean I don't not love them. I love the Steeply/Marathe in the desert dialogue too, unfolding like some Pynchonian panorama, two weird souls united by one dark sagegrass-smelling night, double-talking their way to some kind of (d')accord. But the connective tissue of this novel isn't so appetising, the coagulated vein and gristle of the Ennet House and ETA day-to-day, the Bostonian meanderings. The geographical scope of IJ is surprisingly restricted, its retrotech near-future (now past) setting, while interesting at first, less lustrous by the 200th Y.D.A.U. If I was being harsh I'd call it the Great American Novel for its time, a time and a generation that didn't want, or deserve, a G.A.M. An inward-looking, U.H.I.D.-veiled G.A.M., circling the cage of its own inhibitions, chewing its own tail in muffled agony.

- The only character with more depth than a Pemulis lob is Gately, and that's only thanks to 100+ pages of biography that appear in the last quarter or so of the novel, like a hastily-knocked out homework assignment, or like the author's grudging response to a demand from his editor to "show your workings". The rest of the cast — even Prince Hal — are cartoons, defined by their eccentricities. That doesn't make them unentertaining — I loved the hyper-annoying Pemulis, the Canadian cyborg John Wayne, the brilliantly named Ortho "The Darkness" Stice. But there's a vaporizing void where the human heart of this novel ought to be (you might say a Great Concavity), a black hole whose event horizon shreds readerly sympathy, rebuffs attempts to probe it, to know it. It's palpable — the abyss staring back at you — even affecting — but it's freezing cold, dispassionate, lonely as hell.

- Look, I know I'd get more out of this on a reread. The same is true of anything long and complicated. But I'm judging this on the first read and whereas my first read of reputationally comparable novels has stuffed me to the gills AND tantalized me with more gen and more discoverable internal correspondences, IJ the first time around while equally tantalizing stuffed me only to about the pyloric caeca or ventral aorta. The sidestory of Pemulis's rentboy brother, say, or those embarrassing ebonic excurses, am I glad I read those? There's a story here, something about a wraith and an Oedipus complex and whether mom or dad is the creative essence and what it means to eliminate your own map, and there's a fair schwack of fucking incendiary writing, but there's a whole lot of extraneous guff as well.

- And but so I like, like like DFW's register. I've even unconsciously adopted it, footnoting my own sentences — my thoughts concatenated with rambling subclauses and hanging hyphens — it's addictive! which but that doesn't mean it's good for me, or that it doesn't drive me bats when taken in excess the same as any other mind-altering substance. Like everyone and everything in the book it does one obsessive thing, far too well. Did DFW intend for his footnotes and toenotes — what I call the footnotes to the footnotes — to drive us bats? I read a first edition with end-, not foot-, notes, and the physical back and forth was like a way-too-long baseline rally... my poor forearms... or like the itch-scratching of addiction. I'll credit the author for this though and place him at Gibbon's right hand on the Dais of the Unnecessary, Marginally-Material, Kind Of Pointless Footnote (D.U.M.M.K.O.P.F.)

- And if I never hear an English sentence rendered with French syntax again it will be trop putain de fils. ( )
  yarb | Jan 9, 2024 |
It's long, disjointed, tedious, absurd, depressing, intentionally difficult, and anti-climactic. It's hilarious, thoughtful, realistic, challenging, and immersively detailed. It's changed how I approach and read books. I would recommend this to anyone who looking for a challenge. ( )
  gregmeron | Dec 1, 2023 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (8 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Wallace, David Fosterprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Blumenbach, UlrichÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Covián, MarceloÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Eggers, DaveFörordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Giua, GraziaBidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Nesi, EdoardoÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Pratt, SeanBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Valkonen, TeroÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Villoresi, AnnalisaBidragsgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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"Molly Notkin often confides on the phone to Joelle van Dyne about the one tormented love of Notkin's life thus far, an erotically circumscribed G.W. Pabst scholar at New York University tortured by the neurotic conviction that there are only a finite number of erections possible in the world at any one time and that his tumescence means e.g. the detumescence of some perhaps more deserving or tortured Third World sorghum farmer or something, so that whenever he tumefies he 'll suffer the same order of guilt that your less eccentrically tortured Ph.D.-type person will suffer at the idea of, say, wearing baby seal-fur."
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A spoof on our culture featuring a drug-and-alcohol rehabilitation house near Boston. The center becomes a hotbed of revolutionary activity by Quebec separatists in revolt against the Organization of North American Nations which now rules the continent.

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