Bookhad (a book-club and a blog on books by a couple of bibliophiles in Mumbai) is doing a #100bookquotes series. As part of this, they are putting up 100 small extracts and quotes from books – each entry has been nominated by some member of the book-club. In this case, I nominated what I consider to be a classic example of the style of humor characteristic of David Foster Wallace – a small dialogue from “Infinite Jest”. Do check out the rest of Bookhad’s reviews, interviews, etc. – they do some good work.
Infinite Jest is an encyclopedic novel, infamous for its length and enumeration of detail and for its digressions that involve endnotes (some of which themselves have footnotes). Wallace’s “encyclopedic display of knowledge” incorporates media theory, linguistics, film studies, sport, addiction, science, and issues of national identity. The book is often humorous yet explores melancholy deeply.
Infinite Jest is a 2.2 inch thick novel with innumerable footnotes. It’s reading requires many techniques to keep up with the main text and the running notes. It has been mentioned time and again that missing out on the notes will plummet the utility of the book. There are also “How to read Infinite Jest” articles around the internet.
Infinite Jest was written by David Foster Wallace. It was published in 1996.