dotCommonweal

A blog by the magazine's editors and contributors

.

David Foster Wallace in Boston

Christine Neulieb recently suggested giving the notoriously intimidating Infinite Jest a try. For those willing to take the plunge, here is a really cool site that includes photographs and descriptions of the real-life locations that David Foster Wallace included in the novel. If you're living in or near Boston, you could even take an Infinite Jest city tour. Whatever you do, though, stay away from Quebec; Les Assassins des Fauteuils Rollents can be pretty brutal.

On a side note, fellow Verdicts blogger Scott Moringiello (another big DFW fan) has alerted me to the fact that there is a totally unexpected connection between Wallace and, of all people, Justice Antonin Scalia. Who knew?

Comments

Commenting Guidelines

AnthonyThank you for this post. I too found it surprising that there is a connection between Wallace and Scalia. Perhaps I shouldnt have, because they are both so fastidious and precise about the proper use of language/grammar. Actually, Scalia if fastidious and precise, Wallace was somewhere on the far side of neurotic.For those thinking of reading Infinite Jest, consider the following, which describe 2 (fictional) films directed by one of the novels major characters:Cage II: Sadistic penal colony authorities place a blind convict and a deaf-mute convict together in solitary confinement, and the two men attempt to devise ways of communicating with each other.Cage IIIFree Show: The figure of Death presides over the front entrance of a carnival sideshow whose spectators watch performers undergo unspeakable degradations so grotesquely compelling that the spectators eyes become larger and larger until the spectators themselves are transformed into gigantic eyeballs in chairs, while on the other side of the sideshow tent the figure of Life uses a megaphone to invite fairgoers to an exhibition in which, if the fairgoers consent to undergo unspeakable degradations, they can witness ordinary persons gradually turn into gigantic eyeballs.*******The above is tucked away in one of the (long) footnotes in the book. If you think they contain some form of comic brilliance, read the book, youll love it. If you feel youve just wasted the last 2 minutes of your life, this book is not for you.