Regrettably, I arrived late, very late, to the DFW party, taking special notice when I read his tragic obituary. Only then did I ascertain what his other devotees had already known: the implied author who seems almost to be another self, to think what you think, to express it more clearly and sympathetically and so amusingly that you want him to say it again and again. I'd bought my copy of Infinite Jest in 2002, after almost five years of hearing about and resisting its essentiality, and then I left it unread; I did not actually finish it until earlier this year. It is one of two thick books of his that I've literally torn in half, not in exasperation, but to satisfy my need to bring his writing with me on plane flights in bags too full to carry so many pages.
Marco V Morelli's group read of Infinite Jest, Summer of Jest (inspired by 2009's Infinite Summer) has come to an end. Of sorts. In my experience just a single read is not the end of one's engagement with this wonderful novel.
For those of you that participated (or like me- lurked... I've made it pretty clear that I love keeping an eye on the reactions and experiences new readers have in response to Infinite Jest).
David Foster Wallace Titles Roughly Translated Into Other Languages (and Roughly Translated Back Into English)
The Young Woman with Weird Hairstyles It Was Fun and Yet I Will Not Repeat It John McCain Riding the Political Bus The Broom of Ludwig Wittgenstein Every Single Thing and Still More Tennis as a God-Fearing Incident Short Examinations of Assholes Rap Explained to Whites The Colorless Monarch Do Not Eat Lobster This is The Liquid Never-ending Fun Skin and Not Skin Endless laughing The Lion King A Coma
At a June auction, an edited story and a cache of letters by the late author David Foster Wallace to writing professor Richard Elman came up for sale. Sotheby's estimated that they would go for $10,000 to $15,000 overall. A bidding war ensued, won by a private collector with a bid of $125,000.
Adam Kelly (Irish Research Council CARA Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University and University College Dublin ) took students from his Harvard undergraduate seminar on an 'Infinite Boston tour':
The occasion for this outing was the inaugural Infinite Boston tour, a journey orientated by sites and events described in David Foster Wallace’s 1996 novel, Infinite Jest. I borrow the phrase “Infinite Boston” from William Beutler’s website of that name, described on its homepage as “a limited-run essay series about the real-life Boston area locations” featured in Wallace’s novel. The site is choc-full of excellent photographs and illuminating descriptions of the various streets and spaces of the book. When confirmation came that I would be teaching “David Foster Wallace and his Generation” in the Spring semester, I contacted Mr. Beutler to see if he would be interested in leading an official tour. It turns out that he does not live in Boston, but in D.C. Instead, he kindly put me in touch with another Bill, Bill Lattanzi – Cambridge resident, playwright, science documentary maker, and part-time MIT professor – who undertook the pre-planning and did the honors in fine style on the day.
But Kelly's piece doesn't just recount the tour, as expected he uses it as a stepping stone to something else, an analysis of maps and territories in Wallace's work:
One of Wallace’s most profound historical projects involved trying to convince his generation of Americans that they needed to revalue and reestablish boundaries; rather than individual freedom inhering in a lack of restrictions, limits could be understood as animating and enabling. The boundaries of a game, and the boundaries of a self, were clearly two kinds of limits that fascinated Wallace.