The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

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Home News by Category Infinite Jest One Strong Opinion - Infinite Jest

One Strong Opinion - Infinite Jest

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Timothy Allan Schroeder, of Ohio State University has a little review of Infinite Jest tucked away online, you'll need to scroll down a little to find it, One Strong Opinion:

[...] To promote the reader’s efforts to identify with other people, to empathically engage them, Wallace does not just rely on the description of the virtues of identification in addiction recovery. He also gives extremely detailed, empathy-supporting psychological portraits of a huge range of characters, most of them very unlike the expected readers of the novel. Using familiar modernist techniques, he encourages the reader to try to identify with poor black girls, rich white boys, male prostitutes, drug addicts, enforcers for bookies, depressed women, and many more. Characters who perform horrifying acts are presented both from the outside and from the inside, making it harder not to empathize with some aspect of the worst, harder not to recognize some part of oneself in a person one would reject all comparisons to, ordinarily [...]

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