Infinite Jest at 20

The New York Times looks back on the release of David Foster Wallace’s magnum opus

david-foster-wallace-infinite-jest
When his “Infinite Jest” came out 20 years ago, David Foster Wallace felt some anxiety about how his fully stuffed novel would be received. In an interview on the radio show “Bookworm” at the time, Wallace said: “This is the great nightmare, when you’re doing something long and hard, is you’re terrified that it will be perceived as gratuitously hard and difficult, that this is some avant-garde-for-its-own-sake sort of exercise.”

In the Book Review, Jay McInerney described the novel as “alternately tedious and effulgent,” and said Wallace “seems to want to convince us of the authenticity of his vision by sheer weight of accumulated detail. The weight almost crushes the narrative at times — as when, for example, we are treated to 10 dense pages about the disassembly of a bed, complete with diagrams.”

Michiko Kakutani called Wallace “a writer of virtuosic talents who can seemingly do anything.” [Read More]

Advertisements

Add Your Comments, Links, and Recommendations

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s