David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest

I'll admit that Infinite Jest never won any awards, but Time Magazine lists it as one of the top 100 English Language novels and David Foster Wallace received a MacArthur Fellowship Fellowship (a.ka. the "Genius Grant"). This book has been on my to-read list for some time (Ben, my partner, has already read it three times), and I think this is the summer to tackle it. It is, however, 981 pages long, so I'm going to divide it into two parts. This first part covers pages 3 to 491, up to the chapter titled "WINTER, B.S. 1963, SEPULVEDA CA".

David Foster Wallace (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, professor of English at Illinois State University, and professor of creative writing at Pomona College. Wallace is widely known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, which was cited as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005 by Time magazine. Los Angeles Times book editor David Ulin called Wallace "one of the most influential and innovative writers of the last 20 years". Wallace's last, unfinished novel, The Pale King, was published in 2011 and a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. He has also received an O. Henry Award and the Whiting Writers' Award.

Infinite Jest was published in 1996. The complex work takes place in a semi-satiric future version of North America, and touches on substance addiction recovery programs, depression, child abuse, family relationships, advertising, popular entertainment, film theory, Quebec separatism and tennis, among other topics. It has been revealed that the characters are largely autobiographical. 

In the novel's future world, the United States, Canada, and Mexico together compose a unified North American Superstate known as the Organization of North American Nations. The plot partially revolves around the missing master copy of a film cartridge, titled Infinite Jest, which is so entertaining to its viewers that they lose all interest in anything other than viewing it and thus eventually die. 

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  • A former member
    A former member

    My husband is sick and can't make it, so it will just be me today. Also, I'm changing the snack that I'm bringing, to cashew butter and apple slices on crackers (so no longer gluten-free).

    August 23, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll bring Greek yellow split pea puree with apple slices, also free of gluten, soy and sugar.

    August 20, 2014

  • Rachelle

    All right! The day is approaching! Because we're doing this outdoors, let's keep the food simple--no need for plates, forks, etc. I'll bring my world-famous scones. Let's each be responsible for our own drinks--no need to have someone cart out gallons of liquid. Just bring a bottle of water for yourself. Let's try to meet at the north west end of the Sheep Meadow near 67th and Central Park West. There's a few trees there and it's near the Mineral Spring bathrooms. I have a small park blanket that fits two, so someone else will need to bring an additional sheet if they don't want to be on the grass. My number is[masked]

    August 20, 2014

    • Rachelle

      And, for the record, my scones are gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free, and delicious!

      August 20, 2014

  • Rachelle

    It's no sweat--I moved it up to 3:30.

    August 16, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I didn't mean to rush you, if 4pm would be easier for you I don't mind!!

    August 16, 2014

  • Rachelle

    I have a class until 3pm on Saturdays.It's not far from the park, however, and I could leave a little early if people wanted to meet an hour earlier at 3pm.

    August 15, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Any way we might be able to move this up to a few hours earlier? 4pm seems a bit late for a picnic meeting start time.

    August 15, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Central Park would be fantastic, there's a lot of nice spots for a picnic there, and it would be nice to do something outside with the nice weather.

    July 27, 2014

  • Rachelle

    I'm thinking of making this meet-up a picnic in Central Park. That way it's a bit more conveniently located for everyone. Let me know your thoughts!

    July 26, 2014

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