10 September 2006

David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest; Burn, Stephen

A quick read (< 100 pages) with some notable insight into IJ. He points out mythological references, storyline intersections, and major themes. I would've liked to have seen a concise character outline to match the 11-page timeline of major events he provides in an appendix.

One problem with analyzing maximalist novel (Burn calls them encyclopedia novels) is that the abundance of detail offers itself up to the adoption of many different templates of intent. Still, some are stronger (and more intent-full) than others. A couple of Burn's ideas felt too fine-grained but most were a welcome insight, and he presented his reasoning with the transparent honesty of dead-ends and alternate possibilities.

It's been several years since I had read IJ, but this analysis helped bring back and organize the story as a whole.

David Foster Wallace
David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest; Burn, Stephen
[ posted by sstrader on 10 September 2006 at 10:26:23 AM in Current Interests , Language & Literature ]