Download A Reader's Companion to Infinite Jest by William C. Dowling, Robert H. Bell PDF

By William C. Dowling, Robert H. Bell

A Reader’s better half to limitless Jest is a consultant for readers who've heard concerning the literary genius of David Foster Wallace’s large and sprawling novel yet were get rid of by way of its size and narrative complexity. Composed via unique literary students, the spouse is designed either for normal readers and for students taking classes on postmodern fiction. in addition to an specific assessment of narrative constitution, the significant other incorporates a synopsis of plot, a compendium of significant characters, a listing of adlescent characters and actual humans, a brief dictionary of slang and idioms, and a piece directory and explaining countless Jest’s acronyms.

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Though he's managed to remain sober for about 90 days before he kills himself, his death when it comes is particularly gruesome: he drinks a great deal of a large bottle of Wild Turkey and then, having cleverly altered the device to bring about the result he wants, commits suicide by putting his head in a microwave oven. A parody, clearly, of the head-in-a-gas oven suicides favored by some twentieth-century poets and artists Sylvia Plath is mentioned, though under a garbled version ofher name, at one point in Infinite Jest - but also a parody with a serious point.

The point ofall such scenes in 11ifinite Jest, though, is that addiction to a Substance is merely a late and almost incidental symptom of the deeper despair in which it began. The path in Irifim�e Jest lies from some personal hell through release or escape into use of a Substance back into, inevitably, a hell worse than before. The shape in which despair reveals itselfagain and again in Irifim�e Jest is that of a dark, billowing, shapeless horror that appears just beyond the limits of ordinary existence.

When the scene dissolves to send Steeply and Marathe on their separate ways, echoes of their debate on the Outcropping will linger to provide depth and meaning to various episodes that would in themselves be nearly unintelligible. In the long and complicated conversation that takes place on the Outcropping, we come as close as we will get in Irifim�e Jest to an external perspective on the terminally deranged society in which the major events of the story take place. The meeting between Steeply and Marathe takes place in Arizona for two reasons.

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