The Infinite Jest Thesis Page over at The Howling Fantods has several good papers on the Jest. This is the best one I’ve read so far.

I’m beginning to see why this book is so difficult to walk away from. It appears that part of Wallace’s plan is to leave you in the lurch at the end; he writes the book in such a way that you think, with just enough attention and dedication, you can figure everything out. Apparently, figuring out the book conclusively is  not really possible, but Wallace (who on many occasions has said he takes pleasure in being a little malicious–in good humor, of course–with his readers) must have got a kick out of writing such a compelling, incredibly long work, only to leave you just inches from putting it all together. (This would be a rather poor joke except that it gets precisely to the points Wallace is trying to make.)

It’s probably no coincidence that Wallace, as a writer, shares so many traits with his filmmaker/avatar/character, James Orin Incandenza, who made many films designed to trick and dismay his audience.

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The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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