The book suggests that the world should not be taken too seriously: life is an intellectual game, and words are the pieces on the board.The problem for Wallace, as he reflected after its publication, was that “Broom” offered an analysis but derided even the idea of a solution.But after “Infinite Jest” Wallace came to feel that his prose was too often arch and arid.
“What’s unendurable is what his own head could make of it all,” Gately thinks near the end.
“But he could choose not to listen.” Through the example of Gately, “Infinite Jest” offered readers an oblique form of counsel, but Wallace had mixed feelings about the book.
writer David Foster Wallace committed suicide on September 12th of last year.
His wife, Karen Green, came home to find that he had hanged himself on the patio of their house, in Claremont, California.
His goal had been to show readers how to live a fulfilled, meaningful life.
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“Fiction’s about what it is to be a fucking human being,” he once said.Riffs that did not fit into his narrative he sent to footnotes and endnotes, which he liked, he once said, because they were “almost like having a second voice in your head.”The sadness over Wallace’s death was also connected to a feeling that, for all his outpouring of words, he died with his work incomplete.Wallace, at least, never felt that he had hit his target.There was also Wallace’s outsized passion for the printed word at a time when it looked like it needed champions.His novels were overstuffed with facts, humor, digressions, silence, and sadness.He told Mc Caffery, “Look, man, we’d probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is?”So Wallace’s project required him to invent a language and a stance of his own.In a 1989 letter to the novelist Jonathan Franzen, a friend, Wallace said that “Broom” felt as if it had been written by “a very smart fourteen-year-old.”“Infinite Jest,” which came out almost a decade after “Broom,” was a vast investigation into America as the land of addictions: to television, to drugs, to loneliness.The book comes to center on a halfway-house supervisor named Don Gately, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, who, with great effort, resists these enticements.Good writing should help readers to “become less alone inside.” Wallace’s desire to write “morally passionate, passionately moral fiction,” as he put it in a 1996 essay on Dostoyevsky, presented him with a number of problems.For one thing, he did not feel comfortable with any of the dominant literary styles. The approach was “too familiar and anesthetic,” he once explained. “It seems important to find ways of reminding ourselves that most ‘familiarity’ is mediated and delusive,” he said in a long 1991 interview with Larry Mc Caffery, an English professor at San Diego State.